The secret worlds of Weedon Island Preserve

With a few hours to kill before our flight home we found myself soaking in the last bit of sunshine among geckos and tricolored heron. No, not at a sticky, overcrowded beach, rather, strolling miles of boardwalk in the heart of mangrove world in the Tampa Bay Watershed.

The Weedon Island Preserve is home to a menagerie of strange species and exotic plants. It’s also a research and cultural center focused on preserving the prehistoric culture of the Florida Seminole Tribe. They thrived on Weedon Island some 1500 years ago, once a true island but now more of a low-lying peninsula.

Ancient artifacts like pottery, jewelry and throwing spears are on display in the zen-like building.

As tempting as it was to read the kiosks in the Center, vitamin D, naturally, won out. We took to miles of sunny trails that lead to lookout points, platforms and observation towers.

Fast moving lizards and flapping egrets scurried out of our way on beautiful footbridges built to accommodate handicap access to all 3,190 acres. The tropical hammocks and dense tidal swamps hummed with evening activity.

A couple hours flew by in a hurry. We didn’t want to leave, who would? Be sure to visit this extraordinaire place!

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Sonja Stark

The only thing domestic about me is that I was born in this country. Now, lets TRAVEL!

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