Sandy beach
Yes
Hike-in Required
No
Surfing
No
Snorkeling / SCUBA
Yes
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

For those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Tampa, Honeymoon Island is a sandy retreat on the Gulf of Mexico. Encompassing over 2,800 acres on a barrier island, the park features nature trails, 4 miles of beach, and excellent fishing opportunities. The park garnered its unique name from a contest run in 1939. Then-owner Clinton Washburn worked with LIFE magazine to offer newly married couples the chance to “honeymoon” for two weeks in quaint, thatched bungalows. Through the island has since become a state park, the name stuck.

Today the main draw of the area remains the beach. In addition to swimming and sunbathing opportunities, the north end of the park boasts shell gathering, while the south end is known for fish, including flounder, snook, redfish, and more. Kayaks and canoes are available for rent to explore nearby Pelican Cove, or you can bring your own.

The island is a critical nesting ground for a variety of shore and seabird species. Nearly 300 species of birds have been recorded here, and the park is a site along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. In addition to avian species, visitors should look for the rare gopher tortoise and unique-looking armadillo along the nature trails. 

Though famous for its wealth of natural resources, Honeymoon Island includes a host of amenities including restrooms, showers, a nature center, ferries to nearby islands, and a beachside cafe and shop. A designated beach area for pets allows dogs to experience the Gulf as well.

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Park entrance fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Great birding. Long stretches of undeveloped beach. Lots of amenities.

Cons

Can be very crowded.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Features

Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Potable water
Showers
Picnic tables
Big vistas
Wildlife
Bird watching
Fishing
Snorkeling / SCUBA
Wildflowers

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Greater Tampa + Central Gulf Coast, Florida
Greater Tampa + Central Gulf Coast, Florida

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