Dunedin (pronounced DONE-E-DUN) is the home to Honeymoon Island, has around 37,000 residents, and is a sister city of Stirling, Scotland. It is a charming community found on a peninsula between the scenic Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, and one you will fall in love with immediately. Downtown Dunedin is exceptionally walkable and bike-friendly, so getting outdoors is a popular thing. Here is what to see and do on your road trip to Dunedin, Florida.
Dunedin, an adorable waterfront town on Florida’s West Coast, is ten minutes from Clearwater and 30 minutes from Tampa. This cute beach town, with an artsy vibe, is popular with beach-goers, families, beer lovers, and hipster types who will appreciate the eclectic array of attractions in the area.
What to See in Dunedin
The Rails to Trails program breathed new life into Dunedin’s former railways. Known as the Pinellas Trail gets families moving as they take to this 34-mile long bicycle and pedestrian trail. The Pinellas Trail meanders from Tarpon Springs to St. Pete and is used for in-line skating, walking, jogging, and cycling.
Both Caladesi State Park, a pristine natural setting accessible by boat only, and Honeymoon Island State Park, one of Florida’s most beloved parks, can be found in Dunedin. Wander four miles of white sand beaches with far fewer crowds than the neighboring towns; think sunbathing, swimming, relaxing, shell hunting, and kayaking at both of these beautiful parks. You may also visit the Rotary Centennial Nature Center to look at the area’s history and available natural resources.
Head over to the Dunedin Marina for excellent sunset photo ops and a nice place to walk around and enjoy the gulf views. Pictured below is one of the six-foot-tall artistic dolphins on the Dolphin Trail, a public art pod with about 120 throughout Dunedin, Clearwater, St. Pete, and the rest of Pinellas County.
You will find a great deal of great art and culture around Dunedin, Florida. Once, I lucked out and caught a cool juried art show, the Annual Art Harvest, at the Dunedin Fine Arts Center. Visitors from all over were there to shop and admire over 200 exhibitor’s booths filled with impressive art and unique gift items. The Annual Art Harvest is the largest fall art event in the Tampa Bay area.
Dunedin holds several other festivals and special events, such as the OktoBEERfest, Taste of Dunedin, and Old Fashioned Christmas & Holiday Parade.
You can get around Dunedin on the Clearwater Jolley Trolley, which services the coastal towns of North Pinellas. Rides will run you $2.25, or you can pay $5 for an all-day pass. Children five and under are free. You’ll find the Jolley Trolley map and routes on this website.
What to Do in Dunedin
Beer is an essential makeup of the relaxed Dunedin vibe, and there is lots of it here. Dunedin Brewing, Florida’s oldest microbrewery, has a spectacular outdoor beer garden and hand-crafted small-batch brews, 15 barrels at a time. Don’t miss Leonard Croon’s Old Mean Stout if you are into dark beers, and the Apricot Peach fruit wheat beer is for the light beer drinkers.
Dunedin has more breweries per capita than any other city in Florida. Other breweries include:
- Caledonia Brewery
- 7venth Sun Brewing Company
- Woodwright Brewing Company
- Soggy Bottom Brewing
- HOB Brewing Co.
- Dunedin House of Beer
- Cueni Brewing Company
Downtown Dunedin runs through Main Street and is excellent for shopping, strolling, enjoying local entertainment, or dining in one of its trendy and fun restaurants. It’s incredibly walkable and parking is generally pretty easy to find.
Be on the lookout for great displays of public art, namely statues and murals, which may tie in with Dunedin’s Celtic heritage. Colorful bungalows and eye-catching architecture on the tree-lined streets are great for photo-ops, plus you’ll be in awe over Dunedin’s adorable pocket parks. There is also a thriving nightlife.
On Friday and Saturday, enjoy the downtown market at Pioneer Park, filled with produce, prepared food, flowers, crafts, and other vendors.
A few shops I recommend visiting are Nancy’s Fancy, Our House, and My Favorite Things, which has a daily wine tasting. After shopping, Downtown Dunedin has dozens of enticing eateries to choose from, many with cute outdoor patios, for a cold beer, glass of vino, or perfectly sweet tea.
Another thing to do on your road trip to Dunedin is to see a baseball game. Dunedin is home to the world-class major league Toronto Blue Jays spring baseball training and the year-round Dunedin Blue Jays. You can see them at the brand-spanking’ new TD Ballpark.
Where to Eat in Dunedin
Dunedin is on the heavy side with tasty eateries. For foodies like myself, that is a great situation to be in. The Living Room on Main is a sophisticated restaurant known equally for fantastic soup, salads, and sandwiches and for being pet-friendly. Even your pooch can order off of a special menu here.
Our Place is a stand-out for comfort food and breakfast. Try the build-your-own omelet or a Greek omelet with a side of tzatziki and gyro meat, my new favorite breakfast dish. Another noteworthy restaurant outside of the downtown area, for breakfast and lunch, is Marguerite’s Cafe. Marguerite’s feature mouth-watering breakfast favorites, tasty quiche, and homemade pies and cakes that will have you drooling.
Get your Mexican fix at Casa Tina’s fresh, healthy approach to cooking and fantastic Day of the Dead decor. The Mole Poblano is my top pick, but as popular as Casa Tina is, I’m banking on everything being delicious.
Save room for homemade ice cream from the locals’ favorite: Strachan’s Ice Cream. Need help choosing a flavor? The Cherry Wow-Za, Rum Raisin, and Carrot Cake are great, but my husband is gaga for the cinnamon or peppermint.
For lunch or dinner, my top pick is Hog Island Fish Camp. Hog Island’s Blue Crab and Goat Cheese Dip is a must, luscious and creamy, with pepper bacon jam and crostini. For your main course, the Shrimp and Grits are excellent, served over a parmesan grit cake. Hog Island has a fantastic happy hour and both indoor and outdoor seating. If stone crab claws are in season, be sure to try the beloved Florida dish.
A Florida Town Worth Exploring
Dunedin is a delightful place to add to your road trip, weekend getaway, or day trip itinerary. This artsy beach town is cram-packed with fun and a visual treat.
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