Located on a peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico in Florida’s Pinellas County, Dunedin was named after the Gaelic word for the Scottish capital Edinburgh.
With just 35,000 residents, it’s smaller than many of its regional counterparts, but guests staying in Dunedin will have easy access to many of the state’s most popular tourist attractions.
From amazing beaches and plentiful golf courses to a variety of historical and cultural attractions, finding fun, engaging, and educational ways to fill your schedule won’t be an issue.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Dunedin, Florida that you won’t want to pass up.
1. Toronto Blue Jays Spring Training
Located on Douglas Avenue in Dunedin, Florida Auto Exchange Stadium is the spring home of the Toronto Blue Jays.
The grapefruit league season gets kicked-off in March and provides visitors with the opportunity to see some competitive play in a relaxed setting that’s noticeably less expensive than major league venues.
Spring training games are great places to spend a few afternoon or evening hours enjoying the perfect Florida weather, eating some classic ballpark fare, and scoping out up-and-coming talent.
Check out their website for directions to the park, schedule of home and away games, and ticket options – which include single game and season passes.
2. Honeymoon and Caladesi Islands State Parks
Dunedin is home to more than its fair share of parks, and Honeymoon and Caladesi Islands State Parks are among the most popular.
They’re havens for nature lovers, and most locals would rather keep them to themselves, but with such a variety of outdoor recreation options, that’s pretty unlikely.
Previous guests have noted that the park’s beaches are amazing, and that biking, swimming, and hiking were all easily accessible and appropriate for both kids and adults.
Many guests pack a picnic lunch, but for those who’d rather leave the food prep to others, there are two cafes on Honeymoon Island and a variety of shops too.
3. David L. Mason Children’s Art Museum
Located on Michigan Boulevard, the David L. Mason Children’s Art Museum on the grounds of the Dunedin Fine Arts Center is the perfect place for families with children to spend a few hours out of the intense Florida heat.
Featuring a variety of interactive programs and exhibits that touch on science, technology, and the natural world, it’s a place that promotes activity and participation and not just passive viewing.
The art center is also worth a look; in addition to its impressive collection, it sports a trendy café and gift shop full of unique items, most of which you won’t find anywhere else.
4. National Armed Services and Law Enforcement Memorial Museum
Solely dedicated to honoring those who’ve served in the country’s military and law enforcement agencies, the National Armed Services and Law Enforcement Memorial Museum is a unique and poignant local attraction that’s especially popular with veterans and currently serving officers and soldiers.
Due to its lengthy name, it’s often referred to as NASLEMM, and includes a world-class collection of historic memorabilia, including weapons, photographs, first-hand accounts of important historical events, and even a macabre Florida icon called ‘Old Sparky.’
In case you were wondering, ‘Old Sparky’ is the state’s retired electric chair. It’s got a dark history of meting out justice that’s not for the faint of heart.
5. Dunedin Golf Club
With perfect weather for much of the year and more than 1,000 courses to choose from, Florida is a second-to-none golf mecca that draws links-loving men and women from all over the country, especially in winter when much of the Midwest and northeast are in an icy grip.
Dunedin Golf Club has been around for decades, was designed by a famous golf course designer, and is considered by seasoned golfers to be scenic and challenging but still appropriate for most players regardless of skill level.
The club features a full pro shop and a clubhouse that’s known for its refreshing drinks and tasty fare.
6. Kiwanis Sprayground
When the heat and humidity conspire to make the weather less than inviting for much of the summer, it’s imperative to find refreshing water-related activities to occupy young minds and cool young bodies; the Kiwanis Sprayground in Dunedin is just the place.
The Sprayground is located on Ed Eckert Drive in town, is open daily from 9 AM until sunset, and includes slides, shoots, buckets, fountains, and all the other things you’d expect from a modern water park.
It’s free to visit and can really draw the crowds during peak times, so if you’d rather avoid the masses, consider visiting in the morning when they first open.
7. Clearwater Marine Aquarium
With more coastline than just about any other state, Florida is home to a variety of unique marine environments; the Clearwater Marine Aquarium is one of the best places to see them all up close and personally without spending half the day in the car.
The aquarium’s bottlenose dolphins are the biggest attraction, and they’re more than willing to show off their skills at the regularly scheduled shows.
Other aquarium residents include otters, sea turtles, and a variety of colorful and exotic fish and marine crustaceans that thrive in the state’s temperate waters.
Check out their website for a schedule of events, hours, and ticket prices.
8. Busch Gardens Tampa
Like it is with golf courses, Florida is chockfull of theme parks of nearly every size and description, and Busch Gardens Tampa is one of the most convenient to visit for those staying in Dunedin.
Busch Gardens Tampa is really a number of resorts under one roof; it’s part theme park, part zoo, and part children’s museum.
It’s full of wild rides, costumed characters and events, and activities for those of all ages.
For its convenience and sheer variety, it’s a place where many traveling families choose to spend the majority of their time, and some never leave the grounds at all.
9. The Tampa Museum of Art
Few places offer the fantastic mix of natural and cultural attractions that Florida does; for those who like to mix things up a bit and not spend all their time at the beach, a visit to the Tampa Museum of Art would be a great way to spend a few hours.
The museum was founded in 1979 and is renowned for its impressive collection of art that ranges from ancient to contemporary.
The items on display come from all over the world. In addition to its permanent exhibits, the museum hosts many educational, instructional, and downright fun events and activities; most of them are appropriate for a wide range of ages and interests.
10. Tampa Riverwalk
Tamps Riverwalk is made up of well-marked and maintained pedestrian paths that run along the scenic Hillsborough River near the city’s downtown area.
The Riverwalk leads guests to a number of scenic vista points, but also public parks, hotels, eating and drinking establishments, shops, and galleries.
Whether you’d rather do a little research to learn about the area or just show up and see what you find, chances are you’ll find plenty of ways to occupy your time.
The Florida Aquarium and Historic Monument Trail are among the most popular Riverwalk destinations, but there are many more, so plan on spending a few hours at least.
11. Museum of Science and Industry
The Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa is one of the largest science-based facilities of its kind in the southeast.
In addition to educating visitors on the roles that science and industry play in overall development, the museum strives to engage young minds with the hope of encouraging them to get involved, study hard, and dream big.
Featuring more than 400 interactive exhibits and activities, the museum isn’t like most strictly hands-off attractions; it’s a place that has been known to engage children for hours, long after poor mom and dad are dead on their feet.
Expect a crowd if you go during peak times.
12. Ybor City Museum State Park
Tampa’s Ybor City neighborhood is a historic destination with a variety of sites worth visiting, and the Ybor City Museum State Park is one of the most popular.
The museum is housed at the center of the park in an old commercial bakery building from the ‘20s, and much of what’s on display centers on the area’s rich cigar making tradition.
Ybor City is considered the birthplace of the American Cigar industry, and with such vibrant Cuban and Latin American cultural influences, it’s not surprising. Guided, ranger-led park tours are popular ways to get a unique insight into the area, but it’s possible to show yourself around too if that’s more your speed.
13. Big Cat Rescue
Located in nearby Citrus Park, Big Cat Rescue is a sanctuary and rehabilitation facility that’s dedicated to helping exotic big cats that have been either injured, orphaned or abandoned by owners.
The rescue was founded in 1992, and since, then has fought tirelessly against the private ownership and sale of big cats.
Home to more than 100 cats of nearly a dozen species, some of the rescue’s residents are native species and others – like the tigers – are not.
A variety of guided tour and program options are available to visitors, so check out their website for a complete overview of what’s available before heading out.
14. The Glazer Children’s Museum
Featuring nearly 200 interactive exhibits, the Glazer Children’s Museum is a one-stop destination for weary parents interested in giving their children some mental stimulation while simultaneously burning off that excess energy for which kids are known.
The museum includes more than a dozen distinctly themed rooms that touch on engineering, science, the natural world, art, and culture. There are a variety of regularly scheduled and staff-led activities designed to engage and enlighten young minds.
It’s located on West Gasparilla Plaza in Tampa and is open year-round. For those who’d like to avoid the crowds during peak tourist season, consider visiting when the museum first opens.
15. The Straz Center for the Performing Arts
Located on North Macinnes Place in Tampa, the Straz Center for the Performing Arts is one of the state’s largest performing arts venues, and a community resource gem that should be taken advantage of for art and culture-minded travelers.
The center’s productions include dance, theater, and live music – from traditional opera to contemporary genres like jazz and the blues.
In addition to their performances, the center’s staff offer a variety of instructional and educational programs throughout the year. Many of them are appropriate for a wide range of participants, from school children and their teachers to retired locals looking for ways to get out of the house and broaden their horizons.