Sunshine, Fresh Breezes and Beautiful Places are Waiting for You

There's nothing like fresh air and outdoor adventure to clear your mind and take your cares away. For sure, travel in the time of Covid-19 requires a little more planning than it did before, but it is possible to have a fabulous St. Pete/Clearwater vacation - safely and responsibly - if you plan your trip around our amazing beaches and outdoor experiences. Jewel-green waters and cool Gulf breezes? You'll find them here. Not to mention sugar-white sand islands that appear and disappear with the tides. That wonderful, free feeling of seeing birds soar overhead. The gentle sound of water dripping from your paddle. Come and hike our lush nature parks, paddle our pristine waterways and explore our beautiful gardens. You'll come away refreshed.

Kayaking in St. Pete/Clearwater

PADDLE

Explore Scenic Waterways

Ever kayak in the company of a cormorant? How about playful dolphins and gentle manatees? Paddling adventures in St. Pete/Clearwater often come with some wild entertainment along the way. Rent a kayak near the Dunedin Causeway to reach pristine Caladesi Island State Park - explore lush mangrove tunnels, then beach your boat for an almost-deserted island experience. Visit gorgeous Fort De Soto Park with its stunning beach, historic fort and two-mile paddling trail. Head to Weedon Island Preserve in north St. Pete to explore Riviera Bay and the South Paddling Trail with its mangrove canopy - Sweetwater Kayaks rents paddleboards and kayaks right on-site. 

Sailboats and powerboats anchored just off small tidal island in St. Pete/Clearwater

Island Hop

Discover Why Being on "Island Time" is the Best Time of All

You don't have to go far away to have that "tropical island" feel. In fact, we have some gorgeous islands just waiting for you to explore. Start with Honeymoon Island State Park, where you can search for shells along four miles of soft beaches or hike a three-mile trail through a virgin pine forest. From the park, take the ferry or rent a kayak to reach nearby Caladesi Island State Park, treasured for its uncrowded beaches and amazing birdwatching. Take a day-trip to beautiful Egmont Key, with its nearly deserted beaches and historic fort. Or rent a boat to discover "magical" islands that appear and disappear with the tides.

boardwalk at Weedon Island Preserve in St. Pete

EXPLORE PARKS

Walk Shaded Trails and Listen to Birdsong

Looking for ways to find some zen on your vacay? St. Pete/Clearwater has gorgeous parks and preserves that fit the bill perfectly. Find stunning boardwalks at Boca Ciega Millenium Park, Sawgrass Lake Park and Weedon Island Preserve. At Boyd Hill Nature Park, walk shaded trails, enjoy views of Lake Maggiore and visit a sanctuary for rehabilitated birds of prey. Looking for a waterfront picnic spot? Try St. Pete's North Shore Park or Vinoy Park, both with views of the new St. Pete Pier. If you'd like to spend a morning or afternoon among the trees, explore little-known Brooker Creek Preserve in Tarpon Springs to enjoy its nature center, wildflower-decorated trails and stellar birdwatching (tip: arrive when the park opens to have the trails all to yourself).

Flamingos at historic Sunken Gardens in St. Pete

Enjoy Gardens

Experience a Nature Lovers' Delight

If gorgeous blooms, exotic plant species and soaring tree canopies make your heart go all a-flutter, St. Pete/Clearwater has two beautiful botanical gardens for you to explore. Visit Florida Botanical Gardens to see 12 different themed areas, including a native plants garden, a wedding garden and a butterfly garden. It's the largest free botanical garden in Florida! St. Pete's small-but-very-special Sunken Gardens is more than 100 years old - and the canopy of enormous trees and exuberantly flowering plants inside the garden attest to its maturity. See flamingos and other tropical birds as you take a leisurely walk through the garden.

St. Pete/Clearwater offers waterfront camping sites

Camp at the Beach

Set Up Camp with a Sunset View

Fort De Soto Park is (yes, we'll say it) practically world-famous among camping aficionados - after all, who wouldn't want to to camp waterfront in Florida with great amenities (restrooms, showers, laundry, camp store) and access to one of the most stunning beaches in the country? Reserve early, friends! Several local parks and preserves, such as Anclote Key and Shell Key offer primitive beachfront camping, if you aren't someone who requires a lot of creature comforts.

Brown pelicans on a pier in St. Pete/Clearwater

Watch Wildlife

Take a Tour or Explore on Your Own

First, let us say that it's a zoo out there: Alligators glide silently in still waters, ospreys soar overhead, wild dolphins play in the waves, and bright-pink birds (roseate spoonbills, not flamingos) wade in the shallows. Our wild areas are also home to white-tailed deer, comical gopher tortoises, suited-up armadillos and many more interesting creatures. The best way to see them? Go early or late, when it's cooler. Move slowly and quietly. Take a few moments to be completely still and listen. Stay a safe distance. If you're a birdwatcher, explore some of the sites on the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. To see marine animals, take one of many dolphin or wildlife watching boat tours.

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