Recently, I’ve read several articles about what a great place Dunedin is. Having visited this Gulf Coast Florida town several times, I can attest to its charm, beauty, and attraction. I love Dunedin and have a wonderful time every visit. Perhaps my foot-dragging in writing about Dunedin is a nagging feeling that I want it to remain my secret place.
Alternate US-19 winds slowly through the small downtown, and I’m sure it is an annoyance to tourists on their way north from Clearwater, headed to better-known coastal destinations like Tarpon Springs. Downtown Dunedin is, however, very bike- and pedestrian-friendly and an utter delight to anyone who spends a little time there.
In addition to the usual Florida attractions like beaches (a top-rated island beach lies just offshore of downtown) and boating (beautiful downtown marina), you will find great hiking in city parks and on Honeymoon Island, a vibrant arts and music scene, excellent biking—the Pinellas Trail passes through downtown—and plenty of locally owned shops and restaurants.
There are plenty of popular events like the Wines the Blues festival and the Scottish Highland Games (Dunedin has Scottish roots). There is always a funky, fun vibe in Dunedin that sparks impromptu events, like the video Funedin Lipdub 2012 “starring” hundreds of local residents (video below.) Dunedin offers live music somewhere seven nights a week, a rarity these days.
Dining ranges from upscale fine food at the Black Pearl and waterfront dining at the marina-side Bon Appetit Restaurant (jaw-dropping sunsets are free), to the reasonably priced menu at the always busy Café Alfresco, to tasty island fare at the casual, funky Jolli Mons Grill (extensive menu and the BEST Sangria anywhere). After dinner and wandering around the shops, reward yourself at Strachan’s Homemade Ice Cream & Desserts.
Funedin LipDub 2012 – Shiny Happy People
Of course, there are dozens of other restaurants, and not all Dunedin restaurants are right downtown. A bit farther out Main Street, you can find one of our favorites, the Atlantis Bistro, a charming locally owned and operated Greek restaurant.
Dunedin has great shopping, too. You can find shops selling touristy baubles, antiques, tropical clothing, fine art and sculpture, and more, all within the 2-3 blocks of downtown. A short drive south to Clearwater takes you to malls, big box discounters, and national chains.
What about retirement in Dunedin? There is a fine 143-bed hospital downtown, Mease Dunedin Hospital, and lots of other medical centers in nearby Clearwater and Tampa. The crime rate is lower than average in Dunedin and the cost of living is also lower than the national average—unusual for urban Florida. The median sales price for homes in Dunedin over the last three full months is a mere $124,000—a real bargain for such a desirable location.
Dunedin is a great place to retire in spite of the usual Florida challenges: traffic, hurricanes, high insurance rates, etc. Summer brings frequent thunderstorms with lightning risks for golfers and boaters. Although Central Florida has more than the average number of tornadoes, they are the garden variety F1’s associated with summer thunderstorms, seldom causing serious damage or injury. Many are over water, forming waterspouts.
Dunedin has a great spirit of community that extends to their senior population, with numerous programs for retirees. It is really easy to get around town. Dunedin now permits golf carts on many of their streets as alternate transportation. Besides Pinellas County public buses, the Jolley Trolley connects Dunedin to Clearwater Beach, Palm Harbor, and Tarpon Springs, running Friday through Sunday (over-65 ride buses and the trolley for half price.) With your bicycle, you can explore all of Pinellas County, north and south, on the Pinellas Trail.
For more about beautiful, fun Dunedin, visit the websites below or feel free to contact us. But please, let’s just keep it our secret.
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=dunedin+florida (Dunedin videos on YouTube)
http://www.delightfuldunedin.com/ (directory of businesses)
http://www.greatretirementspots.com/short-profiles-dunedin-florida.htm (another profile of Dunedin)
http://www.vacationrentals.com/vacation-rentals/Dunedin-Florida.html (vacation rentals)