If you are a beach lover, head over the boardwalks, and when you hit the sand, walk in either direction a short distance and find your own little quiet piece of paradise. Spend time swimming in the beautiful blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico or just lay back on your beach towel and let your batteries recharge.
I enjoy hiking the park’s 3-mile nature trail. Spending time walking among the slash pine, some of them over 100 years old, is a relaxing experience. About a mile in to your hike, you will come upon large live oak trees, and, if it has rained recently, the limbs will be draped with bright green resurrection fern.
Take a minute, close your eyes and breath in. Smell the scent of this beautiful forest. It is hard to imagine that you are only 1 mile from one of the most densely populated areas in Florida.
A little farther down the trail you will come to the Scharrer Homestead. All that remains now is a foundation and chimney. Think about what it must have been like as a small child growing up on an island.
As you retrace your steps back to the marina you may spot osprey nesting in the pines. You also may catch a glimpse of several species of hawks. Along the way you might encounter gopher tortoise or even an Eastern diamond back rattlesnake. Just make sure you observe it from a distance.
Back at the marina, stop by Café Caladesi for a cold drink and something to eat.