Honeymoon Island State Park is the oasis that awaits you at the end of the Dunedin Causeway. This beautiful beach park was once home to over 50 bungalows and a premier spot for honeymooners back in the 1930’s. Now visitors come to this location to enjoy the beach and outdoor recreation. Whether you crave a romantic beach day or you want to bond while doing your favorite outdoor excursions, Honeymoon Island is a favorite among local couples.
Rent a kayak from the South Beach park concession or bring your own. There are inlets to explore around the island and mangrove waterways just across the channel. You might see dolphins chasing their prey into the intercostal waterway or manatees taking shelter among the mangroves. Rates for a single kayak are $30 for 3 hours, or $60 for the day. Tandem kayaks are $50 for 3 hours or $100 for the day.
You can bring your pet along on your date to the island’s dog beach. North Beach provides great shallows to cool off in the crystal clear waters of the gulf. Chair and umbrella rentals are available if you don’t have your own. Honeymoon Island is also an excellent place to collect shells.
Private Romantic Beachside Dinners
The Romantic Honeymoon Island concessionaire offers a luxurious beachfront Private Dinner for Two experience perfect for couples looking for a unique date night. For $160/person you get a private tent and table on the beach, your own personal server, and a gourmet multi-course meal with a bottle of champagne and strawberries. This is such an incredible way to celebrate an anniversary, pop the big question, or wow your date just because.
Openings are limited so this is a date you must plan in advance. Call 727-260-5503 to reserve your private romantic dinner.
There are 2.5 miles of nature trails within Honeymoon Island State Park to explore. The Osprey Trail meanders through the heart of the island to the most northern point. Get lost with your love while observing wildlife like gopher tortoises, armadillos, osprey, egrets, and blue herons.
If you’d rather traverse the island on two wheels, you can rent bicycles, tandem bikes or multi-passenger beach surreys. Regular bike rentals are available for $12 per hour, $22 for a half day, or $32 for the full day.
Honeymoon Island’s North Beach provides the perfect location to enjoy stunning Tampa Bay sunsets. You can watch from the shore or sit in one of several wooden swings and benches along the beach. The benches are great if you just want to come to enjoy the sunset and not have to bring your own chair and beach gear. The entrance fee for the park is reduced to $4 per vehicle if you come an hour before sunset.
A visit to Honeymoon Island also grants you access to another state park, Caladesi Island. This barrier island is only accessible by private boat or ferry service from inside Honeymoon Island State Park. The ferry runs every day (weather permitting) from 10am to sunset every half hour or hour, depending on the season. The ferry is $16/person roundtrip and includes a 4-hour stay on the island. Hot tip: You can save $1 on ferry tickets with this coupon on the ferry website.
It’s worth the trip and additional cost to experience Caladesi Island’s pristine beach and turquoise waters. It’s less crowded and less rocky than the beaches of Honeymoon Island. There is a concession stand on Caladesi with food and supplies and you can also rent chairs and an umbrella if you don’t want the hassle of packing your beach gear.
Honeymoon Island State Park is open daily from 8am to sundown. The entrance fee is $8, or $4 if you’re arriving an hour before sunset. Visit the Honeymoon Island State Park website for more details.
Feature Image Credit: Florida State Parks
Looking for other beaches? Check out Three Perfect Days on Anna Maria Island or A Weekend Getaway to Marco Island: Food, Beaches, and More.
About the Author: Lauren Gay is a local travel blogger, photographer, and foodie with a passion for adventure, all things water, and glamping. Find her online on her blog Misadventures of an Outdoorsy Diva and Outdoorsy Diva on Instagram.