Have you ever stumbled upon a secret, a delightful discovery that's been hiding in plain sight? That's Dunedin, Florida, for you.
Unassuming in its charm, Dunedin is a treasure trove waiting to be explored.
So, if you're toying with the idea of a trip to this little-known corner of the world, we're here to take you on a virtual journey.
Here in Dunedin, you'll find an array of unique experiences, each more captivating than the last.
From its vibrant downtown market that hums with life to the awe-inspiring vistas, this quaint town promises a kaleidoscope of experiences.
Not to mention the allure of its state parks, the creative hub, and the tantalizing taste of locally crafted beer from its breweries.
Let's embark on this journey together. Here's a peek at the wonders that await:
- Dunedin Downtown Market
- Crossing the Dunedin Causeway
- Honeymoon Island State Park
- Caladesi Island State Park
- Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail
- Dunedin Fine Arts Center
- Take a Brewery Tour
In the sections to follow, we'll shine a spotlight on these remarkable attractions, offering you an essential guide for your Dunedin visit.
Brace yourself for an immersive dip into Dunedin's charm. Each corner of this town has a tale, each moment a potential snapshot.
Ready to discover Dunedin's understated magic? Let's get started.
Why You Should Visit Dunedin
This video will provide you with a pretty good general idea of the type of vibe Dunedin provides.
It is a tropical getaway with fantastic beaches, fun entertainment, and delightful restaurants. Some of the homes and condos in Dunedin are stunning as well.
The water is clear and the weather is virtually perfect year-round. When you walk around town you’ll see all sorts of vibrant colors.
If you look out toward the water at dusk, you’ll see one of the most remarkable sunsets imaginable. Whether a vacation destination or a retirement location, Dunedin is perfect.
7 Best Things to Do in Dunedin, FL
If you do find yourself in Dunedin, you’ll find that there is plenty to do. This article will narrow down a few specific activities that you are not going to want to miss.
From the downtown market to the various islands, to the brewery tour, you’ll find that there is something for everyone.
Considering the weather, scenery, entertainment, and natural beauty, you can’t go wrong.
1. Dunedin Downtown Market
Any Friday and Saturday (November to May), between 9 am and 2 pm, you’ll be able to visit the Dunedin Downtown Market and purchase some of the most delicious fruit and vegetables in the state.
Not only are you going to get your hands on some delicious food, but you can also browse and buy beautiful paintings from local artists.
This is a great opportunity to support the local art community and take home a unique souvenir.
You can feel good knowing that your purchases are going directly to local farmers and artists who need the business the most.
Everyone feels a degree of peace of mind when they know where their food comes from.
At the Dunedin Downtown Market, you will be able to potentially shake hands with the person who grew your food or created your painting only a few miles away.
People rave about this farmers market, it’s a go-to destination for residents and visitors. They even offer live entertainment.
You’ll be able to listen to an acoustic guitar player sing, or a band jam, while you shop around!
2. Crossing the Dunedin Causeway
The Dunedin Causeway is truly a breathtaking route. You’ll find yourself driving down a highway, surrounded on each side by clear, tropical water.
As you cross over the bridge section, you’ll be low enough to look in either direction and see the fantastic view. All along the road, free parking areas are abundant.
This makes it easy when you are driving along and you see a good photo opportunity.
Seeing a photo opportunity on the Causeway is inevitable, by the way. You’ll be able to pull right over, park, take your picture, and take in the tremendous scene.
Parking and taking photographs aren’t the only things to do. You can walk out onto the sand and do some tanning.
You can take out your fishing pole and cast out some line. You don’t even need to bring your car. The Causeway is a popular destination for joggers and bikers.
You’ll be able to engage in any of this and take advantage of the free parking, between 5 am and 11 pm every day.
If you plan to take a boat out on the water using the Causeway as a launch point, that’s no problem.
However, depending on what kind of boat it is, you’ll have to plan accordingly. Some areas are designated for certain boats and other areas for other types of boats.
3. Honeymoon Island State Park
Oh, what a magnificent sunset! When you take a closer look at the picture above of this place, you’ll understand how it got its name.
The soft, white sand beach is beautiful and the water is some of the clearest you’re going to see in the entire state.
You’ll also be able to enjoy top-tier bird watching. This area attracts some very beautiful and exotic birds. Swimming is permitted, as is shelling and fishing.
The Island is not an expensive day either. It’s only $8 to park your vehicle; $4 if you are riding solo. The park opens at 8 am and closes at sunset.
4. Caladesi Island State Park
When you sit on the beach at Caladesi Island State Park, you will feel as though you are completely removed from the busy city life.
It is isolated, having white sand and clear water. The beach is 3 miles long and overlooks the Gulf of Mexico.
It is only accessible by boat, adding to its exclusivity. If you could describe the beach in one word it would be: peaceful.
You’ll be able to get a glimpse of some wildlife as well, including large birds and sea turtles.
Caladesi is closest to Honeymoon Island, but they are separated by a narrow strait. This is what leads, in part, to the secluded nature of the beach.
The kayaking route offered on the island is one of the coolest kayaking journeys you’ll ever take.
The narrow, windy trail is almost completely covered by a canopy of trees and branches.
Wildlife surrounds you and the calm water makes for a very peaceful ride. You’ll also be able to travel on foot via the hiking path.
The park is open every day, from 8 am until dusk. Depending on what it is you want to do on the island, prices will vary.
The island’s natural beauty even led one of its inhabitants, Myrtle Scharrer Betz, to write a memoir about her time there. In the book, she describes the small, quaint island as “paradise.”
5. Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail
The Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail is a biking and walking trail that extends from St. Petersberg to Tarpon Springs.
A section of it passes directly through the length of Dunedin. It’s one of the most popular biking trails in the state.
You’ll be able to easily explore nearby towns and cities during your stay in Dunedin by using this trail.
This section of the trail is part of a bigger endeavor. The state is hoping to build a complete trail that will lead from the west coast to the east coast.
All along your ride, you’ll be able to see the wonderful scenery. It is one of the best ways to experience the full extent of Dunedin and the surrounding areas.
The trail is equipped with plenty of stops where you can use a restroom or purchase some food. The trail is only intended to be used during daylight hours.
Certain rules need to be obeyed due to the volume of people who use the trail. It is important to keep these in mind for safety reasons.
For example, bike riders cannot use headphones and are expected not to race.
6. Dunedin Fine Arts Center
If you are driving around Dunedin exploring and you see a big building with a really strange roof, don’t be alarmed, it’s just the Dunedin Fine Arts Center!
The Arts Center offers a lot to do. There are events every day. Artists, authors, architects, and others will come to sit down and have discussions.
You can grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the insightful conversation. There are plenty of events geared toward families as well that are child-friendly.
Perhaps you might like to develop a new skill while you are on vacation. The Dunedin Fine Arts Center allows you to do that.
They offer classes in several artistic disciplines. There are painting classes, sculpting classes, pottery classes, etc.
There are also plenty of classes offered for kids and teens.
The Arts Center is frequently able to get much sought-after art exhibits displayed in their halls. No matter when you go you are sure to see something impressive.
The reason for the establishment of the building was to encourage education, creativity, and artistic expression.
Inside the building is the Palm Cafe where you’ll be able to grab a drink and a bite to eat.
Plus, since a lot of the art collected is from local artists, there is a gallery room where you’ll have the opportunity to purchase some of the works.
7. Take a Brewery Tour
Dunedin is home to a few excellent breweries that are worth visiting.
The two that will blow you away with the overall experience and delicious products are Dunedin Brewery and 7th Sun Brewery.
Dunedin Brewery is going to provide you with a full culinary experience. They have a lot of very good food on their menu.
It’s populated with some dishes you might not expect, like hummus and pita, and then plenty of dishes you totally would expect, like beer cheese wontons.
You’ll also notice that the prices are very reasonable and the portions are generous.
On to the beer. Dunedin Brewery brews a lot of different types of beer. Perhaps you’d like some Apricot Peach Ale to enjoy on the beach.
Don’t like fruit? No worries, grab the Braemar Milk Stout. Oh, you’re not a stout person? How about the New Zealand IPA.
The bottom line is, if you don’t find a beer that you like at the Dunedin Brewery, then you don’t like beer.
The 7venth Sun Brewery has not been around nearly as long as Dunedin Brewery, but they have a very solid beer selection which you can look over on their site.
You can view each microbrew flavor and see a full description of what to expect.
The profile for each beer includes the alcohol percentage, crispness, hoppiness, sweetness, and whether it’s fruity or spicy.
Where to Stay
Here are some great places to stay during your trip to Dunedin, Florida.
Meranova Guest Inn
If you are looking for a quaint, very highly-rated place to stay, the Meranova Guest Inn is a perfect choice.
They provide delicious homemade meals, a pool, comfortable beds, and furniture, and the yard outside is stunning, especially at night.
Hampton Inn Dunedin, FL
The Hampton Inn will certainly catch your eye with its lovely, colorful building.
Many of the rooms have a sun terrace, there is access to a gym and free WiFi, and breakfast is included.
La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Clearwater Central
If you are looking for the best value, the La Quinta Inn appears to be that.
It is affordable and offers plenty, including continental breakfast, a big pool, and a hot tub.
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