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Tierra Verde Nature Day

Pack a lunch, fill the cooler and set sail for Tierra Verde nature day full of adventure! We’ve put together the perfect excursion guide for a day full of natural Florida beauty.

Nature Day Packing List

  1. Boat Bag Essentials – Towels, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and sun shirt

  2. Cooler with refreshments & snacks (We also recommend picking up a to go lunch from The Island Grill, located inside the Gulfstream marina)

  3. Drawstring trashbag. Please leave no trash behind.

  4. Shoes for walking ashore and exploring.

  5. Mesh bag for sea-shelling.

  6. Binoculars for an up close look at the natural wildlife.

  7. Waterproof camera for all the best shots onshore and underwater.


First Stop – Fort de Soto

There are beaches, and then, there’s Fort De Soto Park. The Gulf waters around the Fort De Soto islands are crystal clear, glistening and glittering like jewels under the brilliant sun. This expansive park and historic site offers one of the most stunning beaches in Florida. With plenty of fish, crustaceans and the occasional dolphin or manatee to see, the waters around the island are enough to entertain for the whole day!

Excursion Guide Tierra Verde - Nature Day

Beyond the beach, there are other natural treasures to discover. Hop on shore for some on-land adventure time. Go for a walk on the nature trails and you may spot the endanger gopher tortoise. Brick paths also lead through the remains of the former Fort Dade, which once had more than 300 residents.

The entire island is a National Wildlife Refuge for migratory species. Birds are the most significant fauna of the site, with peregrine falcons, bald eagles, osprey and other birds of prey often seen hunting the lagoon. Keep your eyes out on the water and you have a great chance of seeing a dolphin or two also!


Egmont Key

If you really want a beachy, “away-from-it-all” experience, look no further than Egmot Key. Here, a small lighthouse reaches above coastal foliage as well as the ruins of Fort Dade (built in 1899).

There’s plenty of nearly empty beachfront for you to enjoy, and the island is teeming with wildlife. As you explore the island, look for gopher tortoises and their burrows. The shallow surrounding waters of Egmont Key are perfect for snorkeling; it’s an ideal place for experiencing some one-on-one time with Mother Nature. Manatees, sea turtles starfish and countless fish can be seen just offshore the key.


Passage Key Sandbar

Passage Key, one of the most beautiful sandbars near Tampa, is located at the mouth of Tampa Bay, roughly halfway between Anna Maria Island and Egmont Key.

In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt established Passage Key National Wildlife Refuge to preserve nesting colonies of native seabirds and wading birds. Today, Passage Key is a low-lying sandbar that fluctuates in size, and is found often completely below water during high tide. More than 50 species of birds have used this small area including nesting American oystercatchers, black skimmers, royal and sandwich terns, and laughing gulls.

Tierra Verde Nature Day – Excursion Guide

As it’s designated a protected ecosystem, you now must keep off the sand island and be in at least ankle deep water at all times. But boaters can appreciate the beautiful natural island from a distance. Enjoy the crystal clear water and world class shelling by anchoring up just offshore.

Common birds include: Terns, gulls, pelicans, cormorants, dowitchers, black skimmers, and others. Endangered species like the Roseate spoonbill, snowy plover and masked booby are also sometimes present.

PSA: It’s the popular place for boaters that opt for a clothing optional (unofficially) area for socializing



Enjoy Your Tierra Verde Nature Day with Gulfstream Boat Club

There is so much to see and do throughout the Tierra Verde and St Pete area by boat! For more ideas for day excursions with your Gulfstream Boat Club membership, ask our Member Services team for more ideas on how to spend your day.

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