One of the most acclaimed beaches in America and one of the most ecologically pristine island-scapes in Florida, Caladesi Island State Park, awaits you within easy access of your accommodations here at Hotel Cabana in Clearwater Beach.
Introducing Caladesi Island State Park
Caladesi Island lies immediately north of Clearwater Beach Island, separated from Honeymoon Island and its more developed state park to the north by Hurricane Pass. This park-protected barrier isle remains comparatively untouched: a wonderful place to explore such native Gulf Coast ecosystems as seagrass pastures, oyster reefs, mangrove forest, palm-oak hammocks, and slash-pine flatwoods, not to mention a glorious sandy seashore that, in 2008, earned the title of “America’s Best Beach” from Dr. Beach (aka Florida International University’s Stephen Parker Leatherman) in his widely consulted annual Top 10 roundup.
You can reach Caladesi Island State Park, which is open 365 days a year, by private boat—there’s a 108-slip marina on the bay side—or by the passenger ferry from Honeymoon Island.
Things to Do at Caladesi Island State Park
Strolling, lounging, and swimming at the celebrated beach is certainly a popular activity at Caladesi Island State Park, but there’s so much more to see and to do.
Hiking trails, for example, weave through the park’s tranquil interior, offering up-close communion with maritime hammocks and flatwoods. You can also access the vicinity of the Scharrer Homestead Ruins: the 19th-century home of Henry Scharrer, whose daughter Myrtle Scharrer Betz penned a memoir of her Caladesi Island life called Yesteryear I Lived in Paradise.
At the park’s marina and Café Caladesi, you can rent a canoe or kayak and take to the Caladesi Island paddling trail, exploring mangrove channels and seagrass flats. This is a great way to see some of the park’s ample wildlife: from egrets, herons, and ospreys to mullet, snook, dolphins, and manatees. Mangrove forests are among the most biologically productive habitats in the world, and it’s amazing to have the extensive examples on display in the park; they’re dominated by the red mangrove, instantly recognizable with its stilt-like “prop roots.”
Explore Caladesi Island State Park on Your Next Clearwater Beach Escape at Hotel Cabana
From its pristine beachfront to the shaded sanctuary of its interior oaks, palms, and pines, Caladesi Island State Park is one of those genuine Florida magic spots—and we’re so lucky to have it close by here at Hotel Cabana!