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
Rivers & Paddling Trails
Anclote River, Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail
Pinellas County, one of the state's smallest and most densely populated counties, is a peninsula surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa Bay and Boca Ciega Bay/Pinellas County State Aquatic Preserve. The coast is lined with 37 miles of sandy beach, barrier islands, urban areas, and mangrove and seagrass lagoons. The Anclote River flows to the gulf across Pinellas' northern corner.
Thirty-one county and state parks offer an abundance of beach accesses (six with full facilities) and parking. Parking near beach accesses in residential neighborhoods is limited.
Fort Desoto County Park covers five islands with seven miles of coast (three miles sandy beach), jail-cell ruins, old-fort cannons and a lagoon pond for children.
Clearwater Beach has white sand beaches, marinas, piers, facilities, aquarium and free nightly festival.
Anclote Key Preserve State Park's 400 acres are on four barrier islands fringed by beaches and 12,000 acres of submerged land. The park offers boating and primitive camping, 1887 lighthouse, and a plethora of beach-nesting birds. It has no provisions, so bring water and supplies.
Honeymoon Island State Park is a barrier island park on the gulf, accessible by car. Developed in 1939 for honeymooners, it has palm-thatched bungalows, showers, gift and snack shop, nature trails, bird observation areas, large variety of shorebirds and seashells, mangrove swamps, tidal flats and virgin slash pine forests.
Caladesi Island State Park, one of the gulf's few completely natural islands, is reached by boat or ferry from Honeymoon Island. It has white sand beaches, three-mile hiking and paddling trails, saltwater fishing, abundant wildlife, picnic tables, pavilions, marina, snack bar and gift shop.
Skyway Fishing Pier State Park, once a bridge from St. Petersburg to Sarasota over Tampa Bay, now offers more than 3.6 miles of fishing (tarpon and grouper) on its northern and southern ends.
Shell Key Preserve, one of Pinellas' largest undeveloped barrier islands, has 1,800 acres of sensitive marine and shorebird habitats, numerous mangrove islands and seagrass beds. Accessible by boat, its beaches and bird watching are its main attractions. It has designated boating and camping areas and no facilities.
Weedon Island Preserve, popular for birding, fishing and paddling, covers 3,000 acres of natural, cultural and archaeological history of the ancient Weedon Island culture. Education programs are offered at its cultural and natural history center.
Mobbly Bayou Preserve, 396 acres on northern Upper Tampa Bay, has a wide diversity of upland and coastal plants, a picnic shelter, hiking trails, fishing pier, observation platform, canoe launch, parking area and restrooms.
Other points of interest: Heritage Village, a 21-acre living-history museum; Florida Botanical Gardens, over 30 acres of cultivated gardens and 90 acres of natural areas; Clearwater Beach Pier 60 and Beach Walk, more than a half-mile of sand beach, fishing pier, food, shopping and abundant parking; and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, environmental education and tours, kids camps and animal exhibits. County festivals include the Greek Epiphany Celebration, Highland Games and Military Tattoo, Tampa Bay Caribbean Carnival and African American Heritage Celebration.
April 30, 2020 - 4:16pm
Interested in subscribing to DEP newsletters or receiving DEP updates through email?
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.