Photo Friday – Sideways trees at Ft. De Soto

The effects of the Gulf breeze on young trees.

The effects of the Gulf breeze on young trees.

Last week, I reviewed Fort De Soto park in Pinellas County.  This picture didn’t make it into that review, but I wanted to share it anyway.

Many of the trees on the Gulf side of the island have grown sideways – a result of the gusty winds that blow in off the water.  Many of the trees, like this one, are growing parallel to the ground, giving the sensation of windy-ness, even on the calmest days.

If you’re in St. Pete this week, head out to Fort De Soto after you wrap up your holiday shopping and take in the views and the arboreal anomalies.  I promise it’ll be worth it!

Is Fort De Soto park the best beach in the country?

Fort De Soto Park is a county-owned park in Pinellas County, and as county-owned parks go, it’s one of the most spectacular.

With a beach that regularly ranks in Dr. Beach’s completely arbitrary top 10 beaches in the country, a historic fort, kayak trails, fishing piers, an amazing campground and miles of hiking and biking trails, there is no shortage of things to do at the park.

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Fort De Soto has a sentimental place in my heart – it’s where I had some of my earliest and most memorable tent camping experiences.  It was also one of the closest wilderness areas to my childhood home, presenting a drastically different beach landscape than the nearby tourist-filled, condominium-lined beaches of St. Pete and Clearwater.

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