Fodor's Expert Review Fort De Soto Park
Spread over five small islands, 1,136-acre Fort De Soto Park lies at the mouth of Tampa Bay. It has 7 miles of waterfront (much of it beach), two fishing piers, a 4-mile hiking, cycling, and skating trail, picnic-and-camping grounds, and a historic fort that kids of any age can explore. For those traveling with their canine family members, there is a long and popular dog beach just north of the main fishing pier. The fort for which it's named was built on the southern end of Mullet Key to protect sea lanes in the gulf during the Spanish-American War. Roam the fort or wander the beaches of any of the islands within the park. Kayaks and beach cruisers are available for rental, and mementos can be found at a souvenir shop/grille on the park's north side.