What are two of things Florida is most rich in? If you thought alligators and tourists, you wouldn’t be wrong. But nature and history are pretty abundant in The Sunshine State, too. One Florida island holds an enchanting palm tree forest on the beach where you wander a surreal scene of nature and ruins from the past.

On Egmont Key, you can hunt for shells, experience Florida’s nature wildlife, and even wander a magical palm tree forest right on the shore.

Perfect for nature lovers and history buffs alike, exploring the ruins of Fort Dade is a must when you a pay a visit to the island.

This remote and totally surreal island is only accessible by ferry, but it’s totally worth for the curious adventurer. You can book your trip with the Tampa Bay Ferry and begin your journey to this hidden Florida gem.

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How is the forest formed?

Known as a coastal berm, this palm tree forest paints a surreal picture as you wander across sugar white sands shaded by thick cabbage palm canopies.

It also makes for a perfect place to hang up a hammock.

The berm is formed by storm-deposited sand and contains tons of other tropical foliage, too.

The savvy botanist will also recognize strangler figs, saw palmettos, sea grapes, Florida privets.

Watch your step, as gopher tortoises like to make their homes in this forest and burrow under the sands.

What’s the story behind the old fort?

Egmont Key is a ghost of its former self, but no less beautiful.

In the late 1800s, it was a bustling town and the home of Fort Dade, which adventurers can still explore the remains of today.

The fort was constructed in 1890 in preparation for the Spanish-American War.

It even used to be a camp for captured Seminoles during the Third Seminole War, as well as a base for the Navy during the Civil War.

The fort stayed active until 1923, falling into disrepair.

Not all of Egmont Key’s ruins have been lost to time, however, with the 87-foot tall lighthouse, originally built in 1858, still guiding ships this day.

What else can you see on Egmont Key?

You could spend hours combing the beaches of shells, or wander the nature trails, spotting tortoises and sea birds.

The shoreline is the perfect place to dolphin watch, or you can even dive in for some snorkeling or fishing.

The undeveloped landscapes will make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time before it was settled, and the ruins will totally help you unleash your inner Indiana Jones.

You can kick back and take it easy in the coastal berm, and even string up a hammock for a midday siesta.

Egmont Key

Price: $25

Address: Tampa Bay Ferry 3500 Pinellas Bayway S St. Petersburg, FL

Why You Need To Go: Explore a magical palm tree forest right on the beach

Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your trip.