5 Ways to Get Out on the Water in Pasco County, Florida - Family Traveller (USA)


Situated just north of Tampa on the west coast of Florida, Pasco County is an outdoor lover’s paradise. The region offers ecotourism and water adventures for the whole family. Skip the city crowds and get outside amidst nature.


From dolphins to shipwrecks, you can see it all in Pasco County’s underwater backyard. For beginners or experienced divers, Pasco County has some remarkable dive sites. Add these sites to your family bucket list:

  • Pasco Reef #1 –Located 7 miles off of Gulf Harbors in 40 feet of water
  • Pasco Reef #3 – Located 12 miles off the Pithlachascotee River
  • Pasco Reef #4 – Located 13 miles off of Hudson
  • Pasco Reef  (Barges) – Located 7 miles off the north end of Anclote Island in 25 feet of water
  • Pasco Reef (Tanks) – Located off Gulf Harbors, this consists of M-60 Army tanks sunk in 35 feet of water


Pasco County is home to many fresh and saltwater fish species, including largemouth bass, catfish, trout, grouper, and tarpon. With 24 miles of shoreline and numerous lakes and rivers, fishing is a popular activity for families. Pasco County offers fishing guides and boat rentals—or even lazy river cruises if you’re seeking something more laid-back.


If the high seas are calling, many boating companies offer boat experiences for every preference—sunset sailing, pontoon charters, fishing charters and more. Spend a day on the water: Explore Pasco County’s white sandy beach islands and sandbars, cruise past the historic stilt houses, snorkel in the clear water or just soak up some R&R in the sun.


Explore the many miles of the coastline’s natural beauty via the water. Visitors can stop by one of several paddle sport rental facilities for a kayak, canoe or paddleboard. Paddle through 4,000 scenic acres of salt springs or miles of estuaries and rivers. Take your time navigating the waterways and observing the abundant wildlife, and be sure to pack a picnic for a mid-day break.

Island Exploring

Just three miles from the mainland is Anclote Key Preserve State Park. Take a boat ride over and spend an afternoon exploring the four islands that make up the state park. Home to at least 43 species of birds, including the bald eagle, Anclote Key offers great wildlife viewing, in addition to swimming, sunbathing, boating and camping. Fire up a grill and enjoy a family picnic, just be sure to bring your own provisions, as none are sold on the state park.