Florida Beaches aren’t the only draw to the gulf coast. The beautiful nature preserves offer much to lovers of the great outdoors. From secluded beaches to natural trails and bird sanctuaries, the area Parks are worth a visit. Some are accessible by boat.
De Soto Memorial National’s mission is to commemorate Conquistador Hernando De Soto’s 1539 expedition through the Southeastern United States and to tell the history of the Native American tribal societies they encountered. Encompassed by the waters of Tampa bay and Anna Maria Island, De Soto offers much for the true nature lover. Walk the well maintained paths to the observation tower and get a magnificent view of the Tampa bay and surrounding estuaries. Enjoy Fishing, family gatherings or romantic photos, in the picnic or beach areas, brisk walks, bird watching, and amazing bird watching. Kayak tours are offered along the Manatee Causeway.The Park’s Visitor Center is open seven days a week from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Dogs welcome. 8300 Desoto Memorial Hwy Bradenton, Florida, FL 34209
Indian Rocks Nature Preserve ~ You’ll love the boardwalks and trails nestled into the intracoastal waterway. A peaceful stroll in this dog friendly park, offers a variety of shore birds and other area wildlife, going about their lives in their natural surroundings. Just across the street from Indian Rocks Beach and close to many local eateries. Perfect for a morning walk to sunrise. At 901 Gulf Blvd, Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785
Oscar Scherer State Park~This park’s large acreage of scrubby flatwoods makes it one of the best places in southwest Florida to view Florida scrub-jays, an imperiled species found only in Florida. The birds are abundant in this 1,381-acre park. In addition to viewing wildlife, an array of other land-based and water-based recreational activities awaits you. There is always something to do at Oscar Scherer State Park. The park provides opportunities for canoeing, fishing, swimming, picnicking, hiking, bicycling, camping and wildlife viewing. Visitors looking for wildlife will find that early and late in the day are the best times. 1843 South Tamiami Trail Osprey, FL 34229
Myakka River State Park~ 6 miles from Siesta Key this wildlife preserve offers much more than a hiking trail. Visitors can enjoy wildlife viewing from a boardwalk that stretches out over the Upper Myakka Lake, then take to the treetops with a stroll along the canopy walkway. The park´s river and two lakes provide ample opportunities for boating, freshwater fishing, canoeing, and kayaking; a boat ramp provides access to Upper Myakka Lake. Hikers can explore trails that cross large expanses of rare Florida dry prairie. Scenic lake tours are offered daily on the world´s two largest airboats. Safari tram tours of the park´s backcountry are offered from mid-December through May. 13208 State Road 72 Sarasota, FL 34241)
Egmont Key~ only accessible by boat, book your tour here. Egmont Key State Park is a Florida State Park located on Egmont Key, at the mouth of Tampa Bay, in the state of Florida, United States. It lies southwest of Fort De Soto Park and can only be reached by boat or ferry. The Egmont Key Lighthouse and the ruins of Fort Dade, a Spanish–American War era fort, are located in the park. (en.wikipedia.org)
Each of these sites are located close to a private vacation rental home. Look here for Vacation rental homes from Clearwater to Siesta key. Stay where the waters are blue and the sunsets are unbelievably spectacular.