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Fort De Soto Park or Caladesi Island

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posts: 218
reviews: 21
Fort De Soto Park or Caladesi Island

Hi All,

We have booked our vacation for April and we love the beach! We have two small kids so have decided (well they have LOL) to stay in Orlando. We want to travel one day to a beach and are trying to decide between Fort De Soto Park and Caladesi Island.

Any suggestions?

Atlanta, Georgia
posts: 26
reviews: 3
1. Re: Fort De Soto Park or Caladesi Island

We are also spending a week in Orlando this April and we're planning to go to Caladesi Island because of all the great things I've read (and I love the beach). We went to Fort De Soto a few years ago and it was absolutely wonderful, pure heaven actually. It was also over Springbreak but the Island wasn't very crowded at all. However, at that time, we were staying in Tampa. Either place will be a nice hike from Orlando but I don't think you'd be disappointed in either choice.

Clearwater, Florida
Destination Expert
for Clearwater
posts: 8,327
reviews: 24
2. Re: Fort De Soto Park or Caladesi Island

Just will list some major differences to hopfully make it an easier decision. Both are very nice, and will take close to the same time to drive there. Snacks/restrooms at both.


Drive to Honeymoon Island, but will need to take a ferry to get to Caladesi. $9 adult.

Have to take everything with you on the ferry, no running back and forth to the car.

Allowed 4 hours on Caladesi, then are required to take a return ferry to Honeymoon. This is so everyone cannot wait til the last ferry of the day to leave, then there would not be room for everyone.

Ft. Desoto:

Small toll (under $1 I think) to get there.

Drive right there and able to park the car by you to get/return beach toys, picnic lunch, chairs etc.

No time limit, although you may be required to leave at sunset if not camping.

This sounds like more cons against Caladesi, but just listing the things people might not think of. It's a very beautiful island to visit.

posts: 3
3. Re: Fort De Soto Park or Caladesi Island

Caledisi is by far the best beach.

caladesi is very beautiful and private with the softest sand, nesting sea turtles, and clear water. You will have to pack a bag though since you do take the ferry out there, but there is a little resturant/store and bathrooms if you forget anything.

You could go there first thing in the morning and eat breakfast out there.

Even if you don't make it out to the island the surrounding area, Honeymoon State Park, is relaxing with a nature center for the kids as well.

Fort De Soto is run down IMO and often noisy.

4. Re: Fort De Soto Park or Caladesi Island

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