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From St. Pete to Honeymoon Island, there are many nice beaches surrounding the Tampa-area coast, if you can look past all the people, that is.
If you're trying to enjoy a day lounging in the sun without all the crowds involved, you'll be pleased to know there are plenty of gorgeous hidden beaches around Tampa that'll whisk you away to a solitary paradise.
I have been up and down the entire Gulf coast, from Hudson to St. Pete and beyond, searching for and discovering the best hidden gems around. And while there are dozens to choose from, there are 5 particular spots that never cease to amaze me.
From the enchanting sunset views to the secret trails that lead to your own private island, there's a magical world to be discovered beyond the top tourist spots.
All you need to do is keep reading to find out where!
5. Robert K. Rees Park
This charming little island-ish park is located a little while north of Tampa, in New Port Richey, and it's complete with boardwalk trails, pavilions, grills, and most modern amenities to make your day - with or without the family - at the beach comfortable. There are not many people here at any given time, giving you ample room to stretch out and relax in peace.
Added bonus: parking is free and you can bring your floaties!
4. Key Vista Nature Park
Believe it or not, the photo above wasn't taken at an African safari oasis, it was right here at Key Vista Nature Park. Also located in Pasco County, this coast is a little more work to get to. Parking is still free but you will have to trek through a short hiking trail (unless you take the boardwalk trail from Anclote Park) to reach this wild wonderland. Because of this, fewer people come here for a beach day -- which means more for you!
Added bonus: dogs are allowed!
3. Fred Howard Park
If you love the typical-touristy beaches, but without all the people, Fred Howard Park is a great alternative. Complete with food stands, paid parking, and picturesque lifeguard huts, this sweet little island (yes -- I said island) offers beachgoers everything they dreamed of for their Florida vacation.
Added bonus: plenty of shade and palms to hang up a hammock, and it's an island you can drive to!
2. Anclote River Park
If the name seems a little familiar, it's because I wrote about my recent, strange adventure here. While I highlighted a small island across the channel from this beach, this inlet area with free parking is perfect for an all-day adventure. Bring your kayak and launch it, then relax on the nearly empty beach and enjoy the breathtaking sunsets overhead.
Added bonus: boat launch on site.
1. Anclote Key
Anclote Key tops this list because of its truly remote accessibility. You will need some sort of watercraft to get here, be it a kayak, motor boat or jetski, this island near Anclote River rivals some of the nicest beaches on this particular strip of the Gulf. And for anyone interested, sea shelling here is unmatched, so don't forget your bucket or bag!
Added bonus: a couple of businesses in Tarpon Springs offer day and evening cruises here for less than $35.
And there you have it, 5 perfectly private beaches you need to explore ASAP!