The Island: Egmont Key, Fl 27.5891° N, 82.7628° W
Where: Egmont is located at the mouth of Tampa Bay in western Florida
How: Egmont is the last stop before the open ocean and a boat is the only option. While there is a national refuge and plenty to do on the island there is currently no ferry, restrooms or overnight options.
Why: Egmont Key has a deep history with the military including an old Navy hospital, a fort which is now in ruins and several lighthouse keeper homes. The island also has a gorgeous brick walk that was part of Fort Dade and its 300 residents that lived on Egmont during the Spanish-American war. The army and its families offered protection for Tampa Bay. There are reports of many turtles on the island but we didn’t run into any on the day we were there.
What: We had a nice sail through the bay and anchored on the south side of the beach. It was a nice hold but a long walk to the lighthouse and ruins. I highly recommend taking water and a snack if you plan to walk the whole island. Not a hiker? The white sandy beaches brought plenty of shelling opportunities and all sorts of treasure hunting finds. It felt like a step back in time. I’m so glad we stumbled on this super cool island!