January in Tampa Bay is very different from January where I grew up outside of Boston, MA. It’s warmer in Tampa (highs in the 60s and 70s), although the air seems more crisp the longer I’m here. There is sunlight in Tampa through dinner time, whereas many days in New England the sun goes down closer to 4. These things make a walk or run outside much more pleasant, and they make a random trip to a beach possible. The beaches are slower, since it’s not swimming weather anymore and the vacationers are usually back home.
Fort De Soto in St. Petersburg is a great place to experience a January Tampa beach. On a weekday it is usually peaceful. The shoreline is long enough to get a good walk, and some of the old buildings with artillery still stand.
I’ve walked two parts of the shoreline. From the southeastern side, on a clear day, you can see all the way to the Sunshine SkyWay Bridge that connects Pinellas County to Manatee County by way of 275. On that side there is a fishing pier and lots of shoreline to sit or walk.
There is usually a fair amount of activity on the fishing pier on the southwestern side, between the birds and the folks fishing.
I have also been to the southwestern shoreline where the old fort is located. The shoreline there is very nice and you can walk through the old buildings.
From Fort De Soto, you could head over the Sky Bridge where there are more fishing piers, or you could head back in to St. Petersburg to grab a bite at one of the great restaurants.
For more information on Fort De Soto, find a great guide to birds, shells, and the history here.
For more information on Tampa Bay please check out the rest of my blog.
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