When wanderlust takes over, let that be the perfect excuse to unlock your inner Indiana Jones & go on an adventure. From speakeasies to beaches, the Sunshine State is overflowing with secrets; however, these abandoned places to explore in Florida are striking ruins of the past that just might make you grab your whip & hat.

A part of the Fort De Soto State Park isles, Egmont Key State Park's sandy beaches stretch in a slender sliver in the middle of the vast blue ocean — like an island oasis that you'll never want to leave

Since the island isn't connected to the mainland by a bridge, you'll have to take the $25 ferry to get to this hidden gem, but it's definitely worth the effort.

Aside from stunning stretches of beach & turquoise ocean hues, the breathtaking ruins of Fort Dade sit on the island's mainland near the water's edge.

The abandoned military fort being swallowed by the jungles & sea stayed active until 1923, it now serves as a stunning structure of cultural history and beachy urban exploration — & it is truly a breathtaking sight to behold.

Some have compared the sights & feel to that of a ghost town, offering eerie vibes of the past along the empty corridors, steps, & crumbled stones.

The ruins of Battery McIntosh, Battery Mellon, & Battery Burchstead meant to serve as a defense line to the main fort can be found stretched across the north, east, & south ends of the island, offering no shortage of oceanic Indiana Jones adventure.

The Fort & its batteries aren't the only bit of history you can find on this island either. An old lighthouse can also be found overlooking the ocean as it reaches toward the sky on the northeastern side.

While the stunning sights of these ruins strike our fancy, the island can be a bit of a personal refuge too. The beaches are some of the best places to find seashells & intact sand dollars, and the ferry service offers snorkeling gear rentals for only $15.

No water or restroom facilities are on the island, so if you plan to make a trip, don't forget to pack your adventuring satchel with sunscreen, towels, water & snacks.

Food & drink are available for purchase on the ferry, however, as well as a bathroom available for your use while it's docked. The ferry is known to fill up quickly; reserving your spot online will guarantee your ride across the big blue sea.

No matter which way you choose to enjoy this island, you'll find a little slice of paradise awaits you on this adventure.

An overview of Egmont Key & Fort Dade can be found below. If you're looking for more beachy ruins to explore, check out this Florida State Park. If you prefer to keep to the mainland & stay dry on your explorations, check out this secret graffiti-covered bridge hidden in north Florida.

Ruins of Fort Dade on Egmont Key

Price: You'll have to take a ferry from Fort De Soto to Egmont Key -- park entry at Fort De Soto is $5, while the ferry is $25 per adult. Snorkeling gear rentals can be added on for $15.

Address: Start at Fort De Soto State Park, boarding the ferry there — 3500 Pinellas Bayway S., Tierra Verde, FL
Ranger Station Coordinates: N 27 36. 032 W 82 45. 623
Lighthouse Coordinates: N 27 36. 047 W 82 45. 634

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

Why You Need To Go: The perfect way to unlock your inner explorer. Like an oceanic Indiana Jones, climb, adventure, & discover the beauty & secrets the ruins of Fort Dade hold on the stunning Egmont Key that you'll never want to leave.


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.


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