Quiet, secluded, and still wild, this 3½-mile-long barrier island is one of the best shelling beaches on the Gulf Coast, second only to Sanibel. The park also has plenty of sights for birders—from common sandpipers to majestic blue herons to rare black skimmers—and miles of trails through scrub oaks, saw palmettos, and cacti (with tenants such as armadillos, rabbits, and raccoons). The landscape also features mangroves and dunes, and the gradual slope of the sea bottom makes this a good spot for novice swimmers and kids. You have to get to Caladesi Island by private boat (there's a 108-slip marina) or through its sister park, Honeymoon Island State Recreation Area, where you take the hourly ferry ride across to Caladesi; ferry rides cost $14 per person. You can also paddle yourself over in a kayak. Amenities: food and drink; showers; toilets. Best for: solitude; swimming.
Dunedin Causeway, Dunedin, Florida, 34698, United States
Apr 10, 2010
Just to update everyone: Ferry price is now $15 RT (adult), and you'll need patience and water to stand in the L-O-N-G ticket line. The tickets still say $12, but that price is crossed out and $15 is hand-written. My brother paid for parking - I think that price is now $8. Next time I would prefer to walk from the north end of Clearwater Beach to Caladesi, saving the money and getting exercise, rather than waiting in line.
Dec 28, 2008
a great beach is you dont want to fight the throngs at the other more popular public beaches. Beautiful water, lots of trails to walk along. A great day trip.