With summer quickly closing in, we Sunshine Staters are looking for the best places to make the most of the best weather of the year. This stunning island preserve in St. Petersburg has nearly 2 miles of scenic boardwalk that takes you on a journey through Florida's landscape.
At over 3,190 acres, Weedon Island Preserve offers visitors a variety of recreational opportunities - with hiking the nature trails being the fan favorite. Their boardwalk alone winds through nearly 2 miles of scenic Florida landscape, with an additional 1.7 miles of hiking trail terrain. Part of the boardwalk even goes out into the water, and you can see some of the most magical sunsets here.
At the end of the boardwalk trails, you'll find yourself face to face with a 45-foot tall observation tower that looks out over the water and island preserve. Making your way up the tower after trekking nearly 2 miles would certainly be a challenge, but the sweeping views you'll get of the dense coastal mangrove forest and Tampa Bay are well worth it.
Check out some shots from the preserve below:
If hiking boardwalks and nature trails just aren't really your thing and you want to get on or in the water, kayaking the coastal mangrove tunnels is a paddling adventure like no other. Paddling beneath the canopy of twisted branches and green leaves is the most magical way to experience the mangroves. The preserve is also a great place for recreational fishing
If you're looking for something a little less active, you can learn more about why our coastal ecosystems are so important or escape the heat at the Educational Center. It has 6000 square feet of interactive exhibits about this stunning slice of nature, as well as offers various educational experiences. You can even head home with a unique gift from their gift shop - which has items representative of the local culture and natural environment.
If you plan to visit their educational center, they are open Thursday through Saturday from 9 am - 4 pm, or 11 am - 4 pm on Sundays. The center is closed Monday-Wednesday and all county holidays. You can be one with nature at the preserve daily from 7 am to approximately 15 minutes to sunset - with the official closing time changing with the seasons being posted at the entrance of the preserve.
If you're ready for one of the best views of Tampa Bay, Weedon Island Preserve is located at 1800 Weedon Drive NE St. Petersburg, FL 33702. Admission is free - but donations are welcome and help keep this place beautiful for you to visit over and over again.
For more information about Weedon Island Preserve, check out their website here.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit a potentially hazardous location, you check for the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.