Honeymoon Island State Park is in Dunedin, Florida. As we were heading out, we were greeted by Hot air balloons. I took it as a good sign that we were in store for a good day – I was right!
We had a good breakfast at Benedict’s Restaurant, which is only a few miles away from the park. I give it a 8/10.
We have really enjoyed several of the Florida State Parks. Many have RV Camping areas. Florida State Parks have a nominal entry fee – on a per person or per car basis. We paid $8 to enter. The State Parks that we have visited seem to be all well maintained, so the fee seems to be well utilized. Park staff has always seemed very friendly and helpful.
The island has an interesting history. It was actually a larger island at one time (Hog Island) until a hurricane in 1921 split the island into two. For a fee, you can take a ferry to the other island – which is called Caladesi Island. Honeymoon Island was so name in the 1930s when a developer bought the island, remarked for a newspaper article that it would be good for a Honeymoon and built 50 honeymoon cottages. Amphibious vehicles were tested there during WWII. It became a State Park in 1981.
The Park has hiking, several beaches (including a dog beach!), playgrounds, kayaking, bicycling, fishing and surfing. Plus there is the ferry I mentioned to the other island. We plan to go back and do the ferry one day. Lots to do at this State Park.
We first drove around to get our bearings. We stopped at the visitors center, which has exhibits about the island and the wildlife. They keep a log of all of the wildlife spotted that day by staff. They also had a small native plant trail nearby.
The Park hosts daily guided nature trail hikes. We participated in that next. The Park Staff gave the history of the island, lots of information about the wildlife and plants, and even brought along a spotting scope to get a closer view of the birds.
Our guide was very good. He was very personable and you could tell he really loved his job and the animals.
We got to see some gopher tortoises – very cool
The amount and types of birds is somewhat season dependent. We learned that the owl is one of the fiercest birds of prey.
We saw a bald eagle nest. We could not see the eaglets – but the guide said there were new eaglets in the nest – based on a change in behavior from the nesting pair. Eagles make a very large nest!
We next headed to the restaurant onsite. It was good – much better than we expected. They also had a small area to eat outside.
We next headed to the beach. They were 4 or so beaches. They are nice. We actually enjoyed the dog beach the best. It was less crowded and it was neat seeing the different types of dogs and them interacting with each other.
This is the ferry area! We plan to return and go to Caladesi Island. Thanks for stopping by and safe travels.