Fort Desoto Park, FL

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Rabbitt, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Mar 8, 2011

    We will be going there next week for our first EVER spring break.
    Any advice about the park?
    North or East beach?
    Early in the day, late, or does it matter?
    We hope to see sea life.
     
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  3. Kindergarten31

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    Mar 8, 2011

    Hey Rabbit. Now you are in my neck of the woods. I have spent many a day at Fort DeSoto, since I was a child. I like the North Beach best, although it is alittle more developed than the East Beach. Do go to the Fort. It is not huge, but is very interesting. Stop at the fishing pier. People fish there all night and day. Usually some shark fishermen in the evening. You can rent bikes and ride around, which is fun. The weather is gorgeous right now. It is 80 degrees and sunny, with alittle cool breeze. The water is still a bit chilly for us Florida folk, but I have seen people swimming. You can take a fairly inexpensive dolphin/wildlife boat tour, which is probably the best way to see any critter. You will see all sorts of birds at Fort DeSoto and maybe dolphins. They are there all the time, but you have to be looking in the right place at the right time.
    You can also take a boat out to Mullet Key, which is just off Fort DeSoto. That's the only way out there. There are some old buildings out there and I think they might have a tour, but I'm not sure. Bring a lunch. There are lots of pavillions and beautiful views. Let me know if you have any other questions and tell me what you think of the area when you get here. Have fun!
     
  4. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Mar 8, 2011

    Thanks K31!
    Excited about the weather as we are expecting a snowstorm tonight!

    I recall going to this park as a child so that's why we chose it.
    I recall sand dollars. star fish, sea turtles, and shark teeth.

    Do you know the name of the inexpensive dolphin tour?
    Someone told me Mullet Key is an expensive boat ride.

    Do you know if we can grill in the park?
     
  5. Kindergarten31

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    Mar 8, 2011

    A place called "Charlie's Charters" offers a 4 hour dolphin watch and trip to Egmont Key (which is the other key which I've called Mullet) for 35.00per adult, less for kids. That's not too bad.

    Yep, lots of grills out there.

    Right now, there have been some turtles laying eggs around here, but not sure how long that will go on. Mightbe a bit cool for sand dollars and starfish. Even though there are lots of sharks due to the deep channel, I haven't had much luck with shark's teeth.
     
  6. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Mar 8, 2011

    Ft. DeSoto is one of my favorite places in the world! How long will you be there? You could definitely do both beaches, but yes - I think North Beach is nicer - go to the very end on the left where the big parking lot is - there is a sand bar you can walk out on, which is just one of the most beautiful spots in the world.

    I second Kindergarten31's comments - I won't get in the water unless it's at least 80 :).

    I also second the trip to Egmont Key - it's usually almost completely abandoned, and you can walk around this island with old military establishments, etc. Very peaceful yet adventurous.

    Are you camping there or staying in St. Pete Beach?
     
  7. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Mar 8, 2011

    Staying at St. Pete Beach.
    Any cool restaurants or parks to see for a young family?
     
  8. EdEd

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    Mar 8, 2011

    St. John's Pass just north of St. Pete Beach by a minute or two has a lot of cool things to see, and some good restaurants. Not an "all day" thing, but a good evening place for ice cream, dinner, some souvenir shopping, etc.

    Depending on how young your kids are, the Aquarium in Tampa is really nice and worth a visit, and there are some restaurants close by there. Downtown Tampa is probably 45 minutes from St. Pete Beach, so it's a haul with kids, but crossing the bridge from St. Pete/Clearwater over to Tampa is beautiful.

    Also in Tampa, the Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) is cool for kids, again depending on age. If you need an indoor day, may be good.

    Busch Gardens, if that's your thing :).

    If you're looking for some good scenery, a drive over the Sunshine Skyway bridge just south of St. Pete is pretty spectacular, and goes pretty high up!

    A little closer, the Pier over in downtown St. Pete is not the most exciting thing in the world, but some good walking around with a really nice park, and you have a great view of downtown Tampa across the bay.

    Over in Tampa, there is a park called "Picnic Island." It's a hike - at least 45 minutes from where you are, but it's a park with a playground, tons of grills, and surrounded by the bay on several sides.

    And since I'm listed just about every cool park in Tampa, I might as well add Ballast Point Park to the list. Again, a hike, but the drive along Bayshore Boulevard is pretty awesome.

    There you have it - parks in Tampa :).
     
  9. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Mar 9, 2011

    Appreciated EdEd! :cool:
     
  10. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Mar 9, 2011

    You may enjoy making a trip up to Tarpon Springs. It's a really neat little Greek community. Also, Honeymoon Island in Dunedin usually ranks among the most beautiful beaches in the country.

    If your kids are into trains, there's a pretty neat railroad museum in the area, but it's only open during weekends.

    The whole Pinellas County area has neat little places to visit. What are your kids interested in, and I may be able to make more suggestions.
     
  11. Kindergarten31

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    Mar 9, 2011

    Not knowing your kids ages--St. Pete has the Dali Musuem, Hands-on Museum (for younger kids) the Holocaust Museum. These are all downtown within a few minutes of each other. Boyd Hill Nature trail, small, but nice. Some local animals. Lowery Park Zoo in Tampa is a very nice zoo. Pass-a-Grille beach, right near st. Pete beach is a beautiful beach. Check out Gulfport -cute little old town that has turned into an arts district with a nice playground right on the beach. There are great restaurants here and all over st. Pete and St.Pete beach.
     
  12. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Mar 9, 2011

    My sons are 6, 6, and 8.
    We are mainly looking for free or extremely cheap places to go.

    All your ideas are awesome!
     
  13. Kindergarten31

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    Mar 9, 2011

    If they like baseball, there are lots of spring training games going on in the area. Plus the small downtown stadium is hosting some international baseball games and all these things are pretty inexpensive. Tell me the dates you will be here. Our newspaper puts out a section on Thursday that lists all the free and cheap things happening in the nest week or two. I'll see if there is anything exciting happening. I think our Grande Prix is running downtown next week--maybe??? Little boys, big boys...who doesn't love high speed racing thru the streets of downtown?
     
  14. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Mar 16, 2011

    This beached ROCKED!
    We went to north beach and walked and walked.
    Dolphins and sting rays within 20 ft of us.
    Saw a very large sea trutle swimming.
    Live shells
    Hermit crabs
    blue. white. and black herrions
    Very few people around
    We had an awesome cookot in a clean park with restrooms.

    Thanks all!
     
  15. EdEd

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    Mar 16, 2011

    Oh, you're making me so jealous!
     
  16. Kindergarten31

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    Mar 17, 2011

    So glad it turned out. Hope the rest of your stay is as good. I'm going to have to drag my hubby out there for a picnic. Our weather has been SO beautiful this week.
     

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