Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve
The Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve is a 13-acre park with a small section fronting the Intercoastal Waterway. The park is full of wetlands and is accessed via about a half mile of elevated boardwalks that cross mangrove swamps, open water, and some small upland patches. Parts of the boardwalk were funded by NOAA and the FDEP with money acquired from the $8 million settlement from the 1993 Tampa Bay oil spill.
During my visit, I went jogging on the boardwalk and there were a few freaks in the park. One guy had jumped over the boardwalk and was sitting in the swamp with his pants down around his ankles, either taking a dump or chumming for gators. When he saw me, he stood up, pants still down, and said, "hi!" I laughed and kept on running.
The park also has parking, restrooms, and a small outdoor amphitheater. The park is open until 10pm, despite the lack of lights on the boardwalk.
Sand Key Beach Park - Near Clearwater
San Key Park was created in 1984 with 95 acres at the northern end of this barrier island. The park offers picnic pavilions, grills, playgrounds, a dog park, and restrooms. Next to the park area is a beautiful beach that is quieter than the nearby Clearwater Beach.
This is a nice spot with a great view of Clearwater Beach, but parking is expensive at around $1.25 per hour.
Every sunday night at sundown there are tons of locals and some seasonals playing instruments in a big circle on the beach. The music is good and the people are fun. A great getaway from all the tourist traps.
just go down south on gulf blvd.
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