Boating in Tampa Bay would be a ‘thing’ if you didn’t know. Our mix of great weather year-round and access to open water makes it a perfect recipe for the best spots to anchor your boat. From the infamous Beer Can Island to Caladesi State Park, we have you covered for where to go and visit first for anchoring your boat and enjoying all that the sunshine state has to offer on a sunny day out.
Check out our master guide below, filled with expert recommendations!
Kicking off our list of best places to anchor your boat is Pine Key, formally known as Beer Can Island, this location makes for a great event venue and campground with 11 acres of upland and a privately owned tiki bar that can be rented out for private parties!
Fun fact, the island is funded entirely by its members, who in turn pay dues, donations accepted by visitors, and weekly catered events. When you visit and donate, you can support the as they strive to offer you a fun, safe, and clean environment for family and friends to enjoy.
📍1 beer can island way Apollo Beach, FL 33572
Another great place to consider anchoring your boat is at Caladesi Island State Park in Dunedin.
Caladesi Island is a Florida State Park located across St. Joseph Sound to the west of Dunedin, Florida, and north of Clearwater Beach.
Want to go for a fun day on the water? There’s also a Connection ferry that can get you to Caladesi Island. Ferry fees are $16 per adult, $8 for children ages 6 to 12, and children 5 and younger ride free.
📍 1 Causeway Blvd Dunedin, FL 34698
Another great spot for anchoring your boat is the Shell Key Preserve.
Shell key offers more than 1,800-acres of preserves in Tampa Bay, making it a perfect secluded little getaway spot without having to travel far.
Not to mention, the preserve is an important sanctuary for nesting, wintering, and migrating birds, as well as being a popular fishing and boating area.
Access to Shell Key is limited as an undeveloped barrier island with no facilities and while boaters can pull their boat right up to this island preserve, it is always a good idea to check local tide charts before navigating the shallow waters.
📍2187 Oceanview Dr, Tierra Verde, FL 33715
One-Tree Island is a great option for anchoring your boat and enjoying some relaxing time out on the water.
One-Tree Island is a tiny island, only accessible by boat on the inter-coastal east of Sand Key and near the Clearwater Beach area. Some visit the island because of those who organize gatherings or parties, but we suggest that you always keep water safety top of mind whenever traveling on the water to anchor your boat.
📍 Clearwater Beach | FL 33767
Weedon Island Preserve is a viable option for anchoring your boat. This is an expansive 3,190-acre natural area located on Tampa Bay. The coastal system is comprised of aquatic and upland ecosystems and is home to numerous species of plants and animals.
Did you know that indigenous peoples occupied Weedon Island Preserve for thousands of years? Today is it a well-known space for birding and fishing.
📍 1800 Weedon Dr NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33702
In Dunedin and looking for a nice spot to anchor your boat? Look no further than Honeymoon Island. Honeymoon Island is a barrier island across St. Joseph’s Sound from Palm Harbor, Ozona, and Crystal Beach. The park is 385 acres in land area with 2,400 acres submerged and 4 miles of beach.
📍 1 Causeway Blvd, Dunedin, FL 34698
Anchoring your boat at Egmont Key is definitely a ‘thing,’ in fact, the area is only accessible by boat. Egmont Key has a unique natural and cultural history, including a lighthouse that has been there since 1858. Pretty cool, right?
In addition to touring the historic sites and trails, visitors can enjoy swimming, fishing, wildlife viewing, and picnicking. Egmont Key is located at the mouth of Tampa Bay, southwest of Fort DeSoto Beach.
📍 St. Petersburg, FL 33711
You will definitely want to add Three-Rooker Island to your list of places to anchor your boat. Three-Rooker Island is an island in Pinellas County, west of Tarpon Springs, south of Anclote Key, and north of Honeymoon Island. I
The island is accessible only by boat and the shape and size of the Island can often change based on the ocean currents.
City Island is a great location to anchor your boat and enjoy the sea breeze, sights, and sounds near Sarasota.
Fun fact, hundred years ago, City Island didn’t exist, the land rose up out of the bay in 1926, 58 acres in all, as the byproduct of a dredging project aimed at creating a deep-water harbor to attract larger ships.
Don’t be shy as you go out to some of the places on our list here be sure to share the fun! It’s so easy, all you have to do is tag us in your insta-worthy pics from one of these best spots to anchor your boat at @stufftodointampabay on Facebook and Instagram!
We hope you found this guide helpful !
Aubrey is the author of the Stuff to Do in Tampa Bay City Guide. Aubrey lives in the sunshines state of Florida and is a self-proclaimed exp...