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.
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.