Fort De Soto Park

#1 in Best Things To Do in St. Petersburg, FL
Fort De Soto Park picture
Brazilfox/Flickr

Key Info

3500 Pinellas Bayway S

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Beaches, Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sports, Free Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.8scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

Spanning five small islands, the 1,136-acre Fort De Soto Park lies at the mouth of Tampa Bay and attracts more than 2.7 million visitors a year. The park features 7 miles of waterfront, two fishing piers, a 4-mile hiking and skating trail, picnic and camping grounds and a historic fort. Climb the stairs of the fort for a breathtaking view of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, one of the world's longest cable-stayed concrete bridges. Then, stop by the Quartermaster Museum to learn more about the fort through historic photographs and Spanish-American War artifacts.

The park is also one of the best places in St. Petersburg to visit the beach. The popular North Beach is recognizable by the large pirate ship playground near its entrance and the myriad of seashells and white sand dollars along its sands. At the waterfront, travelers can also rent a canoe or kayak and navigate the 2-mile paddling trail or try fishing. Recent visitors raved about everything there is to enjoy at the park, especially the lengthy dog beach.

Fort De Soto Park is open year-round from 7 a.m. to dusk. However, the fishing piers are open and park rangers are on duty until 11 p.m. and the camping area is always open. There is a $5 parking fee collected at the park entrance, but visitors can avoid that fee if they enter the park on foot or by bicycle. To reserve a camping spot or to find more information on the beaches and piers, visit the official website

See all Hotels in St. Petersburg, FL »

More Best Things To Do in St. Petersburg, FL

St. Pete Beach1 of 9
Dalí Museum2 of 9
Type
Time to Spend
#2 St. Pete Beach

St. Pete Beach is a barrier island community just west of St. Petersburg and home to a large swath of award-winning beaches. Pass-a-Grille Beach is a long undeveloped stretch of public beach, perfect for a variety of water sports, including parasailing, stand-up paddleboarding, windsurfing and kiteboarding. Recent visitors raved about St. Pete Beach, noting the soft, white sand, terrific maintenance and warm Gulf of Mexico waters.  

St. Pete Beach is also brimming with top hotels and restaurants. Once you've settled in, venture out to the Corey Avenue district to enjoy funky specialty shops, galleries and eateries. PJ’s Oyster Bar is the place to visit for seafood dishes like snow crab legs, grouper and clam chowder. Steam and Chill Food Haven and Lounge is located nearby and also highly praised for its seafood and unique dishes. Recent travelers enjoyed the watermelon salad, shrimp and grits, and rutabaga fries.  

Read more
psyberartist/Flickr
See full list of Best Things To Do in St. Petersburg, FL »

Explore More of St. Petersburg, FL

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

The Best Travel Backpacks for 2020

U.S. News rated the best travel backpacks using recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerNovember 25, 2019

30 Top Wellness Retreats

Rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit at one of these relaxation-focused properties.

Kyle McCarthyNovember 21, 2019

30 Fun All-Inclusive Family Vacations

Book one of these all-inclusive trips that cover food, accommodations and activities galore.

Holly JohnsonNovember 14, 2019

5 Ways Cruise Lines Are Becoming More Environmentally Friendly

Industry considers impact as it looks to the future.

Gwen PratesiNovember 12, 2019

11 Unique and Quirky Cruise Destinations

Venture off the beaten path for an authentic cruising experience.

Christine SmithNovember 12, 2019

The 2020 Best Cruise Lines for Families

Gather up the gang and head out to sea with one of these six kid-friendly cruise lines.

Nicola WoodNovember 12, 2019

The Top Pyramids in Mexico to Visit

Add these ancient marvels to your Mexico vacation itinerary.

Lyn MettlerOctober 28, 2019

30 Top Babymoon Destinations, Trips and Ideas

From romantic beach getaways to big city adventures to glamping in the forest, these locales will inspire your babymoon planning.

Gwen PratesiOctober 15, 2019

15 Tips for Traveling While Pregnant

These tips will help pregnant women travel the world in comfort and style.

Holly JohnsonOctober 10, 2019

The Best Chicago Segway Tours

See all the top sights in the Windy City without breaking a sweat.

Marisa MéndezOctober 3, 2019