Escape to Dunedin, Florida, for pristine beaches and Gulf Coast sunsets

Hop on the ferry to Caladesi Island for three miles of uninterrupted beaches. Photo Credit: Gina Pace

You’re also a short ride to Honeymoon Island and St. Petersburg.

Hop on the ferry to Caladesi Island for three miles of uninterrupted beaches.
Hop on the ferry to Caladesi Island for three miles of uninterrupted beaches. Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin

Calling Dunedin “quaint” isn’t wrong. The town on Florida’s Gulf Coast is walkable and charming. But that doesn’t quite capture the laid-back cool of the community, home to seven breweries in a one-mile radius and no chain stores or franchise restaurants.

The town, situated on St. Joseph’s Sound, also is a quick bike ride to the pristine beaches of Honeymoon Island, one of the most visited state parks in Florida.

Here’s how to make the most out of a weekend visit this winter:


The best part about the west coast of Florida? Sunsets. Catch one at Hi-Fi Rooftop Bar at the recently reopened Fenway Hotel (453 Edgewater Dr., 727-683-5991, Then go downstairs for dinner at Hew Parlor & Chophouse, which serves steaks and local fish. After that, walk downtown and check out a few of the local breweries, like Woodwright Brewing Company (985 Douglas Ave., 727-238-8717), where you can take your beer outside to a large courtyard that sometimes hosts live music, and Dunedin Brewery (937 Douglas Ave., 727-736-0606,, Florida’s oldest microbrewery.

The view of the sunset from Hi-Fi Rooftop Bar in Dunedin, Fla.
The view of the sunset from Hi-Fi Rooftop Bar in Dunedin, Fla. Photo Credit: Gina Pace


Get up and head to Pedego Dunedin (324 Scotland St., Suite 4, 727-432-5061, and rent an electric bike for the half-hour ride to Honeymoon Island. After exploring the barrier island, lock up your bike and hop on the ferry to Caladesi Island ($14 round-trip for adults, It’s only accessible by boat, so you’ll find three miles of pristine beaches for snorkeling, shelling and sunbathing. There’s concessions, chairs and umbrellas for rent and kayaks available to explore mangrove trails.

Once back in Dunedin, head downtown for dinner. Casa Tina (365 Main St., 727-734-9226,, a fixture for some 25 years, serves up huge portions of Mexican cuisine. Occasionally on Saturday nights, there’s a Cirque du Soleil-type performer in the lively space.


While another day at the beach is probably a necessity for any New Yorker this time of year, if you’re looking to explore more of the area, head to St. Petersburg, about a half-hour drive south.

A can’t-miss is the Dalí Museum (admission $24/adults; 1 Dali Blvd., 727-823-3767,, home to the largest collection of Salvador Dalí works outside of Spain. Keep the art vibes going as you head downtown and keep a lookout for some of the more than 70 murals and public artworks that adorn the buildings.

For lunch, try Locale Market (179 Second Ave. N., 727-523-6300,, an Eataly-style food emporium from celeb chef Michael Mina, where you can get everything from pizza to freshly butchered meats. Take prepared food to go, or go upstairs to FarmTable Cucina for a sit-down experience.

If there’s time before your return flight, pop by Intermezzo Coffee & Cocktails (1111 Central Ave., 727-873-6664, and grab whatever suits your mood best — from a pour over to an old fashioned — in the bright and airy space.


Getting there: Several major airlines fly directly from New York City to Tampa in about three hours; Dunedin is a 30-minute drive west.

Getting around: It’s possible to make do without a car rental — you’ll just need to take Ubers to and from the airport, and anything farther afield.

Where to stay: The historic Fenway Hotel (453 Edgewater Dr., 727-683-5999,, a once-booming property during the Jazz Age, has been renovated and reopened. The Best Western Plus Yacht Harbor Inn (150 Marina Plaza, 727-733-4124, is set on a picturesque marina overlooking the Dunedin Channel.

Gina Pace