What Makes Dunedin Causeway a Great Place for Recreation?

Honeymoon Island Sunset - Dunedin Florida

One of the reasons for living near the Gulf in Florida is so that you can take advantage of the water activities.  Sometimes, when I close my eyes, I dream of relaxing on a pretty beach, blissfully enjoying the sunset’s calming view. 

You’ve probably heard of Dunedin Causeway. Judging by the fact that you are reading this article, you must be wondering what makes Dunedin Causeway a great place for recreation. Why is it so popular?  What activities are available at the Dunedin Causeway.

If you love fishing, sunbathing, swimming, bicycling, and watercraft facilities, or all of it in one place, you will love Dunedin Causeway, in Dunedin, Florida.

Whether you are visiting the area or looking to call the Dunedin area home, the appeal of the Dunedin Causeway is something that you need to consider.  There are other locations withing the 727 that do not offer the immediate Gulf access afforded by the Dunedin Causeway (or just Causeway as the locals refer to it.)  In this article, I am going to share with you some of the activities and features that make the Dunedin Causeway such a unique and attractive place in Pinellas County.

Dunedin Causeway Location

You all must have guessed from the name that Dunedin Causeway is in Dunedin, Florida. 

Dunedin itself is not directly located on the Gulf of Mexico.  It is sheltered for the gulf by the outer barrier islands of North Clearwater Beach, Caladesi Island and Honeymoon Island.  It is the Dunedin Causeway that connect the mainland to the Honeymoon Island and the State Park.  This connection allows for access to the crystal blue waters of Saint Joseph Sound and access to the Gulf via Hurricane Pass.

This location serves as a superb destination for fishing, watercraft facilities, snorkeling, and sunbathing.  This Causeway is a direct two-and-a-half-mile route, leading from Bayshore Boulevard to the entry point of Honeymoon Island State Park.

Both Tampa International Airport and St. Pete-Clearwater Airport are at a short distance from Dunedin. A fair amount of free public parking spots are available along the Dunedin Causeway.  A word of warning, make sure that when you park, you pay attention to the tides, as some of the parking spots are within the waters range at high tide.

There are available public transports, including buses, ferries, and local ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft.

Here is the list:

  • Ferry (e.g., Clearwater Ferry Service)
  • Shuttle Service (e.g., Local Tiki Rides)
  • Trolley Bus Services (e.g., Jolley Trolley)
  • Vehicle-hiring Apps (e.g., Lyft and Uber)
  • Bus Services- Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA)

You can also take you bike from Dunedin, via the Pinellas Bike Trail to the entrance of the Dunedin Causeway.

Dunedin Causeway History

Dunedin Causeway is famously known for its idyllic view of wildlife and beaches. Bird-watchers marvel at the ospreys found in Honeymoon Island State Park and along Bayshore Boulevard (ALT-19). 

Dunedin City started its journey in 1852 as a remote settlement. It is one of the oldest towns in Pinellas County.

The Dunedin Causeway was constructed in 1963. Pinellas County owns and maintains Dunedin Causeway. 

The must-visit places of Dunedin Causeway are-

  • Honeymoon Island State Park.
  • The Honeymoon Island Dog Park.
  • Caladesi Island State Park. (Via Boat)
  • Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail.
  • The Condo Communities located on the Dunedin Causeway.

(Imagine living that close to Honeymoon Island…)

Connection to Honeymoon Island State Park

The Dunedin Causeway connects Honeymoon Island State Park with Dunedin. 

Honeymoon Island is the northern part of the old Hog Island. As the name suggests, Honeymoon Island was a newlywed couples’ first choice of subtropical honeymoon destination during earl 1940s. in the late 1930s, Clinton Washburn, a businessman purchased the island and promoted the idea to a Life magazine editor of the island being the perfect location for a tropical wedding destination.  50 honeymoon cottages were built and on 8 May 1940 the first honeymooners arrived. This continued until World War II. 

The island and the cottages fell into disrepair and in the 1960 the island was a site for potential residential development.  But the dredging and creation of waterfront canals did not go as planed and in 1969 the dredging permits expired.

It wasn’t until 1974 that the State of Florida purchased 113 acres on the island with the remainder purchased in 1981.  Honeymoon Island State Recreation Area was born.

The Dunedin Causeway and bridge was created in 1963. Now the Island has all the luxuries to give a grand welcome to the newlyweds and the general tourists.

Honeymoon Island State Park

Honeymoon Island State Park is a state-owned park in Florida which was established in 1981. It has beautiful beaches. It also has a ferry service to visit Honeymoon Island’s estranged sister Caladesi Island State Park. A hurricane separated Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island in 1921.

There are ample amenities on Honeymoon Island. Tourists find Honeymoon Island is a bit rocky. It has an on leash dog beach,  two bathhouses, and a cafe. You can see Gulf of Mexico waters in this Florida region, watch ospreys, visit pine forests, go kayaking and enjoy lunch in the cafeteria for the day in Honeymoon Island Park.

In recent times, Honeymoon Island State Park added a walking trail on Osprey Trail.  You can jog, walk, and bicycle on the trail.

Dunedin Causeway Activities

Dunedin Causeway offers a plethora of amenities you will love, and they will make you visit Dunedin Causeway again and again. On any given evening or afternoon you can see individuals or groups launching jet skis into the water.  Kayaks are available for rent.  A number of local car clubs utilize the area as a gather point, in particular the JEEP owners.  Check out some of the other recreational activities on Dunedin Causeway and see if they are up to your choice.

Fishing

Dunedin Causeway is a trendy place for fishing. Please make sure you have your proper fishing license and adequately dispose of all hooks, unused bait, and fishing lines.

Fishing is not permissible on the Dunedin Causeway after the closing hours (11 PM). You can obtain a fishing permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

As a fishing enthusiast, I will suggest you prepare for shallow salt water fishing if you are fishing from the banks.  With a boat or kayak you can access deeper waters.

The area is patrolled by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Please make note that Alcohol, Camping and Ground Firs are not permitted on the Causeway. 

Boating

The Dunedin Causeway is famous for various watercraft, including motorboats, jet skis, wave runners, kayaks, and sailboats. Please take into account that paved ramps are not available there.

The southern area is categorized into four parts. No watercraft regulations are exercised for the northern side of the Dunedin Causeway. Here are the types of boats found in Dunedin Causeway-

Dunedin Causeway Boat Launch Areas
  • Non-motorized boats.
  • Motorized boats (including jet skis)
  • Water vehicles are not permitted in the middle of the Causeway between the motorized and non-motorized launch areas.

Beaches

There are several beautiful beaches in Dunedin Causeway. They are-

  • Honeymoon Island State Park.
  • Caladesi Island State Park.

Dunedin Causeway Condos

If you are planning to live on the Dunedin Causeway, then there is good news for you. You can buy condos and live along the Dunedin Causeway. Imagine living somewhere where every day feels like a holiday!

Dunedin Causeway Restaurants

No vacation is complete without trying out some of the local cuisines. You can find all types of restaurants in Dunedin Causeway to do that. 

Here are some restaurants that I think you should visit on your trip to Dunedin Causeway.   

  • High and Dry Grill
    • Actually a tiki hut on the Causeway.  Enjoy a sunset beverage.
  • Frenchy’s Outpost Bar and Grill
    • A local institution with locations on the Causeway and throughout the 727.  Full bar and some of the best Grouper in town.
  • Hackett’s Causeway Café and Creamery
    • Some of the best homemade ice cream you will find in the area along with great, brick oven pizza.

There is a Publix grocery store near the entrance of the Causeway to grab any last minute items as well as a drive thru McDonalds and Dunkin to take with you.

Conclusion

So, now you know what makes Dunedin Causeway a great place for recreation. Great sceneries, beaches, restaurants, it’s got everything you need for a relaxing vacation or a quick getaway for residents. 

The Causeway is open from 5am to 11pm for recreational activities.  I personally love spending a morning or afternoon at the Causeway or Honeymoon Island or catching a sunset and watching the wildlife and people enjoying the best that Florida living has to offer.