Fort De Soto Beach offers the bluest of water

Living in Florida, one of the best parts of life is living near the beach.

The closest beach to me is Honeymoon Island, located off the Dunedin Causeway. But there are so many other beaches located on the west coast along the Gulf of Mexico, including Clearwater Beach, Caladesi Island, Sand Key, Madiera Beach, St. Petersburg Beach, Redington Shores, Pass-A-Grille, Shell Key and Fort de Soto Beach. And that’s only in Pinellas County.

One of the prettiest beaches – and it’s so hard to choose – is Fort de Soto Beach. As a state park, there is a small fee to enter ($5) but there are so many great things to do and see here it is definitely worth it and you will want to spend all day here. There is a camping area, which is very popular so be sure to have reservations far in advance. There is a National Fort, dog beaches, kayaks for rental, picnic shelters and gorgeous beaches.

There are also several sports that happen here – stand up paddle boarding (SUP), kayaking, triathalons and running races. I’ve been to several runs down there and it’s a gorgeous track. Part of the track had a view of the ocean, and the rest of it is flat and with no traffic.

After the recent Halloween Halfathon and 5k put on by Florida Road Races, I made sure to stick around a little to enjoy the beach.

As you can see, some of the trees look dead, and as they stand along the sand, it looks as if it’s a winter scene set in snow.

The water could not have been more clear or gorgeous.

I ended up making a fort under the mangroves trees and staying there all day.

The colors and peacefulness were magical.