Belleair Beach, Clearwater Beach, Dunedin, Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores, Madeira Beach, North Redington Beach, Redington Beach, Redington Shores, Safety Harbor, St. Pete Beach, St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, Tierra Verde, Treasure Island
Boca Ciega Bay, Clearwater Harbor, Lake Seminole, Lake Tarpon, Long Bayou, Pass a Grille Channel, Safety Harbor, St. Joseph Sound, Tampa Bay, Old Tampa Bay, Mobbly Bay, and Mullet Key Bayou
Rivers & Paddling Trails
Anclote River, Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail
Pinellas County, nestled between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, is known for sun-drenched beaches and lush, green expanses of native habitats. This metropolitan county is never too far from warm coastal waters.
The peninsula is surrounded by Pinellas County Aquatic Preserve/Boca Ciega Bay Aquatic Preserve, with oyster bars, coral communities, and seagrass beds hidden under the water allowing for thriving marine life and supporting local fishing. The spoil islands within the aquatic preserves are a great spot to get away from the busy world and enjoy some solitude.
Honeymoon Island State Park is one of Florida’s most beloved state parks, seeing over 900,000 visitors annually, and contains over four miles of white sandy beaches, interwinding trails, and a pristine slash pine forest. With gopher tortoise’s burrows in the ground and ospreys in the trees, the range of species that can be observed is spectacular. Honeymoon island offers a designated pet beach, one of the few that can be found in the county.
Take the ferry from Honeymoon Island to visit Caladesi Island State Park, only accessible by boat, this island is home to a mangrove forest that contains a three-mile kayaking path. A 108-slip registered clean marina accommodates overnight visitors to spend the night directly on the water.
Anclote Key Preserve State Park sits at the southern point of the Anclote Keys just off the coast of Tarpon Springs. The 11,773-acre park is home to a beautiful, red 1887 lighthouse that stands out amongst green pines covering the island. Renowned for its diversity and the sheer number of shorebirds, this birders’ paradise has common sightings of American oystercatchers, black skimmers, bald eagles, and great blue herons.
Fort DeSoto park consists of 1,136 acres of five interconnected islands of mangroves, palm hammocks, and six miles of beach frontage. Construction completed in 1900, Fort DeSoto never saw any combat and was abandoned after only 23 years. Designated as a county park in 1963 and has since been preserved as a historical site that holds a rich part of American history.
Once part of the old Sunshine Skyway Bridge that connected St. Petersburg to Sarasota over Tampa Bay, Skyway Fishing Pier State Park is now the World’s longest fishing pier. Split into two sections, the pier is open 24 hours a day all year long with depths between 6 to 20 feet. Fish gather around the pier at night, enticed by the smaller animals drawn in by the lights which allow for some amazing catches.
Weedon Island Preserve is an expansive 3,190-acre natural area that is comprised of aquatic and upland ecosystems. It is a popular location for hikers because of its extensive boardwalks and a 45-foot observation tower.
Mobbly Bayou Wilderness Preserve is a 396-acre preserve that encompasses a diverse community of both upland and coastal ecosystems. Featuring a canoe launch, playground, butterfly garden, hiking trails, dog park, and a beach, this area is a good way to enjoy the afternoon.
Spend the day in Tarpon Springs shopping for natural sponges collected right off the coast of the “sponge capital of the world”. Renounce for the rich Greek history of this town, it has some of the best Greek restaurants in the surrounding area and with reoccurring festivals such as the Opa! Palooza and the Sponge docks seafood festival, there is something always going on.
St. Petersburg is a cultural hub with numerous museums such as the Dali Museum, the Imagine Museum, and the ever-changing art galleries. Visit historical botanical gardens, weekly farmer markets, award-winning restaurants, or even catch a ball at a Tampa Bay Ray’s game. However you decide to spend your time, with an average of 361 days of sunny weather, there is never a wrong time to visit this beautiful county.
January 4, 2023 - 1:46pm
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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.