TAMPA — The Florida State Fair marks its 114th year. Our annual guide includes campground and lodging links with a full menu of things to do nearby.
The Manatee River is wild, natural and serene in its eastern section. Just a half hour from downtown Bradenton, the Upper Manatee Paddling Trail is another world. Your trip can include a stop at a preserve where a pioneer cemetery marks the site of an early town.
The show will go on despite the pandemic, but the popular headline concerts have been scrapped this year.
There are few parks in Florida with as much to offer as Pinellas County’s Fort DeSoto Park. And no park in the state, not even Everglades National Park, attracts as many visitors.
Honeymoon Island is an unusual combo: It’s accessible, with first-rate concessions, and yet it’s a big, natural beach where you can get away from people and see wildlife. And you have to love how it got its name.
Caladesi Island State Park, off the coast of Clearwater and Dunedin, has been called the best beach in America. What’s even better? Kayaking to Caladesi and seeing wonderful wildlife along the way.
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. But be prepared before you go.
Emerson Point Preserve is an exceptional county park, off the beaten path on the southern end of Tampa Bay. There is excellent hiking and kayaking, and the real gem is the Portavant temple mound.
Visiting here, I found myself amazed that places like Anna Maria Island survive — a low-rise beach town with quaint cottages and a spectacular beach. No, you won’t have it all to yourself, but it’s still a special spot to discover.
Just 45 minute from Tampa/St. Pete, the beautiful river, state park and region is a natural haven that can keep you busy exploring for days. There’s an outfitter to make trip-planning easy, plus it offers cabins and camping.