A nature preserve that spans more than 3000 acres on Tampa Bay, Weedon Island is a popular destination for visitors to St. Petersburg. Not only is Weedon Island a popular fishing and birding site, but it’s also an area that has an important cultural history as well. Consisting of mostly marine ecosystems with some solid land, the Weedon Island Preserve was first inhabited by the Manasota cultures around 5000 years ago. These cultures evolved into the Weedon Island culture that lasted some 800 years; artifacts of this prehistoric settlement can still be explored today, along with more than 28 historic structures, some dating back to the 1800s century. As a result, guests interested in culture and history can learn more about both the ancient and modern peoples that lived here. For those who prefer to explore the area’s natural beauty, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as canoeing or kayaking through the mangrove swamps; participating in a guided hikes or walking the self-guided nature trials; fishing for Redfish, snook or spotted sea trout, or spotting the wide varieties of wildlife from the observation tower. Pack a picnic and enjoy all that Weedon Island has to offer.
The Weedon Island Preserve is open daily from 7 a.m. to about 15 minutes before sunset (daily closing time is posted at the entrance of the preserve) and is closed on the day after Thanksgiving and December 25. The Cultural and Natural History Center is open on Thursdays through Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and is closed on Sunday as well as all county observed holidays. Admission is free.