Like a patchwork quilt of variegated greens tossed out over Tampa Bay, this 3700-acre preserve protects a diverse aquatic and wetland ecosystem. At the heart of the preserve is the excellent Cultural and Natural History Center (open from 11am to 4pm Thursday to Saturday) where you can browse exhibits about the natural environment and the early Weedon Island people. Sign-up also for interpretive hikes over miles of boardwalk or go it alone with the online map.
Alternatively rent a kayak from Sweetwater Kayaks and head out on the 4-mile South Trail loop through the idyllic mangrove islands. The preserve is located on Riviera Bay, south off I-92.