6 Must-dos in Dunedin, Florida
Dunedin is a quaint Florida Gulf coast community, notable for its’ charming Main Street, easy access to beautiful beaches and preserves, and rich arts’ scene. The city is most famous for being home to Honeymoon Island State park, one of the Gulf’s highest ranked beaches. Beaches aside, local restaurants and boutique shops, one of the top rail trails in the country, galleries, and an ongoing lineup of events are a few things you can look forward to on any Dunedin vacation. Featured below are the top 6 must-dos when visiting Dunedin.
1. Visit Honeymoon Island Beach State Park
Tops on your itinerary should be a visit to beautiful Honeymoon Island State Park. Featuring 4 miles of perfect for sunbathing & swimming white sand clear water beaches, rustic hiking trails through rare Florida slash pine habitat, and even a dog beach, there’s something here for every type of outdoor lover at Honeymoon. This beach is frequently rated as one of the best in the US and is especially praised as a gorgeous sunset destination.
If you have the time and spare cash, you will also want to take the boat ride over to Caladesi Island. Like Honeymoon, Caladesi frequently ranks right up there with the best-of-the-best Florida beaches thanks to miles of smooth white sand, crystal clear water, and an attractive isolated nature setting. Beachcombing, snorkeling, and swimming are popular island past times of both locals and tourists.
2. Take a stroll around Main Street
Downtown Dunedin is the place to go after a long day at the beach. There are a number of great local boutique shops, restaurants, and attractions to check out. The Beatles Museum is a must if you are a fan. For the art lover, there are a number of great local galleries. Also, there are a handful of cute local coffeeshops which serve great local joe, as well as homemade food. Cork and Bean is a wonderful local coffee bar. Great ambiance, great pastries, and great coffee here!
You will not find many chains in this town, but you will find a number of fantastic local restaurants. Whether you are craving seafood, Italian, or general American cuisine, Dunedin has you covered. The Living Room on Main is an excellent choice for anyone looking for something with an international flair.
The downtown is always clean and beautifully landscaped with pretty leafy trees lining the road. Many restaurants have outdoor patios which you can take advantage of during the milder season. Be on the lookout for special events, particularly, the year-round farmers market and the numerous art fairs.
More restaurants to try:
- Bon Appetit – Waterfront restaurant rated one of the most scenic
- Cafe Alfresco – Great local Italian cafe
- Cricketers – Popular British pub
3. Relax at a local coffeehouse
Skip the Starbucks run and opt to enjoy a nice morning cup of coffee at one of Dunedin’s local coffeehouses. There are numerous choices lining the small Main Street. Dunedin Coffee Company is a great place to enjoy a light bite. Try their veggie quiche or one of their homemade muffins, both super tasty! This place features a nice local vibe and the laid-back ambiance/beachy decor is perfect for anyone seeing a relaxed vacation spot.
The Sandpiper Coffeehouse is another fantastic option. Here you can enjoy a full breakfast along with an awesome cup of joe. The skillets, although a tad overpriced, are healthy and filling. Try the veggie skillet which is loaded with potatoes and fresh veggies. The decor here is super cute with various beachy type signs and knick knacks for sale. The cozy house setting makes it the perfect place to kick back and relax for an hour or so. And, if the weather permits, you can linger with endless coffee on the gorgeous patio.
4. Bike the Pinellas Trail
The Pinellas Trail, ranked one of the country’s best rail trails, is an awesome multi-purpose recreational path that runs right through downtown Dunedin. Get out here early in the morning before the afternoon heat hits and enjoy a 7 mile ride over to Tarpon Springs. This is the most scenic portion of this 50 mile path. Grab a bite at Toula’s trailside Cafe prior to your ride. This popular local cafe is conveniently located in the vicinity and serves tasty breakfast fare.
When you arrive in Tarpon, stop for some Greek food (the small community is well-known for their excellent selection as the town was settled by Greeks) and pick up a natural sea sponge (for cleaning or bathing) in the “Sponge capital of the world.” Do try a Baklava cheesecake at Hella’s. Also consider taking a dolphin adventure cruise over to Anclote Island. You get a little 2-for-1 on this tour – dolphin sightseeing plus the opportunity to explore a beautiful secluded island accessible only via boat.
5. Get back to nature at a local park
Since 1989, Dunedin has received the “Tree City USA” award, joining the ranks of over 3400 US cities dedicated to urban forestry. There are numerous well-maintained green spaces throughout the city. Edgewater Park is a nice small park near the Dunedin marina. Stroll over here in the morning and enjoy the various bird life which inhabits the area. Hammock park is a great destination for light hiking, birdwatching (it’s located along the Great Florida birding trail), and alligator watching.
And if you are up for a little ride (just a few miles away via the Pinellas trail), be sure to check out John Chesnut park in neighboring Palm Harbor. This is one of the most beautiful parks in all of Pinellas County, not to mention a hotspot for deer and gator sightings.
6. Treat yourself to a fresh healthy breakfast at Ohana Cafe
Although it is not located on beautiful Main Street, Ohana Cafe still shines as Dunedin’s best restaurant. This healthy Hawaiian cafe is the place to go for breakfast. In fact, they offer the best breakfast menu in all of Pinellas County. And everything is fresh and organic as well! For anyone with a special dietary concern (vegan, vegetarian, GF), there are plenty of options available. All are conveniently marked on the menu.
You cannot go wrong with the Big Lucy breakfast, featuring their trademark plant-based pancakes served with macadamia nut sauce, fresh tropical fruit, and organic potatoes – so tasty and so filling. Also, indulge in a fresh fruit smoothie or acai bowl (both of which are wonderfully cooling for the hot summer season).