Egmont Key, Florida

Egmont Key is a barrier island located south of Saint Petersburg, Florida at the mouth of Tampa Bay. It is an island with an oddly compelling history and is accessible only by boat. Private excursion boats leave from Pinellas County and Manatee County to take you there if you don't have a boat.

Egmont Key is a State Park and a Wildlife Refuge. It can get very busy on weekends and holidays, but during the week is a very quiet place. It is not a really large island, but is plenty big enough to keep you busy exploring all day and wanting to come back for more.

Egmont Key Beach

Egmont Key Beach. The Sabal palms are dead because the Gulf of Mexico is slowly eroding the beach. Sabal palms are not able to live right out on the beach so close to the salt water. These palms used to be in the interior of the island. The island is now about half the size it was in 1900.

The water around Egmont Key is particularly beautiful, especially during the spring and early summer. Snorkeling is popular around the submerged remnants of old Fort Dade. There are no cars on Egmont Key, and camping is not allowed.  Of course, there are no hotels or other accommodations on the key. You'll find plenty of hotels and beach resorts on nearby St. Pete Beach or Anna Maria Island.

How To Get to Egmont Key

 Tour boats operate from Cortez, on the south side of the bay, or from the Pinellas beaches. It's easiest to access Egmont Key from the St. Pete beaches area. You could even take a kayak on a calm day if you are an experienced paddler. I wouldn't recommend kayaking to Egmont for beginners unless accompanied by an experienced paddler.

Tampa Bay Ferry of Hubbard's Marina on St. Pete Beach leaves from Fort Desoto. This is the ferry I've used. Visit their website at:  This is the least expensive way to get to Egmont.

Adventure Cruises - Captain Ian operates offers daily trips to Egmont Key aboard his 40 foot, 49 passenger boat. The boat leaves from the Corey Causeway (the Pasadena Avenue approach to St. Pete Beach). Capt. Ian also offers trips to Shell Key, sightseeing trips, dolphin watching, and Egmont Key snorkeling trips. The Egmont Key trip is a 4 hour excursion. Snorkeling is optional.

Tropical Island Getaway tours leaves from just south of John's Pass Bridge and their website says they also depart from the Cortez docks in Bradenton. Call to confirm that. They have quite a few different boat tours to choose from. Check out their website at

Dolphin Landings Charter Boat Center has a dock on St. Pete Beach behind the Dolphin Village Shopping Center. Visit their website for more info. We take sunset sailing cruises with Captain Dan now and then and enjoy them very much.

Photos of Egmont Key

Tampa Bay Ferry to Egmont Key

The Tampa Bay Ferry leaving the dock at Fort Desoto. Egmont Key can be seen in the distance.

Typical Egmont Key Beach

A Gulf beach on Egmont Key.

Brick road on Egmont Key

The old brick roads used by the soldiers on Egmont Key are still in pretty good shape. A citizen's support organization called the Egmont Key Alliance spends a lot of volunteer time and donated money to help keep up the park and the historical relics that make it so interesting.

Shady palm hammock in interior Egmont Key, Florida

The shady interior of Egmont Key offers plenty of nature to enjoy.

Remnants of the Fort on Egmont Key, Florida

Remnants of the fort. Feel free to climb all over and explore.

Egmont Key Lighthouse

The Egmont Key Lighthouse is a working lighthouse. You can see the light flashing from just about any beach in the area at night.

Places to Stay Near Egmont Key

Egmont Key is a great day trip if you are staying on the St. Pete Beaches. St. Pete Beach has plenty of accommodations right on the beach, including major hotels like the Don Cesar, Trade Winds Resort, Howard Johnsons, Holiday Inn & Suites, Post Card Inn, Florida Dolphin Motel, the Sirata Beach Resort and a host of others.

Gopher Tortoise at home in her Egmont Key burrow.

Gopher Tortoise at home in her Egmont Key burrow with a view of the Gulf.

Copyright: David McRee,