If you love nature, don’t miss out on the Weedon Island Preserve. The Preserve, located on Tampa Bay, is a 3,700 acre natural area comprised of aquatic and upland ecosystems. It’s home to a huge variety of wildlife (plants, land animals, fish, and birds), but also a significant amount of history; indigenous peoples inhabited the area for thousands of years, leaving behind artifacts which offer clues into their lives. Between the beautiful natural setting, the wildlife, and the history, there’s much to see and do.
Here are 4 of the best things to do at the Weedon Island Preserve:
Learn: The Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Museum is dedicated to reconnecting people to the environment. Visitors to the Preserve may engage in hiking, workshops, exhibits, and various other programs. You can view upcoming events and dates on the Weedon Island Events page, as well as their upcoming Exhibits on their Exhibits page.
Don’t miss out on the prehistoric canoe! The 40-foot pine canoe, first discovered in 2001, dates back more than 1,100 years from bow to broken stern, and is the longest dugout canoe ever found in Florida. Friends of Weedon Island and the Alliance for Weedon Island Archeological Research and Education are presently teaming up to preserve the canoe. Once preservation is complete, it will be moved to the Cultural and Natural History Museum.
Walk: Who doesn’t love a good nature walk? The Preserve offers almost five miles of trails and boardwalks for visitors to enjoy. The tracks extend through tidal flats and mangrove forests, granting visitors a great chance to spot local wildlife. If you stop by the Cultural Center first before setting off, you can pick up a backpack filled with goodies to enjoy along the hike, such as fun activities and field guides.
Birding: Weedon Island Preserve is a famous birding spot. Bring your binoculars and see if you can spot some of the birds native to the area, such as the bald eagle, the lightning-fast peregrine falcon, or the swallow-tailed kite. You can view a listing of Florida’s birds on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website.
Fishing: There are few things more relaxing than fishing. Visitors love standing on the Preserve’s fishing pier and casting their lines for sheepshead, jack, and snook. So, go for a nice walk, and at the end, stop by the pier and enjoy a relaxing fishing experience in the warm Florida sunshine.
So, there you have it: 4 great ways to spend at day at the Weedon Island Preserve.
After a day out in the sunshine, retire to the Historic Peninsula Inn for a dinner at our award-winning restaurant, Isabelle’s. Isabelle’s won Rand McNally’s Best of the Beaches and Best of the Road awards for its delicious New Southern cuisine. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 5 p.m. until close.
You’ll need a great place to stay to really enjoy the area. That’s where we come in. Come join us at the Historic Peninsula Inn. We offer a slew of beautiful suites, each with its own unique decoration and character. We look forward to seeing you!
If you haven’t already done so, be sure to download our free Gulfport Vacation Guide! The guide offers visitors an insider look at the beautiful and unique Gulfport area. Check it out!