DUNEDIN, FLORIDA

By  Mike Miller  Updated  December 14, 2023

Dunedin, Florida Things To Do, Lodging, Dining, & Real Estate At End Of Article

Dunedin, Florida is a city of about 36,000 on the Gulf coast between Clearwater and Tarpon Springs.  It is the sixth largest city in Pinellas County.

Dunedin Clearwater Jolley TrolleyDunedin Clearwater Jolley Trolley
Flickr/Marc Banks

Most of Dunedin is located west of US-19 on Alternate 19 which runs along the shoreline and is known locally as Edgewater Drive.

DUNEDIN,  FLORIDA HISTORY

Dunedin is one of the oldest cities on the Florida Gulf coast. 

It was settled in the late 1850s and was originally named Jonesboro after the owner of the general store.

The name was changed in 1878 to Dunedin by two Scotsmen who came to the area. 

Vintage Postcard Main Street, Dunedin, FloridaVintage Postcard Main Street, Dunedin, Florida

Allen Morris in his book "Florida Place Names" suggests the name comes from two words:

"Dun", which is a term for "town", and "Edin" a form of the name of Edana, an Irish saint that many churches in Scotland were named after. 

The capital of Scotland is Edinburgh, a Scottish Gaelic name derived from these same terms. 

Home in Dunedin, Florida 1925Home in Dunedin, 1925
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

The Orange Belt Railway came through Dunedin in 1888.  It was the first railroad in the area that connected central Florida to St. Petersburg.

A large dock was built to handle ocean going sailing ships and Dunedin became an important port by the end of the 1800s and into the 1900s.

The town prospered during this era and many fine homes were built.

It was incorporated as the City of Dunedin in 1925.

DUNEDIN, FLORIDA | HONEYMOON ISLAND

The Dunedin History Museum has preserved the interesting history of Honeymoon Island.

Today the island is one of the most popular beaches in the Dunedin area, and is the site of Honeymoon Island State Park.

In the 1930s Clinton Washburn owned the island that was then named Hog Island because it contained a hog farm.  He and his wife created the idea of a contest to publicize the island. 

Vintage Postcard Honeymoon IslandVintage Postcard Honeymoon Island

They changed the name to Honeymoon Island and had a contest where newlyweds would write them a letter telling why they wanted to visit Honeymoon Island.

Washburn built small wooden bungalows with palm thatched roofs directly on the beach.  Winners of the contest were given free vacation stays in the bungalows.

This promotion was very popular until World War Two began in 1941.  It introduced the Dunedin area to an entirely new generation, making it a tourist destination.

DUNEDIN, FLORIDA TODAY

A unique attraction in Dunedin is its waterfront.  It is one of the few cities in Florida where the waterfront is not completely hidden from view by high rise buildings.

Dunedin Street SceneDunedin Street Scene
Flickr/bebatut

More than one mile of Edgewater Drive along the shoreline has a clear view of the Intracoastal Waterway, Caladesi Island, Honeymoon Island, and the Gulf of Mexico beyond. 

Edgewater Drive is home to the Fenway Hotel, built in 1924 and an icon of the jazz age.

Fenway Hotel, DunedinFenway Hotel, Dunedin
Wikipedia

Known as the Grand Lady of Dunedin, it has a rich history of guests and served as the location of the county's first radio station.

Now fully remodeled by Marriott to modernize it while still keeping her history in mind, it would be a great place to spend a vacation or hold a wedding celebration complete with live music.

Dunedin Marina at SunsetDunedin Marina at Sunset

This stretch of road also has a pedestrian and cyclist pathway along the water.

The Dunedin Marina is one of the nicest in Florida.  It is owned by the City of Dunedin.

Dunedin Street SignStreet Sign in Dunedin
Flickr/Joanne C Sullivan

Dunedin has a strict sign ordinance that gives it a clean uncluttered look. 

You also don't see any franchise fast food restaurants or big box retail stores in this city.

Dunedin Train Depot
Historic Dunedin Train Depot
Photographic Destinations by Bob Kyle

You will find several microbreweries, however, including Dunedin Brewery, the oldest microbrewery in Florida.

The downtown area is very walkable and has that small town charm.  You can park your car and have easy access to shopping, dining, and sightseeing.

There is also a trolley you can catch that will show you not only Dunedin, but Clearwater, Clearwater Beach, Sand Key, Palm Harbor, and Tarpon Springs.

Pinellas Trail in Downtown DunedinPinellas Trail in Downtown Dunedin
Flickr/Joanne C Sullivan

The original Orange Belt Railway bed was abandoned and was converted into what is now the Pinellas Trail. 

This is a 39 mile long pedestrian and bicycle trail that runs from Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg.

Beach at Honeymoon IslandBeach at Honeymoon Island
Flickr/Joanne C Sullivan

The world-class beaches are an important feature of Dunedin.  There are beautiful beaches along Dunedin Causeway, on Honeymoon Island, and at Caladesi Island State Park.

The recreational activities are almost endless in the area, whether you enjoy a quiet visit to a butterfly garden or visiting a nature center or hiking on a nature trail.

You can enjoy casting your line off a fishing pier, water sports, or soaking up the sun at the clean white sandy beaches.

DUNEDIN, FLORIDA AND MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Dunedin has been the spring training center for the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team since it came into the league. 

The first game the Blue Jays ever played was in 1977 when they beat the New York Mets 3-1 in Dunedin.

TD Ballpark in Dunedin, FloridaTD Ballpark in Dunedin
Whoisjohngalt, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

They are the only major league baseball team to train in one place this long.  They train and play in TD Ballpark, a stadium that seats 8,500 people.

The stadium was known as Dunedin Stadium prior to 2019 and is also home to the Dunedin Blue Jays who play year-round on the baseball field.

Dunedin has done a good job of preserving many of its historic homes and buildings.

Andrews Memorial Chapel, DunedinAndrews Memorial Chapel, Dunedin
By Ebyabe - Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2911755

Andrews Memorial Chapel is an example of this effort. 

It was originally built in 1888 and moved to its present location at the entrance to Hammock Park in 1970.

After renovation supervised by the Dunedin Historical Society, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

J. O. Douglas House, Dunedin, Florida
By Ebyabe - Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2911787

Three other Dunedin locations are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Two of these are residential homes: the Blatchley House at 232 Lee Street, and the J.O. Douglas House at 209 Scotland Street, built in 1880.

The third is Dunedin Isles Golf Club, which was home to the PGA of America from 1945-1962.  Now named Dunedin Golf Club, it's been voted the best golf course in the Tampa Bay area.


THINGS TO DO IN DUNEDIN, FLORIDA

Honeymoon Island State Park, 1 Causeway Blvd, Dunedin, FL 34698, (727) 469-5942. Start your Dunedin adventure at Honeymoon Island State Park, a pristine barrier island with soft sandy beaches, clear waters, and an abundance of wildlife. Stroll along the miles of untouched shoreline, collect seashells, or spot ospreys and pelicans. It's the perfect spot for a tranquil day by the Gulf of Mexico.

Dunedin Historical Museum, 349 Main St, Dunedin, FL 34698, (727) 736-1176. For those interested in history, the Dunedin Historical Museum offers a captivating journey through the city's past. Explore exhibits that showcase Dunedin's pioneer days, its early citrus industry, and the vibrant arts scene that thrives today.

Caladesi Island State Park, 1 Causeway Blvd, Dunedin, FL 34698, (727) 469-5918. Just a ferry ride away from Honeymoon Island, you'll find Caladesi Island State Park. Known for its untouched beauty, this barrier island offers hiking trails through mangrove forests and opportunities for shelling. The pristine beach and crystal-clear waters make it a must-visit for nature lovers.

Dunedin Fine Art Center, 1143 Michigan Blvd, Dunedin, FL 34698, (727) 298-3322. Experience the thriving arts scene in Dunedin at the Dunedin Fine Art Center. Admire works of art by local and regional artists or take part in one of their engaging workshops. It's a great place to immerse yourself in the city's creative spirit.

Downtown Dunedin, Main St, Dunedin, FL 34698. Downtown Dunedin is the heart of the city and offers a charming, walkable experience. Explore boutique shops, art galleries, and indulge in delicious cuisine at the many restaurants and cafes. Don't miss the weekly farmers' market, where you can find fresh, locally sourced goods.

Clearwater Beach, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767. While not technically in Dunedin, nearby Clearwater Beach is worth the short drive. Relax on its sugar-white sands, take a sunset cruise, or visit Pier 60 for a lively atmosphere with street performers and local vendors.

Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave, Dunedin, FL 34698, (727) 736-0606. For a taste of local flavor, make your way to the Dunedin Brewery. It's Florida's oldest microbrewery, offering a wide range of craft beers and live music. Sample some of their unique brews while enjoying a friendly, laid-back atmosphere.



DUNEDIN,  FLORIDA INTERACTIVE GOOGLE MAP




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