Stumbling upon the ruins of the past inspires that sense of wonder & adventure, especially when it's in a place you don't expect. If you're the kind of person who loves finding abandoned places to explore in Florida, then these beachy beauties will take your breath away.

Hidden amongst the trees of the 5 isles of Pinellas, Fort De Soto Park offers beachgoers a chance to experience not only the beauty of our tropical landscape but also the ruins of Florida's past.

Within the 1,136-acre stretches of sparkling white sands, canopies of mangroves, wetlands, & palm hammocks, you'll find the abandoned military bases such as Fort De Soto — with vacant corridors, crumbling walls, & cannons that defended these locations from intruders.

They're truly a sight to be seen, especially for those who find beauty in the abandoned.

One of the more visually striking spots is Battery Bigelow — which was once the secondary defensive line for Fort De Soto. Back in October of 1932, it collapsed, crumbling to ruin with the majority being reclaimed by the surf from the Gulf of Mexico.

The ruins that remain can be seen standing broken yet breathtaking amongst the waves just southwest of
Battery Laidley.

Other bits of Florida's military past can be found scattered amongst these Pinellas County Keys, each offering their own unique sights.

The other islands connecting to this park stand as some of the best places to swim & snorkel in a clear blue oasis, as well as prime spots to find the most stunning seashells & intact sand dollars; you can even go on a magical mangrove kayaking tour to one of them.

Some of the islands may require that you use the affordable ferry services to get there — but they're definitely worth the adventure.

Whether you wish to sail the sea & seclude yourself for a day on an island oasis or admire the ruins on an adventure through Florida's past, the surrounding isles & Fort De Soto park will take your breath away.

The Ruins of Fort De Soto & Battery Bigelow

Price: $5 daily fee per car.

Address: 3500 Pinellas Bayway S., Tierra Verde, FL

Hours: Sunrise to sunset daily; the fishing pier stays open until 11 p.m.

Why You Need To Go: Wander the beachy isle of Fort De Soto Park, while also adventuring through the ruins of the fort & Battery Bigelow. A strangely beautiful sight.


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.


There are stories everywhere! If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityUSA on Facebook and Instagram.


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