One of the best-loved state parks in Florida, Honeymoon Island is a spectacularly scenic getaway in the Gulf of Mexico offering its visitors an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. It features a three-mile hike and bike trail running through a virgin slash pine forest and more than four miles of beach for swimming, sunbathing, shelling, and fishing.
Wildlife lovers will be fond of the abundance of species inhabiting the island. Once you decide to continue your travel, you can take a ferry to Caladesi Island directly from the park.
Location and Access
The park is located at #1 Causeway Boulevard in Dunedin. It’s a short drive from Tampa. The park is open from 8 a.m. until sundown every day throughout the year.
Parking is ample. The admission fee is $4 per single-occupant car and $8 per car with passengers (2 to 8 people including the driver + $2 per each extra passenger).
If you travel on foot or by bicycle, you have to pay only $2 to enter the park.
There are basic sanitary facilities available. You can rinse the saltwater off using showers near the main beach.
If you bring your own food, you can make use of a picnic area on the northern end of the island. It is equipped with picnic tables, covered pavilions, BBQ grills, and restrooms. You can even rent a picnic pavilion for $30 per day. Note that consumption of alcohol in the park is allowed in designated areas only, which do not include the picnic area.
The four-mile shoreline is very clean and offers wonderful designated areas for swimming as well as a pet beach on the south end. The main swimming spots are North Beach, Oasis Beach and Dunedin Beach. All of them are located in the central part of the state park next to the parking lot. You can rent beach chairs and umbrellas on-site. Should you prefer to sunbathe in the wild, you can go to the north end of the island where you will find a secluded swimming spot.
The island shore is quite rocky although sometimes they do clear it off the rocks. The water is clean and shallow, which is great for kids. However, there are no lifeguards on-site. You should pay close attention to the Warning Flag Signs indicating the swimming conditions and be especially careful in the water.
Apart from leisurely sunbathing, swimming and picnicking, Honeymoon Island State Park offers some options for sports enthusiasts. The 2.5-mile Osprey Trail is a great opportunity to warm up and see the surrounding virgin slash pine forest. Surfing is allowed in the park and it is recommended to go to the north end by Bathhouse 3 for that.
Birdwatching is a rewarding activity in the park – you can spot osprey, eagles, and great horned owls. As for ground animals, the park is home to raccoons, armadillos, and gopher tortoises. In the sea, you can often see dolphins, manatees, and fish jumping.
There is a Rotary Centennial Nature Center where you can learn some facts about the park’s history and natural resources.
- 40 minutes from Tampa, FL
- 1 hour 55 minutes from Orlando, FL
- 2 hours 20 minutes from Fort Myers, FL
Hotels and rentals
If you're considering staying for one or even a few nights, there are plenty of options available near the beach. Chose your preferred accomodation type and your favourite room provider:
- Nearby rentals from VRBO.
- Nearby rooms and properties from Booking.com.
Additionally, there's a number of beaches near Honeymoon Island State Park Beach which you can visit:
- Caladesi Island State Park Beach (2 miles)
- Clearwater Public Beach (5 miles)
- Howard Park Beach (6 miles)
- Anclote Key Preserve State Park Beach (7 miles)
- Anclote River Park Beach (8 miles)