One Day in Dunedin: Discover the hidden gems of this Florida Gulf Coast town through a local’s eyes. From craft breweries and unique eateries to stunning natural parks and sunset spots, this one day itinerary covers it all.
Dunedin might not be as famous as Miami or Orlando, but as a local, I can tell you it’s got its own unique charm that’s worth exploring. Think craft breweries, artsy vibes, and some of the best natural spots in the Sunshine State. I knew I had to share my go-to places, from the breakfast spots that kickstart my day to the hidden spots perfect for a sunset view.
What’s in Store for You
So, what’s on the menu for our day in Dunedin? How about we kick things off with a breakfast spot that’ll make you forget all about those big coffee chains? 😉 Then we’ll hit up some of my favorite local eateries, explore the great outdoors, and wrap up the day with a sunset that’ll make your Instagram feed jealous. Trust me, this itinerary is all about experiencing Dunedin like a local.
Before You Go
I usually enjoy Dunedin’s weather year-round, but if you’re looking to dodge the Florida humidity, aim for November through April. That’s when the weather is at its best—sunny skies and cooler temps.
Keep in mind that winter months are peak tourist season here, so you might run into crowds, especially at popular spots like Honeymoon Island. If you’re looking for hotel deals, you might have better luck in the shoulder seasons.
Where to Stay in Dunedin
👉I can’t say enough good things about the Fenway Hotel. It’s about a 10-minute walk from Main Street, and the rooms are super comfy. Plus, you can’t beat the rooftop bar for sunset views.
Plus, If you’re planning to explore Main Street and downtown, I’d recommend staying nearby. It makes getting around so much easier, especially if you’re planning to enjoy some craft beers.
A few other hotel options:
- Budget: Hampton Inn Dunedin
- Mid-Range: Best Western Plus Yacht Harbor Inn
- Luxury: Beso Del Sol Resort
Ok, now you’re ready to start your one day in Dunedin! Your day in Dunedin can start in one of two delightful ways:
👉Kelly’s Chic-a-Boom Room, located at 319 Main St, Dunedin, FL 34698.
Why This Place: Kelly’s Chic-a-Boom Room is a Dunedin staple, blending the nostalgia of a 1950s diner with the flair of a modern café.
What to Order: The “Boom Boom Breakfast” is a must-try, featuring eggs, bacon, and homemade biscuits.
Atmosphere: The décor is a mix of retro and contemporary, making it a cozy spot for everyone.
👉Ohana Cafe, situated at 1090 Michigan Ave. Palm Harbor, FL 34683 (just minutes from Dunedin)
Why This Place: If you’re looking for a breakfast spot that feels like a tropical getaway, Ohana Cafe is the place to be. Known for its Hawaiian-inspired menu, it’s a local favorite.
What to Order: The “Loco Moco,” a Hawaiian classic with rice, a hamburger patty, and a fried egg, all smothered in gravy.
Atmosphere: The cafe is adorned with Polynesian décor, and the laid-back vibe makes you feel like you’re on a Hawaiian vacation.
Once you’re fueled up, it’s time to explore Honeymoon Island State Park, a natural oasis that’s just a short drive from downtown Dunedin. This isn’t just a beach; it’s a sanctuary for both wildlife and humans alike, offering a serene escape from the hustle and bustle.
- What to See: Honeymoon Island is renowned for its diverse ecosystems. From tidal flats and mangroves to slash pine forests, the park is a haven for a variety of wildlife including ospreys, armadillos, and even the occasional dolphin sighting near the shore.
- Best Time to Visit: Early morning is ideal, not just to beat the crowds but also to catch a glimpse of the island’s wildlife at its most active.
- Tips for Enjoyment:
- Pack some sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water.
- The park is pet-friendly, so feel free to bring your furry friend along. Just remember to keep them on a leash.
- Don’t forget your camera! Whether you’re into wildlife photography or just want to capture the stunning landscapes, Honeymoon Island offers endless photo ops.
- Activities: Beyond the beach, the park offers a range of activities including hiking trails, kayak rentals, and fishing spots. The Osprey Trail is a must-do, offering a 2.5-mile loop through one of the island’s most beautiful habitats.
- Facilities: The park is well-equipped with amenities like restrooms, picnic areas, and even a café where you can grab a quick snack or a refreshing drink.
As you make your way back from Honeymoon Island, you’ll find two excellent lunch spots that offer different but equally delightful dining experiences:
👉Frenchy’s Outpost Bar & Grill, located at 466 Causeway Blvd, Dunedin, FL 34698.
Why This Place: Frenchy’s is an iconic spot that’s perfect for those coming from Honeymoon Island. It offers a casual, beachy atmosphere and is famous for its seafood.
Must-try Dishes: The “Grouper Sandwich” is a local legend, and their coconut shrimp is a must-try.
Price Range: Moderate, with most dishes ranging from $10-$20.
👉Cafe Alfresco, situated at 344 Main St, Dunedin, FL 34698.
Why This Place: If you’re heading back into downtown Dunedin, Cafe Alfresco offers a more urban setting with a diverse menu.
Must-try Dishes: The “Alfresco Salad” is a hit, featuring mixed greens, candied pecans, and blue cheese.
Price Range: Affordable, making it a great option for those looking to enjoy a quality meal without breaking the bank.
After lunch, consider a leisurely stroll down the Pinellas Trail, a converted railway track that runs through the heart of Dunedin. Here’s a link to the Pinellas Trail guide.
- Activity Details: The trail is perfect for walking, cycling, or even rollerblading.
- Duration: Spend an hour or two soaking in the natural beauty.
- What to Bring: Comfortable shoes, water, and maybe a camera to capture the scenic views.
Immerse yourself in the local arts scene with a visit to the Dunedin Fine Art Center, a cornerstone of Dunedin’s cultural community.
- Exhibits: The center boasts a variety of rotating exhibits featuring contemporary art, sculpture, and photography, as well as permanent collections that showcase local talent.
- Entry Fee: Admission is $10 for adults, but the enriching experience is well worth the price.
- Nearby Attractions: After your art exploration, take a short walk to Main St, the heart of Dunedin’s shopping district.
Main St Exploration
Main St is more than just a road; it’s a bustling hub of activity that captures the essence of Dunedin.
- What to See: The street is lined with an eclectic mix of shops, from boutique clothing stores to artisanal bakeries.
- Personal Recommendations: Don’t miss the local bookstores and souvenir shops where you can pick up a piece of Dunedin to take home.
- Vibe: The atmosphere is laid-back yet lively, making it the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely afternoon stroll.
If art isn’t your thing, how about some water sports at Dunedin Marina?
- Equipment Needed: Rentals for kayaks and paddleboards are available.
- Safety Tips: Life jackets are provided and are a must.
- Best Spots for the Activity: The marina offers calm waters, making it ideal for beginners.
Late Afternoon/Early Evening Activities
Brewery Hopping in Dunedin
If you’re a fan of craft beer, you’re in luck. Dunedin is home to some of Florida’s best breweries, and they’re all within walking distance of each other in the downtown area.
- Dunedin Brewery, located at 937 Douglas Ave, Dunedin, FL 34698.
- Why This Place: As Florida’s oldest craft brewery, Dunedin Brewery is a must-visit for beer aficionados.
- Must-try Brews: The “Apricot Peach Ale” is a crowd favorite, and their “American Classic IPA” is a staple.
- Vibe: The brewery offers a laid-back atmosphere with live music on weekends.
- 7venth Sun Brewery, situated at 1012 E Broadway Ave, Dunedin, FL 34698.
- Why This Place: Known for its experimental brews and funky flavors, 7venth Sun is perfect for those looking to try something new.
- Must-try Brews: “Graffiti Orange” is a creamsicle-inspired wheat beer that’s a hit among locals.
- Vibe: The brewery has a modern, industrial feel with both indoor and outdoor seating options.
- Caledonia Brewing, located at 587 Main St, Dunedin, FL 34698.
- Why This Place: Caledonia is all about the community vibe, often hosting local events and live music.
- Must-try Brews: Their “Highland Courage” Scottish Ale is a unique offering you won’t want to miss.
- Vibe: The interior is cozy with a touch of Scottish flair, making it a unique spot in Dunedin’s brewery scene.
- Soggy Bottom Brewing Co., situated at 662 Main St, Dunedin, FL 34698.
- Why This Place: If you’re into small-batch beers and a cozy atmosphere, Soggy Bottom is your spot.
- Must-try Brews: The “Muddy Waters” Stout is rich and flavorful, perfect for those who love darker beers.
- Vibe: It’s a smaller venue with a friendly, neighborhood feel, making it a great place to wind down.
Dinner and Drinks
As the sun sets over Dunedin, you have a couple of enticing options for dinner:
- Casa Tina, located at 365 Main St, Dunedin, FL 34698.
- Cuisine: Authentic Mexican fare with a side of excitement, thanks to their occasional Cirque du Soleil-style shows.
- Ambiance: Vibrant and festive, perfect for those looking for a lively dinner experience.
- Specialty Drinks: Their signature margaritas are a must-try.
- Bon Appétit Restaurant, situated at 148 Marina Plaza, Dunedin, FL 34698.
- Cuisine: Known for its gourmet seafood and steak options, Bon Appétit offers a fine dining experience.
- Ambiance: With its waterfront location, the restaurant offers stunning views of St. Joseph Sound, making it a romantic option for couples.
- Specialty Drinks: Their wine list is extensive, and the sunset views make it a perfect spot for a cocktail.
After dinner, what better way to end your day than by watching the sunset? Dunedin offers several spots to catch this natural spectacle.
- Pier 60: Located in nearby Clearwater Beach, it’s a popular spot for sunset enthusiasts.
- Honeymoon Island State Park: A tranquil setting for those willing to make a short drive back.
- Dunedin Marina: For a more urban backdrop.
- Fenway Hotel Rooftop Bar: For an elevated experience, head to the rooftop bar at the Fenway Hotel. With its panoramic views, it’s a prime location for sunset watching, complete with a cocktail in hand.
Common Questions about Dunedin Florida
1. What’s the best time of year to visit Dunedin?
Honestly, Dunedin is a year-round destination, but if you’re looking to escape the winter blues, our Florida sunshine peaks from November to April.
2. Is Dunedin family-friendly?
You bet! Whether it’s beach fun at Honeymoon Island or exploring the Pinellas Trail, there’s plenty for kids to do here.
3. How’s the parking situation downtown?
Parking can get a bit tight, especially during weekends. But don’t sweat it; there are public parking lots and some street parking available.
4. Any local food I should absolutely try?
Oh, where do I start? Definitely don’t miss the grouper sandwich at Frenchy’s and the Loco Moco at Ohana Cafe.
5. Are the breweries pet-friendly?
Most of them are, but it’s always a good idea to check their websites or give them a quick call to confirm.
6. What should I pack for a day in Dunedin?
Comfortable shoes for walking, sunscreen, a hat, and don’t forget your camera—trust me, you’ll want to capture the beauty of this place.
7. Is it easy to get around without a car?
Dunedin is pretty walkable, especially downtown. But if you’re planning to visit Honeymoon Island or other spots a bit further out, a car would be handy.
8. Where’s the best spot for sunset views?
Tough question, but you can’t go wrong with the Fenway Hotel’s rooftop bar or the tranquil settings of Honeymoon Island.
That’s a Wrap on Our Dunedin Day! So there you have it, —a jam-packed day in Dunedin that takes you from mouthwatering breakfast spots to awe-inspiring sunset views. And the best part? This itinerary is just scratching the surface of what this charming town has to offer.
If this guide has you itching to experience Dunedin for yourself, that’s exactly what I was hoping for! Whether you’re a craft beer aficionado, a nature lover, or just someone who appreciates good food and great vibes, Dunedin has something for you. So pack your bags, bring your sense of adventure, and come see why this little corner of Florida is a place I’m proud to call home.