Overview of outdoors and nature in St. Pete/Clearwater

Outdoor adventures abound in St. Pete/Clearwater.

Fresh Air & Open Spaces

Outdoor Adventures

Sun, Sea & Natural Beauty: 6 Irresistible Outdoor Adventures in St. Pete/Clearwater


Emerald-green waters and cool Gulf breezes. 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. All waiting for you in St. Pete/Clearwater. Come and hike our lush nature parks, paddle our pristine waterways and explore our beautiful gardens. You'll come away refreshed and care-free.

1

Paddle

A group of people kayaking near Oldsmar pier at R.E. Olds Park.

An excellent and underrated spot to launch a kayak, R.E. Olds Park is named after the founder of Oldsmobile – as is the city where you'll find it, Oldsmar.

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, where you can explore lush mangrove tunnels, then beach your boat for an almost-deserted island experience. Visit gorgeous Fort De Soto Park with its stunning beach 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. 

Find Places to Paddle
2

Island Hop

Aerial view of Egmont Key

Boaters love to gather in the gentle, crystal-clear waters off Egmont Key for a day of swimming, sunning and wildlife-spotting.

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. Or rent a boat to discover mysterious islands that appear and disappear with the tides.

Watch a Video about Our Islands
3

Explore Parks

A wide angle shot of the overlook tower at Weedon Island

Weedon Island Preserve is a 3,190-acre preserve located on Tampa Bay.

Walk Shaded Trails and Listen to Birdsong

Looking for ways to find some zen? St. Pete/Clearwater has gorgeous parks and preserves that fit the bill. Find stunning boardwalks at Boca Ciega Millennium 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 time 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).

Explore Nature Here
4

Stroll in a Garden

Lounge chairs over look trees, a pond and a fountain at Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.

Shaded spots and lush landscapes invite visitors to relax and take in the scenery at Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.

Experience a Nature Lovers' Delight

If gorgeous blooms 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.

Visit a Botanical Garden
5

Camp at the Beach

People camping in Fort de Soto Park with kayaks

From kayaking to waterfront camping, Fort De Soto is a nature lover's dream.

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.

Go Camping, Waterfront!
6

Watch Wildlife

Roseate Spoonbill

When you see a roseate spoonbill wading in shallow waters, you’ll feel like you’ve discovered a rare treasure. Spoonbills sport lovely pink feathers with a bit of pale orange on their tails. The species’ name comes from its flat spoon-shaped bill.

Take a Tour or Explore on Your Own

It's a zoo out there: Alligators glide in still waters, ospreys soar overhead, 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, gopher tortoises, 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. 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.

Go Bird-Watching

Explore Our Favorite Parks

Here are some of the top places in St. Pete/Clearwater to hit the trail, go paddling or just get some fresh air.

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