Sand, Sun and Thanksgiving Dinner: How We Spent Our Time in Dunedin, FL

Thanksgiving 2016 we spend on the road down in sunny Florida. After doing some research we landed on a town in Florida called Dunedin. It’s on the west coast of Florida about 6 miles north of Clearwater, FL. Dunedin is home to several beaches, such as Dunedin Causeway, Honeymoon Island, and Caladesi Island State Park, which based on the two out of three that we saw they are all beautiful. We definitely got a small quaint town feel in Dunedin, unlike the rest or majority of Florida that is larger than life.

Besides the beaches which were awesome in this area the other thing that we really loved in Dunedin was the bike trail called The Pinellas Trail. The Pinellas Trail is a 39 mile long bicycle and pedestrian trail that spans through all of Pinellas County.

We arrived in Dunedin on a Monday (the week of Thanksgiving) and settled very nicely into our campsite at the Dunedin RV Resort. We were in a full hook-up pull-thru site on a concrete pad. Not a very woodsy camp feel at all but nice in its own way. The fellow campers were all very nice. This is a campground that people can purchase “park model” camper homes and live there all year or just come down in the winter whatever you like. More about the campground here: Dunedin RV Resort.

Here’s what we did in Dunedin and the surrounding area and what we would recommend:

  1. Rode our bikes on the Pinellas Bike Trail. This is an awesome bike path, we loved it. We took a few bike rides on it while we were there, but on Thanksgiving day we took a bike ride from the Campground to Downtown Dunedin. (about a 15 minute car drive took us an hour on the bikes but I don’t think that’s to bad since we were pulling Zico and Liam in our Bee.) You can easily, or with a little bit of effort) ride your bike from the campground all the way to the Dunedin Causeway or even Downtown Dunedin if you are so inclined to. Right outside the entrance of the campground is where you can pick up the Pinellas Bike Trail and take it to a host of places. What is so awesome about that trail is that restaurants, bars and businesses actually cater/accommodate the pedestrians or bikers on the path. For example on our way to Downtown Dunedin we saw a coffee shop that has a back entrance for the people on the bike trail that offered a discount on coffee if you came in wearing a bike helmet. So awesome. It is really a bike friendly town and for that alone we would go back. It’s so nice to be able to get around and go to nice places by just pedaling there. 🙂
  2. Visited Downtown Dunedin. Such a cute little downtown area full of restaurants, coffee shops and retail shops. There is also a boat marina at the end of the main road in downtown Dunedin and a nice park with a great playground.
  3. Visited Honeymoon Island State Park. Beautiful beach and state park. I wish you could camp here with you camper. I think you can only do primitive camping here.
  4. Searched for freshly squeezed Orange Juice. This is not always the easiest thing to find. I did a google/yelp search for the best freshly squeezed orange juice in the area and that lead us to Sun Groves (about 20 minutes from the campground) which is a store front location and they also offer a citrus mail order service. I recommend putting this location on your list for two reasons it’s a great example of a Florida Souvenir shop (oranges, jellies, candies, honeys), it has yummy freshly squeezed orange juice and THE ICE CREAM. They have (I think three flavors) their own soft serve ice cream the flavors are orange, pineapple and vanilla and then they offer a twist of both – orange and vanilla or pineapple and vanilla. Think creamsicle! YUM. They were all delicious and we almost didn’t order the pineapple at first and in the end we think that was even better than the orange and that’s what we went for. So I recommend checking out Sun Groves and getting some orange juice and ice cream while you’re there.

    SIDE NOTE: There is actually a Farm Stand right across from the campground called T’s Market and Produce that sells freshly squeezed orange juice, DUH! on our part, we didn’t check it out until the last day we were there. What can you do? They also sell eggs, produce, cheese – all kinds of stuff and some beautiful Adirondack chairs made out of recycled bottles. The campground should really promote that location we could have done a good amount of grocery shopping there.
  5. Visited Clearwater Beach. I mentioned before we lived in Miami for several years and really like the beaches there, but the powdery white sand of the gulf coast beaches, they are hard to beat. This beach is gorgeous and they have a nice boardwalk area along the beach front to walk and explore the beach, shops and restaurants. We visited Clearwater twice while on our trip – once on our own, actually on Zico Biscuit’s birthday and the second time the day after Thanksgiving with our family. It’s much more touristy than any of the areas we saw in Dunedin, but still a very nice place to visit and even on Black Friday it was busier but not crazy with people.

We didn’t eat out to much while we were on vacation, reason being we have a camper to cook meals in (which is one of the money saving benefits of RV’ing) We’re getting more organized preparing meals in our camper and not so overwhelmed, but we did dine at a few Restaurants and would recommend them so here they are:

  1. Olde Bay Cafe: this is right by the marina in Dunedin, FL. It was a typical seafood restaurant/shack type place. The service was good and the food was too. We managed to have dinner here one night and got there in time for the sunset, which was beautiful.
  2. Bon Appetit: this is where we had our Thanksgiving dinner at, we opted for the Buffet option since we had three little (under 8) gentlemen with us and that worked out very well for us. It was pricey $65.00 per person for adults and not necessarily worth that much, I think $40 would have been better but it was a great experience and a good meal. We had reservations for 5:00 pm, which was the last seating of the day and worked out perfectly because the dining room we were in had very large windows looking out over the water so another sunset with meal was ordered up. 🙂

Other than that we dined at our little Cucina de Wolf Pup for the majority of the trip. Some good meals were made there too. 🙂

So that’s what we did during our stay in Dunedin, FL. We had a great trip and although it was not the traditional Thanksgiving meal it was great in it’s own way. I could get very used to taking trips during the holidays and exploring new places. It was also nice to not even be part of the Black Friday chaos and opting to be outside enjoying some beautiful weather that day instead.

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How did you spend your Thanksgiving break this year? Would you go away during the holidays? Would you cook Thanksgiving dinner in your camper or go out to a restaurant? Also, have you been to Dunedin, FL, what did you think? Hidden gem or never mind? I hope this blog post helps you with some ideas on your next trip to the Sunshine state, or some new places to explore if you’re already there.

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