This article may contain affiliate links. Whenever you buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission without any cost to you. I really appreciate it as it supports this site and my family. Thank you!
UPDATED July 2023. Looking for your next beach adventure in Florida? Look no further than Bird Creek Beach. Located along Florida’s Gulf Coast, this hidden gem offers a unique and picturesque experience for beach goers.
Whether you’re looking to relax on the sandy shores or explore the surrounding nature, Bird Creek Beach has something for everyone.
You’ll feel as if you have stepped back in time when you meander south on 19/98 following Florida’s coastline.
Where is Yankeetown and are there beaches?
Yankeetown is a small town located in Levy County. The easiest way to get to this cute little town is off of US 19. From Gainesville, you would head southwest via US-27/US-41, following the signs to US 19. From there turn on to CR-40.
Thank you for reading this post. Don't forget to subscribe! This way you never miss an update, travel deals, discounts and more!! Subscribe to the right------>
Bird Creek Beach is located in Yankeetown and it is easy to get to. Simply continue to follow CR-40 and you will arrive at Bird Creek Beach.
What Is Yankeetown/Bird Creek Beach Known For?
Elvis in the house – well on the beach. Interesting fact is the bridge over Bird Creek can be seen in the movie Follow That Dream.
Unfortunately, the beach they built for the movie is no longer there. Mother Nature always reclaims when something man made is not maintained.
But that is only one thing this little town is known for. Yankeetown was founded by politician and lawyer, A.F. Knotts who moved to the area to hunt.
The town was originally named after Knotts but became Yankeetown when a local mail carrier sarcastically directed visitors to the settlement he called “that Yankee town.”
Today it is a fishing village due to its fantastic location right on the Florida Gulf Coast.
Is Yankeetown A Good Place To Live?
This small town is a very nice place to live, but it is quite rural with less than 1,000 residents. It is a beautiful area with quite a few natural parks, rivers and more for those that like to live their lives outdoors.
How Did I Find Bird Creek Beach
You may be wondering how I found this little beach. I’ll be honest, I had never heard of Bird Creek Beach.
No one I know has ever visited. My answer is it was by accident.
After trips to Keaton Beach, Hagen’s Cove and Cedar Key, I started following a map of Florida’s Gulf Coast with my finger looking for my next adventure. I found it in Bird Creek Beach near Yankeetown.
After spending the day kayaking there, I can’t imagine why people aren’t flocking to this beautiful old world Florida vibe beach town located in Yankeetown.
How To Get To Bird Creek Beach
As mentioned above in the directions to get to Yankeetown, once you turn onto 40A to 40, enjoy the marsh views as you follow the road to a dead end at the boat ramp.
You’ll find Bird Creek Beach Park off to the right before you drive onto the boat launch where you can park and begin exploring.
Lining the bridge as you drive in toward the boat ramp are folks fishing and crabbing so be sure to slow down.
There is a very small beach where we launched our kayaks, but others were swimming and sunning. You’ll find a pavilion and porta-potties but not much else.
Standing on this beach looking out toward the islands, you may catch a glimpse of dolphins or otters – we saw both – along with pelicans, seagulls and other water birds.
Are there shells on Bird Creek Beach?
I saw a few, but this is not a popular beach for shelling. Definitely more a destination for water activities like kayaking, boating and fishing.
What Are The Best Things To Do At Bird Creek Beach?
Bird Creek Beach as well as Yankeetown is a fantastic destination for nature lovers. In addition to the beach, you will want to visit:
Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve.
This preserve is roughly 430 acres of beautiful undeveloped wetlands. Enjoy hiking, kayaking, birdwatching and more. There are also a 30-foot observation tower, salt pond boardwalk, Gulf accessible canoe/kayak dock, and a 4500 square foot Education Center.
Winding River Garden Park.
This is a small park right on the Withlacoochee River. There is a gazebo in the park and you can rent it for special events.
Bird Creek Beach.
Rounding out the list is Bird Creek Beach which was our destination. We launched our kayaks and drifted along the shore line and marshes watching herons, seagulls and pelicans.
Tide was up, so the oyster beds were hidden under the warm gulf waters. Our goal was to find the bridge to kayak under to the other side of the road which we did.
Right after the bridge, we saw an adorable otter. He/she was a good size one too as it was on the rock looking at is as we kayaked near before sliding off into the water.
Be aware when kayaking in marshes as it is very easy to get turned around. I trust my friend completely, and she kept an eye on the road, so we knew we were going in the right direction toward the island that we wanted to eat lunch on.
Another thing I want to mention is watch the fishing boats. They have a speed limit of 25 mph in the channel and did not slow down at all when flying by us.
Guess they figured they have more of a right to the waterway than five kayakers did. If you are kayaking and a boat creates a large wake and waves, remember to point your kayak into the waves.
While eating lunch on Chambers Island, we were treated to two dolphins playing in the water.
Bouncing around a crab cage, the buoy that marks where the cage was dropped disappeared after these two playful dolphins bounced it around a time or two.
Time to head back, and we decided to kayak along the shore, around the boat ramp and up the other side to the beach we launched from.
Again a little wavy from the fishing boats and one super loud air boat, but we made it back. We were treated to several pelicans and a pod of dolphins out cavorting and playing in the surf.
Truly a very beautiful part of Old Florida charm not to be missed. When your travels find you on 19/98 near Yankeetown, be sure to take a few moments to visit Bird Creek Beach and the bridge that Elvis would sit on during filming breaks.
Where To Stay In Yankeetown
As mentioned, this is a small town, so there are not a large amount of hotels to choose from. There are a few campgrounds but for hotels, you need to go toward Crystal River. I have put the link below.
Restaurants Near Yankeetown
There are a few restaurants to choose from including one right on the Withlacoochee River. Top picks are:
Blackwater. This is a fantastic restaurant on the river as I mentioned. Great seafood but other options as well. Get current menu and hours here: Blackwater
One more I’d like to mention is the Biscuit Barn nearby in Crystal River. Absolutely a hidden gem for breakfast. Get current menu and hours here: Biscuit Barn
Hopefully I have convinced you to side journey to this little piece of paradise on the Gulf of Mexico not too many people are familiar with. These links will help you plan your trip:
I like to use Booking for booking not only my hotels, but my tickets and rental cars as well. Makes life so much easier with only having to log into one location for my information.
Be sure to grab my travel tips to save you time and money. You’ll also be entered into the weekly drawings.
Denise Sanger lives a life split between her love for fitness and her passion for travel particularly to the BEACH. Denise also has a love of marketing and lives in beautiful Suwannee County, Florida. You can find out more about Denise here: About Denise