Exploring Egmont Key in Florida: Island of Beaches, Wildlife and History

Hi! We’re Candy and Crystal. We’re sisters who grew up as military brats and spent the first half of our lives in Japan. The majority of our family resides in Japan, but we ventured out and have spent the second half of our lives mainly in the United States. We both love traveling and have always documented our travels, so we decided it was time to share our travel experiences with the rest of the world.

Egmont Key is located at the mouth of Tampa Bay and we wanted to visit this little island for the private beaches, wildlife, and history of Fort Dade. The entire island is only 328 acres and was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

The only way to access this island is by private boat and a ferry from Fort Desoto Beach. We booked the first ferry out to the island on a Saturday morning at 10AM and were told to arrive between 9-9:15AM; however, this really isn't necessary if you aren't the type that runs late. They give this time due to a lot of people missing the ferry. We arrived at 9AM and ended up waiting an hour until the ferry arrived to pick us up. The cost of the ferry is $20 a person and it only departs on certain days at certain times. Check the website to get the specific ferry times. We called ahead to book our reservation as we heard that the ferry books up fast.

Egmont Key + www.thetravelpockets.com

The ride to the island was about 25 minutes and the captain of the ferry shared some tidbits about the island along the way. He also had some snacks and drinks for sale and reminded everyone that the island has absolutely no stores. We were prepared for this and had already packed a cooler full of water and sandwiches. 

Egmont Key + www.thetravelpockets.com

When we got off the ferry, the island was very quiet and the sand was filled with seashells. Earlier in the week, none of the ferries were operating due to choppy waters, so the island had not been touched for a week. The first thing we approached was the 87-foot-tall lighthouse, which was originally built in 1858 and still guides water traffic in and out of