Wind Direction: ENE, E, SE
Hazards: Deep water close to shore, small launch area, close proximity to a major highway, windsurfers. *** Not beginner friendly – use Skyway Bridge East or Fort Desoto East Beach ***
Tides: This spot is affected by tide. On a high tide there is little to no area to launch a kite. A safer place to ride is the east side of the Skyway Bridge. You can check out the tides for Skyway Bridge here.
The Scenic View is an exit one mile north of the north rest area exit at the Skyway Bridge. This spot can be good if the conditions are appropriate. Make sure the tides are low and the wind is in the right direction. Too much north in the winds will cause gusty conditions. North winds will also push riders into deep waters with no place to bail out. Wind conditions can be viewed from the iKitesurf sensor on the Skyway Bridge.
This spot is popular for windsurfers. It is important to make sure they have right of way. Be respectful of them and make sure to keep a safe distance from them. One reason there are more windsurfers here is because there is deeper waters. The deeper water makes it easier for them to ride due to their longer fins.
The ideal spot to ride is close to the sandbar, which extends a half mile to a mile away from the launch. With the right tide and wind conditions, this spot can be a perfect flat water spot. It takes some expertise to tack upwind away from the launch. But when you are in the right spot in the right conditions, this area can be amazing.
The only way to access Scenic View is northbound on I-275. From St. Petersburg, head south on I-275. Use the north rest area, one mile after the toll, to turn around. Head back north onto I-275 for one to two miles. The Scenic View exit will be on the right.
From Sarasota/ Bradenton, take I-275 to go over the Skyway Bridge. The Scenic View exit will be one to two miles past the north rest area.