My husband and I spent the weekend in Dunedin ((pronounced DONE-EE-DIN). Once again, I have found another little Florida beach town that I am in love with. Dunedin is home to Honeymoon Island, with about 37,000 residents, and the sister city to Stirling, Scotland. They have a fascinating downtown. Dunedin holds several festivals and special events, such as the OktoBEERfest, Taste of Dunedin, and Old Fashioned Christmas & Holiday Parade.
The Charming and Artsy Town of Dunedin
Dunedin is also home to the Toronto Blue Jays spring baseball training, located at the Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. I happened upon a perfect weekend in Dunedin as they were hosting the 51st Annual Art Harvest. The art show was sponsored by the Junior League of Clearwater-Dunedin. For a $5 parking fee, one could stroll through around 200 exhibitor booths, with plenty of food and drinks options. The art show took place at the beautiful and renowned Dunedin Fine Arts Center. This event is the largest fall art event in the Tampa Bay area.
The art categories for Art Harvest juried fine art show included: Ceramics, Digital, Fiber, Glass, Graphics, Jewelry, Metal, Mixed Media, Oil/Acrylic, Photography, Sculpture, Watercolor and Wood.
A Thriving Downtown and Main Street
Downtown Dunedin, running through Main Street, is great for shopping, walking, see local entertainment, or dining in one of the its trendy and fun restaurants. Dunedin also has a thriving nightlife. I like to browse Nancy’s Fancy, My Favorite Things (which has a wine tasting daily), and Mermaid’s Secret Garden. Stirling Tropical Wines & Gifts is a unique place to visit. There, you can even enjoy your wine (and cigars) in the attached bar, with entertainment and sports TV.
Two great dining options in downtown Dunedin are The Living Room (pet friendly with a special menu just for your pooch), and Kelly’s for Just About…Anything!, connected to the Chic A Boom Room. I opt for the honkin’ big sandwiches and soups from The Living Room. Kelly’s offers the best brunch in town. The chances are that you will be on a waiting list to try it, but it is well worth it. I recommend the Quiche of the Day.
Bonus Dunedin Features
The Pinellas Trail, a 39 mile long bicycle and pedestrian trail, runs through downtown. It meanders from Tarpon Springs to St. Pete, and is used for in-line skating, walking, jogging, and cycling.
For lunch, we tried the fish & chips and Cricketer’s chicken curry at Mike & Lisa’s, Cricketers British Pub & Restaurant. Eddie’s Fish & Chips were cooked to perfection, light and crispy, and battered just right. My Chicken Curry was a fail. The dish, paired with plain flavorless rice and chutney, was lackluster and seemed to be made of low quality ingredients. Though the meal missed the mark, we did enjoy the atmosphere. It would be a great spot to watch sporting events or see live music. Another day we enjoyed some fajitas at Carmelita’s Mexican Bar and Cantina, very pricey and only average in taste, though the restaurant and bar are beautiful.
FYI: The 16th Annual Dunedin Celtic Music & Craft Beer Festival is Nov 22nd at Highlander Park- sounds like a great time.