Fort Desoto is probably the perfect place to hit all those favorite points on your list for family outings. Here you’ll find great historical elements, various trails, a free museum, beaches (including a dog beach), parks, camp grounds, and fishing piers. Nestled in south St. Pete this is a must see for both residents and visitors.
Parking at Fort Desoto will be a flat rate of $5 per day (cash only). You will find tolls when driving to the area which will average at $1 or less. Once inside of the park area you will have the option to choose any point of interest to visit first.
First on our adventure here we explored the fort area. The walk up the ramp gave way to beautiful views of the beach and ships coming and going through the area. Entering the fort side we were met with the massive 1898 armstrong rapid fire rifled guns. Inside the alcoves of the fort housed the 1890 seacoast rifled mortars, of which can only be found here.
While this fort never held ground to a battle it’s history is rich and deep with native american culture and spanish visitors. It even has ties to the civil war as Robert E Lee once visited. Being a PA girl who frequented Gettysburg this was an exciting fact for me!
If you would like to learn more on the history of the fort please visit the website at fortdesoto.com
After visiting the fort we ventured onto the small beach. While it wasn’t the deep beaches we’ve become accustom to it was spacious enough and we easily found a spot. The waters were a bit chilly this particular day (Our visit was late Spring) but warm currents and the hot sun made it a comfortable dip into the gulf. We were amused by the many boats and fishermen nearby and checked out the rocky areas for sea critters. Sitting still in the water long enough allowed for schools of small fish to buzz all around us.
The day wasn’t complete without a stroll down the pier. The smell of fresh fish filled the air and birds lurked up above waiting for that easy meal. They seemed to be perched so proudly and not easily frightened by the noise and busy-ness of the fishermen all around. A look over the pier’s edge completed our trip as we were greeted with fluttering stingrays darting around the water.
This was a beautiful day out. Blue skies and fluffy white clouds surrounded us and we got a little of each world on this one trip. I’m a history buff and missed those “learning” type of trips from up north. This was a bonus to be only inches from toes in the sand afterwards. It’s a high recommendation from us, even if you only get out there once.
Thank you for reading about our trip to Fort Desoto. Have a great week!