An offshore getaway accessible by car, bike, or paddle, Honeymoon Island State Park offers white sand beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, which keeps it busy on weekends.
The northern portion of the island, upland pine forests fringed with mangroves, hosts colonies of ospreys and pelicans nesting.
Resources for exploring the area
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Length: 2.5 mile loop
Trailhead: 28.071667, -82.832267
Address: #1 Causeway Blvd, Dunedin
Restroom: At the trailhead parking / picnic area
Fees: $8 per vehicle, $2 per cyclist or pedestrian
Land Manager: Florida State Parks
Open 8 AM to sunset. Leashed dogs welcome but not on the main beach.
There is a special pet beach at the south end of the island, near the ferry dock.
Drive north from downtown Dunedin along US 19A. Turn left onto Causeway Boulevard (SR 589), and follow it 2.8 miles to the park entrance. After paying your entrance fee, follow the park road to its very end, beyond North Beach, to reach the picnic area and the trailhead for the Osprey Trail.
About the Park
With its sun-dappled shores north of Clearwater, the name “Honeymoon Island” evokes a romantic getaway.
Thank Madison Avenue: a 1940s ad in Life magazine offered a week in paradise on “Honeymoon Island,” where visitors enjoyed the languid seaside life from the doorsteps of their tropical thatched bungalows.
And thus a giant hog farm became a destination. The only way to the island was by boat until the 1960s, so little of it became developed.
When the city of Dunedin donated its beaches to the state in 1982, most of the former Hog Island became Honeymoon Island State Park.
Protecting 22 acres of sandy strand, these sun-dappled shores are a huge draw for nearby residents; the park will close when parking capacity has been reached.
This is the launch point for the ferryboat to nearby Caladesi Island State Park, as well as an important nesting ground for osprey and pelicans.
Both can be seen along the extensive trail system at the northern tip of the park.
You will also find a short nature trail at the Environmental Center, and trails out to the dog beach at the south end of the park.
Explore the park