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We kicked off summer with a camping trip at Fort De Soto Park this past weekend. We try to go camping a few times a year usually at a different parks. We’ve camped at Fisheating Creek Outpost, Alexander Springs, and Everglades National Park in Florida. They all have pro/cons and we will keep exploring until we find “the one”.
Fort De Soto Park
The car ride was about 4 hours from South Florida. Fort De Soto Park is located in Pinellas County (St. Petersburg/Clearwater area). We were super excited for this camping trip because we would be on an island! We had water surrounding the entire campsite. We unfortunately, didn’t get a campsite near the water but we were close enough to see it. We even got to see dolphins! It was pretty amazing. The waterfront campsites are in high demand – people can bring their boats, kayaks, jet-skis, etc. The campsites were decent size – they allow 2 tents per campsite (max of 6 people). We had 3 campsites (it was about 13 of us!). We learned pretty quickly that they are very strict on the “quiet hours” which begin at 10pm. It was a little disappointing because you go camping to have fun with friends. Sit around the fire, playing games, or explore the area.
We took our 4 year old daughter and 7 year old son with us this time. We usually leave out little princess with grandma but we decided to try it out. We ended up purchasing a bigger tent so we could be more comfortable. We love, love the Coleman Tenaya Lake Fast Pitch Cabin Tent with closet (I did not receive this for free – I actually paid for it with my own money). It was a breeze to put together because of the color coded rods. The basic frame is already set up all you have to do is add the rods to hold it up and set-up the closet. Speaking about the closet – it was awesome to have. All our shoes and clothes could be out of the way. The tent also comes with a divider for privacy – we had the kids on one side and I was on the other side. Definitely recommend if you want a spacious tent that is easy to setup.
We came prepared for this camping trip with beach gear because we knew we would spend the day at North Beach which was located about 5 miles from the campgrounds. There is a closer beach called East Beach but we heard so many great things about North Beach they we decided to go there. Our Coleman 50qt Wheeled Xtreme 6 cooler kept all of our drinks cool. We brought just the one cooler and it was able to hold drinks for everyone. The cup holders at the top of the lid was perfect for everyone’s drink. The sun was out in full force but we were lucky enough to have the Coleman Mountain View 12 x 12 Screendome Shelter. It was such a lifesaver from the blazing sun and the little rain we received. It is huge! I love that it comes with four screen walls that help protect against bugs. It also has 2 shade walls that help protect you from the sun and wind. Sitting is essential for camping or going to the beach but I also don’t want to carry anything super heavy. The Coleman Kickback Breeze Chair was the perfect chair for the beach. It was comfortable and the mesh back allows breeze to flow to your lower back.
North Beach was a beautiful beach with white powdery sand and clear shallow waters. You could find sand dollars, seashells, and even fish swimming around. The beach wasn’t crowded at all. We had plenty of space to spread out.