• Fort De Soto, Florida: A New Florida Adventure!

    May 31, 2017
  • Fort De Soto, Florida!

    We had spent early 2016 in Isla Del Sol! Just south of Isla Del Sol is Fort De Soto. We checked it out a few days after our arrival to see if it would be a group day trip for our in-laws and our grandson who would be coming down to join us for a week or so in Florida!

    Hubby on Fort De Soto Beach First Day We Visited!

    Fort De Soto turned out to be only a twenty-minute drive and accessible by a nice divided highway and a couple of tollbooths for only a couple of dollars. Apparently Fort De Soto is a very well visited vacation destination for Florida leviers and those who like to camp very close to the beaches! We checked out the place and it was definitely a place to take the family!

    Fort De Soto Beach, Roof Top Views

    Pictures Courtesy of R. Lockyer

    Fort De Soto park has some interesting history! The famous American Civil War Commander Robert E. Lee first surveyed the area way back in 1849, which then was a couple of islands. Union troops were stationed there during the Civil War, blockading Tampa Bay by which time General Lee had defected to the Confederacy!

    Sunshine Bridge

    View From Fort De Soto

    Most of the structures you can see there today date back to the early 1900’s. Fort De Soto was named in 1900 after the Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto. The fort was constructed of concrete and consisted of 29 buildings and was active from 1898 to 1910.

    Looking Back to the Beach From the Fort Roof Top Walkway!

    It was intended to protect Tampa Bay from invading forces. It was largely abandoned in 1920, and was used as a bombing range by the American Air Force during World War II. Not much happened there until 1962 when the Pinellas Bay Way was completed now SR 682, so you could get there by car!

    Roof Top Walkway & Grandson in Canon in the Old Fort!

    Pictures Courtesy of R. Lockyer

    In May 1963 Fort De Soto Park was officially dedicated. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, and the four twelve inch M1890 morters and two six inch Armstrong Guns are the only remaining weapons in the USA! So a very historic place to go along with the surf, sand and blue warm skies!

    Grandson and Grandpa Inside Fort De Soto Armaments

    Photos Courtesy of R. Lockyer 

    Fort De Soto Park is open year round. Besides miles of white sandy beaches, there are two piers allowing fishing with bait, tackle and there are numerous food concessions scattered throughout the park! There are also various picnic areas, camping areas, an 800 foot boat ramp, snack bar, gift shops, boat, canoe and wind sail rentals and playgrounds for the kiddies. However, the main attraction is the historic Fort De Soto and museum. All this is accessible for $5.00 US per car! A great value actually!

    American Flag as you Enter Fort De Soto Park

    The day our crowd went to visit, it was a very beautiful and hot sunny and breezy day! We had lots of cold drinks and beer. For your information beer and other alcoholic drinks are not permitted on the beach, so say the signs, but everyone was drinking beer and other beverages from disguised beer coolers and plastic glasses. An absurd rule for sure when you are out to enjoy the day on the beach!

    The Boys Having a Sun Time on Fort De Soto Beach!

    We also had beach chairs and umbrellas for protection from the brutal hot sun. We found a parking spot somewhat close to the beach and had to hoof it over the sand dunes and we hauled our supplies out to the beach! Our Grandson was not happy about having to walk though the sand dunes, it was pretty rough in places! We probably should have stuck to the paved parking areas!

    Grandma Dealing with a Hornet Sting & Poppy Lounging on the Beach!

    We got to the beach and we set up a spot close to the water. While there were many others there as well, this beach is so large that the spacing makes it fell like it is really pretty sparse. The breeze was perfect and it did help to keep the heat down. We enjoyed most of the afternoon there and spent time in the water and making sand castles with our Grandson!

    Grandma, Grandpa & Poppy! They all look Too Young to be Grandparents!

    Later in the afternoon we checked out the attractions including the piers and the old Historic Fort. Our Grandson loved all the old buildings and we sang songs, which echoed in the hollowed walls of the old fort. We have a wonderful photo of Hubby or Poppy as Grandson calls him behind the walls and bars of the old fort!

    Grandson & Poppy Behind Bars at Fort De Soto Park, Florida

    Picture Courtesy of R. Lockyer

    It really is a fantastic place, so if you are ever in the Isla Del Sol area, Fort De Soto is really worth a trip. Maybe a second day trip if you are there long enough. So check out Fort De Soto Florida!

    Out for Dinner After a Great Day at the Beach in fort De Soto!

    MK