Nestled in the Gulf of Mexico, just off the coast of St. Petersburg, Florida, lies a little-known gem called Egmont Key. This small island is a paradise for beach lovers, history buffs, and nature enthusiasts alike. With its crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, and abundant wildlife, Egmont Key is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience Florida's best.
Egmont Key has a rich history that dates back to the 1800s. In 1848, the United States government established a military fort on the island to protect the Tampa Bay area during the Seminole Wars. The fort was later used as a Union blockade post during the Civil War. Today, visitors can explore the fort's ruins and learn about its fascinating history through informative displays.
The island was also home to a lighthouse built in 1858 to guide ships through the treacherous waters of Tampa Bay. The lighthouse is still in operation today, and visitors can climb to the top for breathtaking views of the island and surrounding waters.
Egmont Key boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. The island's western shore is lined with miles of pristine, white sand beaches, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing in the sun. The water is crystal clear and warm, ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and paddleboarding.
Egmont Key is home to an abundance of wildlife, including sea turtles, dolphins, manatees, and over 200 species of birds. Visitors can take a guided nature tour of the island to learn about the various species that call it home.
One of the island's most unique features is its population of gopher tortoises. These endangered tortoises are a protected species, and visitors are asked to respect their habitat and refrain from touching or disturbing them.
In addition to swimming and sunbathing, there are plenty of activities to keep visitors busy on Egmont Key. Visitors can explore the island's many hiking trails, take a guided kayak tour of the island's mangrove forests, or rent a bicycle to explore the island's many historical sites.
For those looking for a more adventurous experience, Egmont Key is also a popular fishing destination, with abundant inshore and offshore fishing opportunities.
Egmont Key is only accessible by boat, making it a secluded and peaceful destination. Visitors can take a ferry from nearby Fort De Soto Park or rent a private boat to explore the island independently.
Egmont Key is a hidden gem in Florida that is well worth a visit. Its pristine beaches, rich history, and abundant wildlife offer something for everyone. Whether looking for a peaceful retreat, an outdoor adventure, or a glimpse into Florida's fascinating past, Egmont Key is a destination you won't want to miss.