Part of a string of barrier islands sparkling in the Gulf of Mexico off Florida’s West Coast, Honeymoon Island State Park is a real gem, preserved in a natural state for everyone to enjoy.
Unlike some similar parks that are accessible only by boat, Honeymoon can be reached by car. Entrance to the park, which is located at the end of the causeway extending into the Gulf from Dunedin, is $8 per vehicle carrying up to eight people, or $4 per single-occupant vehicle.
Visitors will find four miles of unspoiled white-sand beach lapped by clear, calm Gulf water. Honeymoon Island State Park has showers, restrooms, a café that serves food and drinks, including alcoholic beverages, and a concession that rents bicycles, kayaks, beach chairs and umbrellas.
For a break from the beach, visitors can explore miles of paved pathways and a 2.5-mile inland nature trail that passes through a virgin slash pine forest. A picnic area near the north end of the island includes two covered pavilions, picnic tables, barbecue grills and restrooms. A playground is nearby. The pavilions are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Rotary Centennial Nature Center teaches visitors about the human and natural history of Honeymoon Island and nearby Caladesi Island. An elevated observation deck offers great views of the island and its surroundings.
The park offers disability parking spaces, ADA-compliant restrooms, free beach wheelchairs, paved paths and elevated boardwalks to the beach. The Rotary Centennial Nature Center, café and picnic area are all wheelchair accessible.
Wildlife on Honeymoon Island
Birdlife is abundant on Honeymoon Island. Osprey, black skimmers, royal terns, sandwich terns, Caspian terns, American oystercatchers and snowy egrets are among the birds that nest in the park. Even bald eagles and vibrantly pink roseate spoonbills can be spotted occasionally.
Loggerhead sea turtles sometimes nest on the beach from May through October. Keep an eye out for wooden stakes and wire cages placed over nests to prevent disturbance by predators or beachgoers. Gopher tortoises and armadillos frequent the picnic area and nature trail.
Before the Hurricane of 1921 split it in two, what are now Honeymoon and Caladesi islands were a single spit of sand known as Hog Island. In the late 1930s, a businessman bought the northern island and built 50 cottages that he marketed to newlyweds as Honeymoon Island.
After World War II, the cottages fell into disrepair. A plan in the 1960s to develop the island was foiled by the work of local environmentalists. The State of Florida later bought the island, and Honeymoon Island State Recreation Area was dedicated on Dec. 7, 1981.
Honeymoon Island State Park is open from 8 a.m. until sundown daily. The Rotary Centennial Nature Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. The ferry to nearby Caladesi Island State Park leaves from Honeymoon Island.
- Accessible parking
- Accessible restroom
- Beach wheelchair available
- Wheelchair-friendly inside walkways
- Military Discount
- Free parking on-site
- Hours 8 a.m. - sunset daily
- Pets on leash allowed
on site facilities services
- Picnic Area
- Boat Access
- Designated Dog Zone
- Kayaking & Canoeing
- Time to Experience Activity Full day