TAMPA BOATING: Best Places for Sandbar Fun

TAMPA BOATING: Best Places for Sandbar Fun 

Tampa Bay earned the title of “The Boating Capital of the World” for the best Bay Boating around.  Where else can you boat to a beach on your favorite island?TAMPA BOATING: Best Places for Sandbar Fun

Tampa Bay is the boating capital of the world, which has the finest of sandbars to cruise to.  A day on an island in Tampa Bay will make you feel like you are on vacation in the Caribbean. 

Anchor up! Enjoy a day on the water, in the sand, and under the sunny skies while you explore or relax on one of these gorgeous Tampa Bay sandbar islands. 

Shell Key 

Shell Key is an 1,828 acre preserve and the largest undeveloped barrier island in Tampa Bay off Tierra Verde.  This is a perfect getaway spot without having to go too far.  Covered in sea oats, this is an important sanctuary for shorebird nesting and wintering.  There are a few restricted areas on this key but it is still a really fun recreational spot. There are plenty of white sandy beaches to enjoy.  Keep in mind there are no facilities on Shell Key Island.

TAMPA BOATING: Best Places for Sandbar Fun

Caladesi Island Park

In 2022, Caladesi Island was voted the #1 Beach in Florida and the  #2 Beach in the country.  This Island is located west of Dunedin near the city of Clearwater.  With white sugar sand beaches, quiet paths along the dunes, palm trees, and coastal breezes are in a dream that is real.  

For nature enthusiasts, you can spot wildlife like shore birds, sea turtles, armadillos, gopher tortoises, scallops, and sand dollars. The island is equipped with a concession stand, picnic tables, electric/water hookups, and boat docking.

Three Rooker Island

Three Rooker Island is a small semicircular island that just surfaced within the last decade and is part of Anclote Key Preserve State Park off Tarpon Springs.  This is a prime boating party place so it gets crowded on weekends. Boaters just drop an anchor and soak in the water with a cocktail. 

Anclote Key

TAMPA BOATING: Best Places for Sandbar Fun

Anclote Key is a 440-acre nature preserve.  Its name originates from the Spanish word for “anchor”.  

The island contains mangrove wetlands, coastal pine, flatwoods, shorebirds, and beaches.  A lighthouse from 1887 still stands as a guard on the south end of the island. Imagine that!

Bring binoculars to get a view of bald eagles, oyster catchers and other shorebirds.  There are two compostable toilets on this Key however no food or water facilities, so bring your own picnic basket.