Florida Guide > State Parks
Honeymoon Island State Park is situated in Dunedin, north of Tampa, on Floridas north west coast. The island was once called by the rather less flattering name of Hog Island and remained so until an entrepreuner put up 50 thatched holiday homes for newlyweds and renamed it.
Thr Tocobago Tribe are the first known residents of this island, but by 1530 they were under siege from pirates, fisher men and traders. These incomers introduced diseases that destroyed the Tocobago community, since they had not built up any immunity to these illnesses of the outside world.
For a brief spell there was a hog farm here which gave rise to its original name. . In the 1920s the island was torn in two by a hurricane which formed what is now known as Caladesi Island and Hurricane Pass After a brief spell as a paradise for honeymooners, the island was requisitioned as a rest place for workers during the war.
On a coast packed with stunning beaches, Honeymoon Island really stands out. There are 4 miles of sugary beaches to enjoy and it is great for shelling as well as sunbathing. You can surf here at the north end and this is where you will also find the play ground.
The State Parks department rope off parts of the beach from time to time to give the nesting birds some peace and protection; If you are a bird spotter than you are likely to see spoon bills, terns, plovers, oyster catchers and more. Good places to watch for birds are the bays and estuaries.
Here also is one of the last virgin slash pine forests and you can admire this if you walk the two and a half mile trail. The rangers offer guided nature trail walks from time to time; check ahead with the park to see when these will happen. Next to the trail is a picnic area with covered pavilions and barbecues and this makes a great respite for an hour or two.
You can catch the ferry to Caledesi Island while you are here, this costs $9 and be warned that it is cancelled in bad weather. The ferry runs from 9. a. m. to 5pm daily.
It is wise to take plenty of water, some refreshments and a swim suit and a towel. During summer months especially also pack some sun screen and sun block along with a shady hat.
Honeymoon Island State Park
1 Causeway Blvd.
Dunedin, Florida 34698
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Page added on: 9 January 2008
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