The weekends we arent camping or out of town, we are at the beach. From January through December, there is no time of the year in Florida where you can't go to the beach. Even if the weather sucks, you can still go to the beach. We like to check out random beaches rather than the typical St Pete and Clearwater Beaches everybody else crowds. Our favorite, by far is Caspersean Beach, the southern-most point of Venice Beach
Blinds Pass is another great beach in the Venice/Englewood area, and has overtaken Nokomis as our favorite spot for sharks teeth....this place is LOADED! The snorkeling is not quite as good as other areas as the water is pretty murky and choppy. Plus, all of the sand is mixed with broken down pieces of old teeth and shells, it's hard to actually spot the sharks teeth in the water. With a net and a shovel though, you will find plenty. We found the biggest ones we have ever found here, they were just amazing. Blinds Pass is located halfway down Manasota Key, and is also called "Middle Beach". Highly recommended that you visit.
Nokomis Beach has become our new favorite location, both for simply sitting on the beach and enjoying the scene, and for snorkeling/swimming in the water looking for cool stuff. Located a little north of Venice Beach, but still within an hours's drive. We ended up enjoying being in the water here so much we didnt take a whole lot of pictures once we got there. The water is beautiful, clean and calm. It gets deep pretty quick, but the shoreline is full of sea junk. We found some of our biggest Sharks Teeth here as well as dozens of really cool rocks. Sealife is abundant too, with all sorts of crabs and fish up to 12" long sitting just a few feet offshore, this beach truly has everything you could want. Oh...and the parking...yea...that's free here too, just get there early!
Separated from the mainland by Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island Sound, this island is part of a chain of Gulf Coast barrier islands. The centerpiece of Gasparilla is the restored Boca Grande Lighthouse built in 1890. Swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and nature study are popular activities. Shelling is particularly good in the winter months. Two picnic areas offer pavilions for shade and scenic views of the surrounding water. The lighthouse is open to the public 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Saturday, and on Sundays noon - 4:00 p.m. from November through May. From June through October it is open Wednesday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and Sundays noon - 4:00 p.m.
Caspersen Beach is one of our favorite beaches to go to. We originally found it when looking for how/where to get to Venice Beach. Jess found out about this little place called Caspersen Beach, which is located in south Venice. One of the hugest perks about this place is the FREE PARKING!...just gotta get there early. There are trails you can walk if you so wish, as well as miles of beaches but, of course, we only go there for one reason....SHARK TEETH...and they have plenty. There are many different ways to get your shark teeth. A lot of people use "Florida Snow Shovels" which is like a metal dustbin with holes in it. Others will simply just sift through the sand and try to find them. Hell, we've even seen people just sitting in the sand with kitchen strainers. Whatever your method, you cant possibly go home empty handed.
Little Talbot Island is a really cool place to visit, unless you have dogs as we found out the 2nd trip. We have gone there twice, back in April of 2012 and more recently in fall 2013. However, didnt have the dogs the first time around so were able to explore a lot more. They dont allow dogs on the beach, which was the biggest attraction to the Island from the first time and something we were not aware about. That being said, it would still be worth it to kennel the dogs for another weekend trip. The 2-hour trail hike to the beach is WELL worth it. Also, there are a bunch more parks around the area to travel to and visit as well if trails/beaches arent your thing
Key West....need we say more? We went there for a week back in late summer 2011. We ended up spending so much time snorkeling and chilling on the beach, we unfortunately dont have much info/pics about it, but see the slideshow below for what we have. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973, Florida's southernmost state park is popular for recreation, as well as U.S. military history. The fort was one of a series built in the mid-1800s to defend the nation's southeastern coastline. Completed in 1866, Fort Zachary Taylor played important roles in the Civil War and Spanish-American War. Guided tours of the fort are available daily. Key West's favorite beach, located at the southern end of the park, provides opportunities for picnicking, swimming, snorkeling, and fishing. Visitors can also enjoy a short nature trail and bicycling within the park.