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Florida Coastal Access Guide - Pinellas County at a Glance Quicklinks

Pinellas at a Glance

Coastal Cities
Belleair Beach, Clearwater Beach, Dunedin, Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores, Madeira Beach, North Redington Beach, Redington Beach, Redington Shores, Safety Harbor, St. Pete Beach, St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, Tierra Verde, Treasure Island
Popular Spot Clearwater Beach
Sandy Beaches 37 miles
Public Accesses 158
Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail 14 sites
State Parks & Lands Acres
Anclote Key Preserve State Park (Pasco) 12,177
Boca Ciega Bay/ Pinellas Aquatic Preserve (Hillsborough, Pasco) 350,000
Caladesi Island State Park 2,470
Honeymoon Island State Park 2,810
Shell Key Preserve 1,754
Skyway Fishing Pier State Park (Hillsborough, Manatee) 18
Weedon Island Preserve 2,700
Federal Lands Acres
Pinellas National Wildlife Reserve 394
Bays & Inlets
Boca Ciega Bay, Clearwater Harbor, Lake Seminole, Lake Tarpon, Long Bayou, Pass a Grille Channel, Safety Harbor, St. Joseph Sound, Tampa Bay
Rivers & Paddling Trails
Anclote River, Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail

Pinellas County, one of the state's smallest and most densely populated counties, is a peninsula surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa Bay and Boca Ciega Bay/Pinellas County State Aquatic Preserve. The coast is lined with 37 miles of sandy beach, barrier islands, urban areas, and mangrove and seagrass lagoons. The Anclote River flows to the gulf across Pinellas's northern corner.

Thirty-one county and state parks offer an abundance of beach accesses (six with full facilities) and parking. Parking near beach accesses in residential neighborhoods is limited.

  • Fort Desoto County Park covers five islands with seven miles of coast (3 miles sandy beach), jail-cell ruins, old-fort canons and a lagoon pond for children.
  • Sand Key County Park is a 95-acre-barrier island on the Intracoastal Waterway and Clearwater Pass.
  • Fred Howard County Park's mile-long causeway is flanked with beaches leading to a 155-acre grassy park with paths and a butterfly garden.
  • St. Pete Beach is one of the gulf's few surfing spots.
  • Clearwater Beach has white sand beaches, marinas, piers, facilities, aquarium and free nightly festival.
  • Anclote Key Preserve State Park's 400 acres are on four barrier islands fringed by beaches and 12,000 acres of submerged land. The park offers boating and primitive camping, 1887 lighthouse, and a plethora of beach-nesting birds. It has no provisions, so bring water and supplies.
  • Honeymoon Island State Park is a barrier island park on the gulf, accessible by car. Developed in 1939 for honeymooners, it has palm-thatched bungalows, showers, gift and snack shop, nature trails, bird observation areas, large variety of shorebirds and seashells, mangrove swamps, tidal flats and virgin slash pine forests.
  • Caladesi Island State Park, one of the gulf's few completely natural islands, is reached by boat or ferry from Honeymoon Island. It has white sand beaches, three-mile hiking and paddling trails, saltwater fishing, abundant wildlife, picnic tables, pavilions, marina, snack bar and gift shop.
  • Skyway Fishing Pier State Park, once a bridge from St. Petersburg to Sarasota over Tampa Bay, now offers more than 3.6 miles of fishing (tarpon and grouper) on its northern and southern ends.
  • Shell Key Preserve, one of Pinellas's largest undeveloped barrier islands, has 1,800 acres of sensitive marine and shorebird habitats, numerous mangrove islands and seagrass beds. Accessible by boat, beaches and bird watching are its main attractions. It has designated boating and camping areas and no facilities.
  • Weedon Island Preserve, popular for birding, fishing and paddling, covers 3,000 acres of natural, cultural and archaeological history of the ancient Weedon Island culture. Education programs are offered at its cultural and natural history center.
  • Mobbly Bayou Preserve, 396 acres on northern Upper Tampa Bay, has a wide diversity of upland and coastal plants, a picnic shelter, hiking trails, fishing pier, observation platform, canoe launch, parking area and restrooms.
  • Other Points of Interest: Heritage Village, a 21-acre living history museum; Florida Botanical Gardens, over 30 acres of cultivated gardens and 90 acres of natural areas; Clearwater Beach Pier 60 and Beach Walk, more than a half-mile of sand beach, fishing pier, food, shopping and abundant parking; Clearwater Marine Aquarium, environmental education and tours, kid's camps and animal exhibits; county festivals include the Greek Epiphany Celebration, Highland Games and Military Tattoo, Tampa Bay Caribbean Carnival and African American Heritage Celebration.
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Last updated: May 25, 2012


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