Anclote IslandAnclote Key is a group of four islands located just two miles off Florida’s coast in the Gulf of Mexico. Although it is only four miles long and about 500 yards across, the island offers a tropical paradise in an isolated environment. The key is divided in two parts, the Anclote Key Preserve State Park and the Anclote National Wildlife Reserve. The state park is accessible to visitors by boat or ferry and includes primitive camping accommodations.
Anclote is Spanish for anchor and refers to the hook shape of the main island. This island is both an important landmark historically and ecologically. With over 43 native species of birds as well as other wildlife, it contains a mix of beach, mangrove, and pine forest habitats. At its south end, the island hosts a historic lighthouse built in 1887. Other than the lighthouse, the island contains little human construction. There are basic restrooms and picnic facilities but no running water or electricity.
Because of the isolation of Anclote Key, transportation to and from the island is limited. You can access it by private boat or you can choose to take one of the two ferries that traverse between the Sponge Docks of Tarpon Springs and Anclote Key, Sun Line Cruises and Sponge-O-Rama. Climb aboard a catamaran and get ready for beautiful white sand beaches and green blue waters. If you bring a private boat, you have the opportunity to camp on the island and enjoy a true Florida expedition. For boat rentals or charters to Anclote click here. Ask for the hotel referral rate!
If Anclote Island seems a bit too adventurous for you, then you may enjoy Honeymoon Island, just a few miles south. This beautiful beach paradise is accessible via the Dunedin Causeway and includes shower facilities, a snack shop, and camping facilities. This island is especially well known for the abundance of sea shells that wash up daily on its white sand beaches. A small toll is charged to cross the causeway so remember to bring along some cash.