For paddle boarding, it would be hard to find a better destination than Tampa Bay. In addition to beaches and bays, you can paddle amid mangrove islands, in tannic rivers with alligators and, within a two hour drive, one of the most spectacular clear spring runs in Florida.
Things to do in the Tampa Bay area, St. Petersburg, Sarasota and the Tampa Bay area, RV and tent camping, kayaking, beaches, festivals.
Egmont Key is romantic, remote and historic. Located in the mouth of Tampa Bay, accessible only by boat, it is home to an intriguing fort, gopher tortoises, beautiful beaches and more. The best time to learn about the island is Discover the Island weekend, Oct. 23-24.
The Pinellas Trail is a long, well-marked paved bicycle trail that connects St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs along Florida’s Gulf coast.
Tarpon Springs is best known for its Greek sponge docks. But a boat trip to Anclote Key, one of Florida’s most remote state parks, is even better. Anclote Key is a perfect island beach, perhaps more tantalizing because it’s not easy to visit.
Colt Creek State Park is one of Florida’s newest parks, part of the massive Green Swamp Wilderness near Tampa, with RV and tent camping, backpacking, kayaking, fishing, hiking and off-road bicycling.
The beach is spectacular here — wide white sand, clear blue-green water. But the Old Florida charm of Pass-a-Grille, a community within St. Pete Beach, is what makes it stand out.
We’ve selected nine public campgrounds near Tampa Bay for their scenic beauty, low prices and prime opportunities for hiking, biking, kayaking and canoeing. We think you’ll like these choices.
Myakka is one of the oldest and biggest state parks, a great place for seeing wildlife, from huge gators to flocks of birds in winter. Go here for its log cabins, appealing camp sites, excellent kayaking, extensive hiking and good bike trails. It’s also a good spot for nature neophytes, who enjoy the airboat ride and canopy walk.
Caladesi Island State Park, off the coast of Clearwater and Dunedin, was just named the 7th best beach in the US. What’s even better? Kayaking there.
Travel writer Vicki McCash Brennan has a passion for craft beer, museums and art galleries, and they all come together along St. Petersburg’s historic Central Avenue.