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5 Incredible Things to Do in Honeymoon Island State Park, Florida

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Headed to Honeymoon Island State Park in Florida? Here are five fantastic ways to enjoy this gorgeous and quiet spot on the Gulf Coast!

You’re headed to Florida and the one thing you won’t be short of is beautiful beaches so I understand if your list of beaches to visit is as endless as the coastline of Florida. One of Florida’s most-loved state parks and one of the most beautiful beaches in Florida is Honeymoon Island State Park. The park consists of four miles of beach, three miles of trails, and a chance to see plenty of wildlife. 

There are plenty of activities in Honeymoon Island to keep everyone busy no matter their interests – swimming, hiking, biking, relaxing on the beach, and more. 

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honeymoon island state park essential information

Before you head off on a fantastic adventure, there are a few nitty-gritty details you need to know,  of course. How do you get there, do you need money, are there public restrooms – you know all the good stuff. 

So, you’ll find all that below before moving on to the good stuff – things to do in Honeymoon Island. 

Directions to Honeymoon Island

The really cool thing about Honeymoon Island in Florida is how easy it is to get there from several well-visited destinations. If you’re visiting Tampa, St Petersburg, Sarasota, or anywhere else in the central Gulf Coast of Florida, then Honeymoon Island is a really simple day trip. 

How to Get to Honeymoon Island

  • Starting from Dunedin, drive north on US 19A to SR 589 (Causeway Blvd)
  • Turn left and follow the causeway 2.8 miles to the Honeymoon Island State Park entrance.

Honeymoon Island Costs 

Entry for Honeymoon Island/Caladesi Island State Parks

  • $8 per car (2-8 passengers)
  • $2 per bicycle, car, or pedestrian

Honeymoon Island Amenities 



Nature center

Nature trail

Dog beach

Beach equipment rentals

Kayak rentals


Picnic area

Restrooms & Showers

things to do in honeymoon island state park

The cool thing about Honeymoon Island is that it’s not just a beach. There are so many things to do at Honeymoon Island State Park that you could seriously make an entire trip out of just staying and playing right there. 

Take the Ferry to Caladesi Island State Park

Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island State Parks are connected.  

In fact, you have to enter Honeymoon Island State Park in order to catch the ferry to Caladesi Island – the only way to visit Caladesi Island unless you choose to kayak or take a private boat to Caladesi Island.  

So, if you’re visiting one, you may as well visit both!  And, trust me when I say that Caladesi Island is worth it!  

You may just see dolphins on your ferry ride as we did – one of many reasons to visit Caladesi Island State Park!


Enjoy the Day with your Dog

Honeymoon Island State Park offers a dog-specific beach which I happen to think is wonderful!  

I’m not entirely sure, but I don’t think dog-friendly beaches are all that common – correct me if I’m wrong though. So, if spending time with your pup sounds like heaven on earth, that’s just one more reason to visit Honeymoon Island.

If Maximus had been traveling with me this time, I would have definitely taken him there.  

Of course, he probably would hate the ocean like he hates most other forms of water.

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Swim in Stunningly Beautiful Waters

When I pulled up and saw the water at Honeymoon Island, I just gasped and said…


There is water this color in Florida?  

It’ll make you feel like you’re in the Caribbean or an exotic location.HONEYMOON ISLAND STATE PARK

Hike the Nature Trail

One of my favorite things to do is hiking – even when I’m at the beach.  

I’m the type that can’t sit on the beach all day – I’m going to need to get around and move some while I’m there and what better way than the nature trail?  

The trail is approximately 2.5-3 miles long and this is one of the few remaining places you can see Florida virgin slash pine stands.


Explore the Nature Center

The Rotary Centennial Nature Center offers great views of seagrass beds, mangroves, mudflats, and oyster beds.

In addition, you an observe shorebirds, wading and diving birds, egrets osprey, pelicans and an abundance of marine life while you’re in the area.CALADESI ISLAND STATE PARK FLORIDA

Other Things to Do in Honeymoon Island

Aside from these five incredible options of things to do, there is still plenty more. 

Rent a bike [or bring your own] and explore the island on two wheels.

Explore Pelican Cove via kayak or take the kayak over to Caladesi Island State Park.

Grab some snack food and have a relaxing picnic on the beach while walking the sunset.

Try your hand at surfing – it may not be the best for avid surfers but it is allowed and a great option!

honeymoon island history

Honeymoon Island came to exist in the early 20th century [1921] when a hurricane created the channel between what is now Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island – splitting Hog Island in two. I guess we could call it a silver lining because what was once meant to be developed commercially was then turned into a state park. 

In the late 1930s, it was commented that the island would make a wonderful honeymoon and thus the name was born. 

As far as history before Honeymoon Island became Honeymoon Island, the Native American Tocobago tribe lived on the island before Europeans arrived harvesting the sea life from the surrounding Gulf of Mexico.

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honeymoon island dunes & their importance

Dunes are incredibly important and Honeymoon Island is no different. Dunes provide habitat for many plant species as well as preserve the beach. Many plants only survive on beach dunes but need the dunes to protect them from the harshness of their surroundings. In turn, these plants and their roots help keep the dune stable and continue to build and improve their size. 

Dunes also provide preservation for the beach when there are storm surges. Dunes play a huge role in keeping the beach from being completely washed away when large waves crash into the shore.

Dune Sustainability Tips

  • No walking on dunes.
  • No driving on dunes. 
  • Pay attention and follow posted signage.
  • No littering – including cigarette butts!
  • Do not remove any plants.

Honeymoon Island Animals

There is an abundance of marine and land animals to be found in and around Honeymoon Island. 

  • Bald eagles
  • Osprey
  • Great Horned Owls
  • Gopher Tortoises
  • Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
  • Loggerhead Sea Turtles
  • Green Sea Turtles

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Ashley Hubbard

Ashley Hubbard is a blogger and freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee focusing on sustainability, travel, veganism, mental health, and more. Passionate about animal rights, sustainable travel, and social impact, she seeks out ethical experiences whether at home or on the road. She shares these experiences on her website,

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Cynthia Whiteley

    wow we will have to check it out…sounds kind of off the beaten path for sure. going to florida next week. cannot wait!

  2. You’re making me miss Florida. We went to Tampa / St Pete multiple times with our kayak on the roof intending to go to Honeymoon Island. It never left the roof, but seeing your pictures, it makes me wish we could have. Honeymoon Island is so close to Tampa, but so different.

  3. Juliann

    How crazy that I missed this when I lived so closeby! I’ve been to Caladesi, but hadn’t heard of Honeymoon Island. I love the beaches along the Gulf; they’re more natural and calm than beaches on the Atlantic Coast. I’ll be sure to remember this place to explore next time.

  4. Bell

    Our favorite beach when we lived in Tampa!! It is so beautiful there, and because you have to pay the park fee there are always fewer people than the beach at St Pete’s! Great post on all the things to do there and I always recommend this beach if you’re in the Tampa Bay area, so use this guide and go!!

  5. Cat Lin

    Honeymoon Island is surely a ‘honeymoon’ destination for ‘Nature Lovers! Dog-parents would be thrilled as well with the dog beach! And oh a weary traveler would definitely find tranquility on those turquoise waters…

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