My husband and I spent the weekend in Dunedin a few weeks ago, and again, I have found another little Florida beach town that I am just in love with. Dunedin is home to Honeymoon Island, with about 37,000 residents, the sister city to Stirling, Scotland, and has a most fascinating downtown. They have several festivals and special events, such as the OktoBEERfest, Taste of Dunedin, and Old Fashioned Christmas & Holiday Parade.
Dunedin (pronounced DONE-EE-DIN) is the home to the Toronto Blue Jays spring baseball training, which is located at the Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. I happened upon a perfect weekend as they were hosting the 51st Annual Art Harvest, sponored by the Junior League of Clearwater-Dunedin. For a $5 parking fee, one could stroll through around two hundred exhibitor booths, with food and drinks as well, at the beautiful and very renowned Dunedin Fine Arts Center. This event is the largest fall art event in the Tampa Bay area.
Downtown Dunedin, running through Main Street, is great to do some shopping, take a nice walk, see local entertainment, or dine in one of the many trendy and unique restaurants. They also have a thriving nightlife. I like to pilfer through 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 and 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 on main, which allows pets and has a special menu just for your pooch, and Kelly’s for Just About…Anything! connected to the Chic A Boom Room. Kelly’s has the best town brunch and chances are that you will be on a waiting list, but it is worth it. Ask for server Will. I recommend the quiche of the day.
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. While the fish & chips were cooked to perfection, light and crispy, and battered just right, the chicken curry was very lackluster and seemed to be made of very low quality ingredients. We thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and this would be a great spot to watch sporting events or see live music. It was served with boring plain rice and a whole dish of chutney. Another day we enjoyed some fajitas at Carmelita’s Mexican Bar and Cantina, but it was very pricey and only typical, though they do have a beautiful restaurant and bar.
FYI: The 16th Annual Dunedin Celtic Music & Craft Beer Festival is Nov 22nd at Highlander Park- sounds like a great time.