Florida Guide > Other Florida
Magical Caledisi Island has been voted the second best beach in the whole of America (and there is some stiff competition believe me! ). You can reach this island from Honeymoon Island by ferry or boat (details at the end of the article) or from Clearwater by walking across paying very special attention to the tides.
Originally occupied by the Tocabaga Indians, they were sadly wiped out by diseases brought to them by the Narvaez and Dr Soto expeditions.
Situated on Floridas gorgeous Gulf Coast, Caledisi and Honeymoon were at one time one larger island; however, in 1922 a hurricane rent them in two. Caledisi covers 600 natural acres and can truly be called the real Florida.
Great white sandy beaches (of course) great fishing (naturally) and wonderful walking trails where you can admire the flora and fauna and get out of the sun For kayak enthusiasts there is a 3 mile trail through mangrove swamps not to be missed.
For the youngsters there is a good playground and a specially devised information point which is written to interest the children.
Turtles and birds find the sand dunes a welcoming habitatat for nesting along the coast; you may also see a gopher tortoise or diamondback rattlesnake which are often found together. Look here also for Palmetto, Hercules Club and Sea Grape.
On the higher ground you will see Oaks, Bays, Sabal Palms and Cedar; take some info from a ranger to help you identify these.
Park staff have to do an occasional controlled burning to keep things under control.
Among the birds you may see are grebes and flamingos, though you may see up to 40 different species on the island.
Anglers will catch snapper, tarpon, catfish, trout or snoek (you will need a licence. these are available fro sports shops and the larger Walmarts that have a sports section).
Caledisi Island is run by the State Parks dep and is open from 8am to sundown 360 days a year. I do hope you are inspired to visit this magical island when you have had your fill of the wonderful theme parks. It is always worth taking a 3 week break in Florida so you can fit some of these natural parks into your itinerary.
Caladesi Island is accessible only by boat or ferry.
The ferry service to Caladesi leaves from HISP hourly beginning at 10 AM. People can call the ferry service directly 727-734-1501.
By Boat: From channel marker no14, just west of the Dunedin Causeway Bridge, take an approximate 212´degree heading on your compass for approximately 1 mile. Follow the channel markers into the Caladesi Island State Park Marina.
From I-75 (north of Tampa): I-75 south to I-275 south towards Tampa. Follow I-275 south to Hillsborough Ave west (SR-580). Take SR 580 west to SR-586 fork then left. Follow SR-586 into park. From I-75 (south of Tampa): I-75 north to I-4. I-4 to I-275 north. I-275 to Hillsborough Ave west (SR-580). SR-580 west to SR-586 fork then left. Follow SR-586 west into park.
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