If you are wondering how to visit Honeymoon Island Sate Park in Florida, you’ve come to the right place. Here is the place I have been calling home for the past 16 years of my life and I am here now to share all my best insider tips to help you to plan your visit to the best-kept secrets in the Tampa Bay Area.
This is the most comprehensive guide you can find on the internet about how to explore Honeymoon Island, and it covers pretty much everything you need to know to make your visit fun and safe!
Considered a real gem in Florida, Honeymoon Island State Park offers pristine beaches, a lot of nature, hiking trails, and even one of the best dog beaches in the United States. Also, you can visit Caladesi Island State Park from here!
This is your one-stop guide, prepared by a local, with all you need to know on how to explore Honeymoon Island State Park as the locals do. So, without any further ado, let’s discover the very best of Honeymoon Island State Park in Florida.
- Honeymoon Island State Park Florida Practical Information
- Where is Honeymoon Island State Park, Florida?
- How to Get to Honeymoon Island State Park Florida?
- Best Accommodations Options Near Honeymoon Island
- 11 Things to do in Honeymoon Island State Park in Florida
- 1. Go hiking in Honeymoon Island State Park
- 2. Paddling and exploring the surroundings
- 3. Bicycling on Honeymoon Island
- 4. Picnic at Honeymoon Island
- 5. You can get married at Honeymoon Island
- 6. Swimming on Honeymoon Island
- 7. Visit the Rotary Centennial Nature Center
- 8. Walking and Running
- 9. Wildlife Viewing
- 10. Take the Ferry to Caladesi Island State Park
- 11. Watch the sunset at Honeymoon Island
- Honeymoon Island Beaches
- Honeymoon Island State Park Nearby Things To Do
- Where to Eat Near Honeymoon Island State Park, Florida
- Honeymoon Island State Park, FL Conclusion
Honeymoon Island State Park Florida Practical Information
Besides the sweet and romantic name, Honeymoon Island is a great place to visit not only for couples but also for families and outdoor adventure lovers and is considered one of the prettiest islands in Florida.
There are plenty of awesome activities to explore around Honeymoon Island State Park Florida – there is an adventure for everyone. But before we dive into the amazing things to do on Honeymoon Island, let’s review some practical information:
Check the weather conditions before your visit
Where is Honeymoon Island State Park, Florida?
This paradise in Florida is a natural barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico, with 4-miles of pristine beaches with white sand, and it offers natural trails and abundant wildlife.
The Honeymoon Island State Park is connected to the city of Dunedin on the mainland by a 1.5-mile-long man-made causeway, right to the park entrance, and from there you can take a ferry or rent a kayak and go visit the Caladesi Island, State Park.
The two islands – Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island were once part of a single barrier island, and during the hurricane of 1921, they were split in half, getting the name Hurricane Pass. It was in the mid-1500s when the Spanish explorers first surveyed this coast.
Combined, both islands have nearly a thousand acres of coastal wilderness to be explored. You can also take a day tour from Orlando with a speed boat.
To make it easier, Honeymoon Island State Park driving distance from the major cities:
- ⇒ Clearwater: 8.3 miles – 18 min
- ⇒ Tampa: 29.1 miles – 44 min
- ⇒ St. Petersburg: 29.2 miles – 44 min
- ⇒ Orlando: 112.3 miles – 2 hours
- ⇒ Miami: 294 miles – 4:30 hours
How to Get to Honeymoon Island State Park Florida?
You reach Honeymoon Island State Park via the 2.5 miles long Dunedin Causeway. The causeway offers scenic views of St. Joseph Sound and there is free parking all along with it. It is also a popular place where the locals enjoy fishing, exercising, and launching a jet-ski or kayaks.
You reach Honeymoon Island State Park via the 2.5 miles long Dunedin Causeway | Use this address on the GPS: 1 Causeway Blvd, Dunedin, FL 34698
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Best Accommodations Options Near Honeymoon Island
If you are planning to visit Honeymoon Island State Park and to stay overnight or during the weekend the closest area to stay is in Dunedin, followed by Clearwater – I have listed the best accommodations options:
COOLEST PLACE: Fenway Hotel, Autograph Collection
Located in Dunedin and around 2,300 feet from Dunedin Marina and is less than a 10-minute drive to Honeymoon Island. This hotel is cool because it has a rooftop bar and an on-site restaurant and it is a perfect location for a happy hour with a million dollars views of the bay.
BEST RATED: Meranova Guest Inn
This inn is located very close to the Dunedin Marina, featuring an outdoor swimming pool and bar and stunning views. Offering pool or garden views, each unit comes with a kitchen and it is only 3.7 miles to Honeymoon Island.
LUXURY OPTION: Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach
Located in Clearwater Beach, Florida, this hotel is opposite the beach and features an outdoor pool. Honeymoon Island is located 8.7 miles away. The location is fantastic and it is a great option if you are also looking to explore Clearwater Beach.
11 Things to do in Honeymoon Island State Park in Florida
Honeymoon Island State Park has access from the mainland, just over the Dunedin Causeway. It is actually my favorite place to enjoy the beaches around the Clearwater area, as it is less touristy and it offers a large variety of activities, besides, of course, amazing and pristine beaches to enjoy. Check out some of the many activities you can do in Honeymoon Island State Park:
1. Go hiking in Honeymoon Island State Park
There is a great hiking trail on Honeymoon Island, the Osprey Trail. You can hike for 2.5 miles of walking while observing some of the local nature, such as birds, owls, raccoons, and also one of the few remaining South Florida virgin slash pine along the way.
I highly recommend you have tons of bug spray with you, as the mosquitoes on this trail are the largest and hungriest I’ve ever seen.
2. Paddling and exploring the surroundings
Honeymoon Island is considered one of the best State Parks in Florida to go kayaking. You are allowed to bring your own kayak or paddleboard to Honeymoon Island State Park.
Explore the shore of the island, or you can also go to Caladesi Island on a short distance paddling. If you don’t have your own, you can rent it easily at the Dunedin Causeway.
3. Bicycling on Honeymoon Island
You can explore Honeymoon Island State Park by bicycle, riding on great paved trails throughout the island. Please note that helmets are highly recommended for cyclists. If you don’t have your own, you can rent a bicycle
4. Picnic at Honeymoon Island
There is a picnic area inside the Honeymoon Island State Park, located on the Northern end of the island. You can find picnic tables, 2 covered pavilions, restrooms, and barbecue grills. There is a playground area next to the picnic area.
5. You can get married at Honeymoon Island
You can also get married at Honeymoon Island – and what a beautiful place for this to tie the knot!
Weddings are a regular thing on Honeymoon Island; we can see often signs guiding guests to the right ceremony or chairs being set up for the event. You may even catch one in progress during your visit to Honeymoon island!
6. Swimming on Honeymoon Island
Honeymoon Island has approximately 4-miles of shorelines and if you are a beach lover, you will find a variety of areas designated for swimming on the main beach, a pet beach on the South end, and a great shelling and walking on the North end, which turns into a sand spit.
You will need to pay attention to the Warning flags signs posted at the welcome station and on the beaches, as these flags indicate the swimming conditions at the beach.
7. Visit the Rotary Centennial Nature Center
The center has a great viewing deck that looks out over Saint Joseph Sound and is a wonderful observation spot to watch the birds at low tide as they come in to feed.
The staff on hand at the center are very knowledgeable and can give you whatever information you are looking for on the animal and plant species that are found on the island. Ranger-led walks are also available, and you can inquire in the nature center for availability and schedules.
8. Walking and Running
One of my favorite outdoor activities is to go for a run or walk my dogs on the Dunedin Causeway all the way to Honeymoon Island. You can also run or take your dog on the Osprey Trail and four miles of beach.
9. Wildlife Viewing
Honeymoon Island State Park is home to many actively nesting birds including osprey, oystercatchers, snowy plovers, and least terns. Roseate spoonbills, snowy egrets, great blue herons, and many other species are often observed feeding in the bay, beaches, and estuaries surrounding the park.
Gopher tortoises and armadillos can be found in the picnic area and along the nature trail. It is also common to see dolphins and don’t be surprised if you see a manatee very close to the shore. If you really love wildlife, you can go visit Clearwater Marine Aquarium while you are in the area.
10. Take the Ferry to Caladesi Island State Park
If you are visiting Honeymoon Island, you need to visit Caladesi Island. Caladesi Island is one that’s uninhabited, but you can take the Caladesi Island Ferry to go visit or rent a kayak.
Here you can enjoy the beauty of pristine shorelines, the peace and tranquility of remote beaches, and the thrill that comes with discovering a place known by few others. Caladesi Island State Park, where you’ll find one of America’s most beautiful natural beaches.
11. Watch the sunset at Honeymoon Island
If you are visiting the area, it is worth it to come to Honeymoon island to watch the sunset, it is just another fantastic thing to do while you are in the area.
The sunsets at Honeymoon Island are as epic as any you’ll find on Florida’s Gulf Coast – pinks, purples, blues, and oranges swell and fade like breathing watercolors as the blazing ball of sun descends.
Honeymoon Island Beaches
This is the most popular beach on Honeymoon Island and it is very rocky and is popular for shelling. From this beach, you can look across Hurricane pass and see Caladesi Island and Clearwater Beach.
Further north of the island the beach turns to a white sand beach again. The furthest northern beach access is where all the rubble is–leftover from a failed attempt to enlarge the island back in the 1950s.
The material that was dredged up and dumped on the shoreline contained large amounts of limestone rubble. They cover up the rubble with sand every now and then, but it soon washes away.
Honeymoon Island is also the favorite place in the world for Pingo and Cooper, my dogs. Yes! There is an amazing dog beach here! They have their own beach at Honeymoon Island, and it sounds like heaven on earth to spend time with my puppies at this gorgeous place. This is the most beautiful beach on Honeymoon Island in my opinion, and it is nearly empty too.
Honeymoon Island State Park Nearby Things To Do
Here are ADDITIONAL AWESOME THINGS TO DO AROUND Honeymoon Island State Park:
CALADESI ISLAND: It is a must-do if you are visiting Honeymoon island, is to spend some time at the next-door Caladesi Island State Park, just kayak there or take the ferry.
DUNEDIN: It is my favorite town in Tampa Bay Area, and I am sure you will also love this very unique and quaint town featuring Florida’s oldest microbrewery, such as the Dunedin Brewery, and lots of options for great restaurants such as The Living Room, bars, ice cream, and local shops.
PINELLAS TRAIL: With over 25 miles of the rails-to-trails asphalt bike trail covering the entire Pinellas Peninsula runs through Dunedin and closes the Causeway.
CLEARWATER BEACH: The famous white sand and crystal water beach, with great options for restaurants, bars, a waterfront park for the kids, and tons of local shops.
Top Tours for you:
- Clearwater Sunset Celebration Cruise – I have been a couple of times and really enjoyed it. You can sail the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico while enjoying the magnificent sunset.
- Clearwater Marine Aquarium – I just love this place and the rescue work they do, visit some of the famous residents, Winter the dolphin star of the Dolphin Tales.
- Tampa Bay CityPass: With this card, you can see Tampa Bay’s top attractions for 9 consecutive days.
Where to Eat Near Honeymoon Island State Park, Florida
You can find 2 cafes on Honeymoon Island, and you can buy food and beverage. If you are looking for a nice dinner or a full meal, I have made some recommendations on my favorite restaurants and a close distance from Honeymoon Island:
- The Cafe Honeymoon – Located directly on the man beach, inside Honeymoon Island.
- South Beach Pavillion Cafe – Located south of the main beach and adjacent to the Pet Beach.
- Frenchy’s outpost – Outside the Island, but located on the Dunedin Causeway, has great food and atmosphere, with a full bar and the famous Grouper sandwich is to die for.
- Casa Tina Mexican – Located in downtown Dunedin, this very authentic Mexican restaurant is one of my favorites, whatever you are a meat lover, vegetarian, or vegan the menu has great options.
Honeymoon Island State Park, FL Conclusion
What a great place I chose to call “home”- Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island in Florida are among one the best State Parks in the U.S.
If you love nature and are looking for a pristine beach area with options for plenty of other activities to keep everyone happy, I really recommend visiting Honeymoon Island and enjoying this paradise in Florida.
Don’t forget to include a visit to Caladesi Island while you are here, you will love your adventure in this piece of paradise.
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