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Tuesday, Jun 19, 2018
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Insider’s guide to Honeymoon Island: Where to stay, places to go and events

Where to stay

WARD ISLAND: This is the first island you come to when you leave the mainland on the Dunedin Causeway. It’s covered with condos that often are for rent, and is just about as close as you can get to Honeymoon Island without staying at the Royal Stewart Arms near the park entrance.HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS: The location here on the mainland is pretty good if you plan to be in Dunedin much of the time. It’s on the Pinellas Trail, has a pool and is near Main Street, but is just far enough away to be quiet at night.

BEST WESTERN PLUS YACHT HARBOR INN: A small resort right on St. Joseph Sound, across from the Dunedin Marina. The waterfront hotel has an outdoor bar and a popular restaurant, Bon Appetit. Take a walk down Victoria Drive to see how the well-heeled live.

BESO DEL SOL: The best features of this hotel are outside of your room. There are pools and a dock, where visitors are allowed to tie up for free if they are stopping at the Marker 8 tiki bar. Offering food and drinks, Marker 8 hands out free liquor shots at sunset each night.

Places to go

DUNEDIN BLUE JAYS: Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays have spent spring training in Dunedin since their first year in 1976. The end of February and the month of March feature the big bats getting ready for the season during spring training, drawing Toronto-area fans. The A-ball junior Jays play in the Florida State League all summer, through Labor Day. Fireworks and theme nights abound in a true neighborhood ballpark.

PENNY LANE: Billing itself as “the ultimate Beatles museum,” Penny Lane is a free look at Fab Four memorabilia and signed souvenirs. There’s even John Lennon’s glasses and strands of band members’ hair.

BLUR NIGHTCLUB: A gay-friendly hotspot on Main Street in Dunedin, Blur is attached to a bar and a restaurant with the same owners. Late-night dancing is the norm, but events range from NFL game-watching to drag queen bingo.

Events

DUNEDIN HIGHLAND GAMES: Dunedin’s Scottish heritage literally comes into play for this annual competition in April. Men and women from across the country — nay, the world! — come to test their strength and skill, with vendors, Scottish clan associations, a bagpiping contest and other events.

DUNEDIN ORANGE FESTIVAL: The city celebrates its past as an agricultural community, recalling the region’s orange groves each July. The festival features merchants, music, beer vendors, kiddie events and the crowning of the Orange Queen.

DUNEDIN CELTIC MUSIC AND CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL: The name features what you’ll get each November, when traditional bands and local beers come together.

DOWNTOWN DUNEDIN CRAFT FESTIVAL: Main Street shuts down as artists and craft vendors from across the state and beyond set up shop for the weekend.

More information about Honeymoon Island

About the beach, planning your trip, where to park

The beach scene, beach access, the Caladesi Island ferry

Watersports and fitness, shopping and places to eat and drink

Local microbreweries and tips from townies

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