Honeymoon Island State Park in Florida: Complete Guide + Insider Tips

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.

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.

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Honeymoon Island  State Park Florida

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:

LOCATION: Causeway Boulevard – Dunedin, Florida 34698 – (727) 469-5942
HOURS: The Honeymoon Island State Park is open from 8 a.m. until sunset, 365 days a year
ENTRY FEE: There is an $8 per vehicle or $4 for a single-occupant vehicle and $2 for a bicycle
PICNIC PAVILION RENTAL: $30 per day, plus tax
PARKING: It has very ample parking and there is no additional fee
ASSET: Bathrooms and a cafe inside the park, serve meals from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., they offer beer, wine, and other beverages. I recommend a pancake breakfast that is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 8-10:30 a.m. 
ALCOHOL: It is not allowed, but you can purchase it at the Cafe Honeymoon
PETS: It is allowed at Pet Beach, but dogs must be on a 6-foot leash.
ACCESSIBLE AMENITIES: These amenities include elevated boardwalks to the beach and beach wheelchairs available for free.
SHOWERS: Located near the boardwalks leading out to the main beach areas.
Honeymoon Island Florida

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. 

BICYCLE: You can rent a bicycle and take the Pinellas Trail all the way to Honeymoon Island. You can spend the day exploring the Island, riding on paved trails.
WALKING: The Dunedin Causeway is also a very popular place to go for jogging, running, or walking your dog
KAYAK: The causeway that leads to Honeymoon Island has beaches with parking on both sides. This is a good place to put in your kayak and there is also a restroom here. Kayakers should be aware of boat traffic as they cross Hurricane Pass. You can also rent kayaks and paddleboards from Sail Honeymoon right on the causeway. 
CAR: Honeymoon island is connected to the mainland by a causeway and it can be reached by taking SR 586 from Dunedin across the causeway out to the island. Dunedin is located about 25- minutes north of Clearwater Beach in the Tampa Bay area on Florida’s west coast. 

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

You can get a 15% off your rental car when you book through this site. I use and recommend RentalCar because it is the most reliable rental car source, and it allows you to compare the prices of different places.

Honeymoon Island state park Florida

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

Rated: 9.0 Superb

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.


honeymoon islands florida hotel

BEST RATED: Meranova Guest Inn

Rated: 9.5 Exceptional

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

Rated: 8.8 Fabulous

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. 

Honeymoon Island Caladesi Island State Park in Florida hiking trail

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 

Beaches at the Honeymoon Island Caladesi Island State Park in Florida

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!

Restaurants at Honeymoon Island Caladesi Island State Park in Florida

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. 

Pristine beaches at the Honeymoon Island Caladesi Island State Park in Florida

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.

Honeymoon Island beaches

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.

Wildlife at the Honeymoon Island Caladesi Island State Park in Florida

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.

One of the best things to do in Florida

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. 

Sunset at Honeymoon Island Caladesi Island State Park in Florida

Honeymoon Island Beaches

Main Beach

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.

North 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.

Pet Beach

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. 

Dog beach at the Honeymoon Island Caladesi Island State Park in Florida
Honeymoon Island Caladesi Island State Park in Florida

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. 
Honeymoon Island State Park in Florida

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 in Florida

Travel Insurance for your trip

I never leave my home without travel insurance which is designed to help cover your expenses if something goes wrong on your trip. Things can go wrong, and you don’t want to get stuck paying tons of money if you get sick or have an accident without travel insurance. 

World Nomads Travel Insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, to cover their trip essentials. Especially if you are like me, travel insurance is ideal for adventurous travelers. Travel smarter and safer – You can do your quick quote below and find out how little you can pay for the essential benefit of Travel Insurance for your next trip!

Honeymoon Island State Park in Florida

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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Honeymoon Island & Caladesi Island Florida

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2 thoughts on “Honeymoon Island State Park in Florida: Complete Guide + Insider Tips”

  1. O que mais aperta o peito hoje é a ideia de tirar férias e não poder viajar. Meus planos se tudo estivesse bem era ir para a Flórida e hoje vejo a gama de excelentes opções de passeios e viagens dentro deste maravilhoso Estado Americano. Com certeza entrará para minha lista de opções após ver este ótimo trabalho Paula. Parabéns.

    Reply
    • Sim concordo. Essa fase esta bem dificil. Eu cancelei todas minhas viagens e sonhos nesse periodo. Sempre sera bem vinda na Florida, e tem muito aqui a ser explorado.

      Reply

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