Fort De Soto Park and The Sunshine Skyway Bridge

I actually went to Fort De Soto Park two days in a row. The large park has plenty of space, more than one beach, walking trails, places to refill gallon water containers, and (outdoor) showers, which satisfies all my requirements (minus a place to park to sleep overnight). But still, so convenient. I spent both mornings there reading, writing, and doing yoga while afternoons were spent walking and laying on the beach for more reading. Around sunset I broke out the stove and cooked up some dinner and lunch for the next day.

In addition to the convenience, the park was really pretty, offering fantastic views of Tampa Bay and miles of white sand and palm trees. There were plenty of birds too and I enjoyed watching them hop through the surf and spread their wings to capture the sun while I was on my walks. Fort De Soto Park also contains the remains of the Spanish-American War era batteries and some big cannons. I strolled around the surviving buildings briefly to stretch my legs but both days I was more interested in reading than spending time learning the history of the fort.

Spanish-American War cannon and battery in background, Fort De Soto Park, Florida

Spanish-American War cannon and battery in background, Fort De Soto Park, Florida

Inside of mortars, Fort De Soto Park, Florida

Inside of mortars, Fort De Soto Park, Florida

View of Tampa Bay from the top of the battery, Fort De Soto Park, Florida

View of Tampa Bay from the top of the battery, Fort De Soto Park, Florida

North Beach, Fort De Soto Park, Florida

North Beach, Fort De Soto Park, Florida

North Beach, Fort De Soto Park, Florida

North Beach, Fort De Soto Park, Florida

Sunset over North Beach, Fort De Soto Park, Florida

Sunset over North Beach, Fort De Soto Park, Florida

No idea what kind of bird this is but it's awesome, East Beach, Fort De Soto Park, Florida

No idea what kind of bird this is but it’s awesome, East Beach, Fort De Soto Park, Florida

White ibis (I think), East Beach, Fort De Soto Park, Florida

White ibis (I think), East Beach, Fort De Soto Park, Florida

The park also offers fantastic views of the 1.1 mile long cable-stayed Sunshine Skyway Bridge that spans Tampa Bay. The lines of this bridge are beautiful against the background of the emerald waters of the bay, but its enormity isn’t fully realized until you’re crossing it.

View of Sunshine Skyway Bridge from Fort De Soto Park, Florida

View of Sunshine Skyway Bridge from Fort De Soto Park, Florida

Driving over Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Florida

Driving over Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Florida

Driving over Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Florida

Driving over Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Florida