Best Florida Downtown Areas


One of John and my favorite places to visit is Downtown Dunedin because every time we go we always discover something new. Be it a new favorite restaurant or finding a shop that has that perfect unique gift, it never fails that on every visit we always are rediscovering downtown Dunedin.

We started the day with the intentions of checking out the renovations to Dunedin Stadium, the spring training location for the Toronto Blue Jays and I am happy to report that the renovations seem to moving along quite nicely. The 81 million dollar renovation project is slated to be complete for the 2020 spring training season with improvements bringing stadium capacity up to 8500 people. Blue Jays fans will enjoy renovated restrooms and concessions, a new Jays Shop, a Jays Zone and a boardwalk around the outfield, among other improvements.

Since we were already in Downtown Dunedin and it being one of our favorite places to spend a day, we decided it would have been a shame not to stay for lunch and maybe get some shopping in. I mean after all Christmas is just around the corner and we do have a long list.

There are many restaurant choices here and we have yet to have a bad experience in any of the Downtown Dunedin restaurants we have tried. This visit we chose to have lunch at the Best Western’s waterfront Bon Appetit restaurant and again we had a wonderful experience. We decided to keep lunch lite because we had lots of walking to do but even with just soup and salad we managed to overeat. I had a wonderfully delicious lobster bisque and their huge chef’s 1943 salad which comes with Swiss Cheese, ham, Genoa Salami and mixed greens. John had potato kale soup and a lobster wedge salad, also delicious and also a lot of food. The waterfront view was spectacular and because the marina is next to the hotel, we enjoyed watching boats of all types coming and going. I also want to mention that the afternoon drink specials at Bon Appetit were a real deal so we decided to take advantage and partake in a couple of afternoon cocktails with our lunch. The city of Dunedin has some of the most friendliest people that you will ever meet and the servers and patrons of Bon Appetit were among them on this visit. Conversations were being struck up all around as someone would comment about a boat going by or all the fish jumping in the water and before we knew it there were several tables of new friends all around us. Matter of fact we were having such a good time with all our new friends at lunch that we almost forgot that we wanted to get some shopping in. We had such a delightful time in fact that John and I decided that our next visit here we are going to stay for more than just a day and that we would like to try a stay at this Best Western Plus Inn, if for no other reason than the restaurant and the beautiful view.

After saying goodbye to our new friends, John and I headed down Main Street to get in some serious shopping. Downtown Dunedin is perfectly set up as a quaint shopping district and has the charm of a good all American Main Street and in fact the main street is indeed called Main Street. It is set up for safe pedestrian shopping which makes it all that much more charming. I so much enjoy shopping here especially when I am gift shopping as here you will find unique boutiques, and stores with everything from antiques to art to home decor to jewelry and more. I was pleased to be able to find 2 perfect gifts this trip and now I can cross 2 people off our Christmas shopping list.

While you are shopping you are bound to get thirsty and Downtown Dunedin provides many watering holes to quench that thirst. From pubs to bars to lemonade shops, you will find a large selection of drinks to wet your whistle. And if it is sweets your craving, not to worry as there are sweet shops and ice cream shops at every turn.

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Dunedin is a charming small town rich in history and because we love visiting here we decided that we should learn a little about it so we stopped in to the Dunedin History Museum. Housed in the old train depot the Dunedin History Museum is filled with the sights and sounds of yesteryear. With informative exhibits on it’s Scottish influence, it’s train history and the citrus industry that helped build a city, the museum was well worth the visit.

A benefit to Downtown Dunedin is all the green space and the fact that the Pinellas trail runs right through the middle of town. The Pinellas trail is a 10 mile long biking and walking path connecting Saint Petersburg to Tarpon Springs. Another plus for Downtown Dunedin is that it is on the Jolley Trolley route. One can Ride the Jolley up and down the Pinellas County coast with stops in Clearwater Beach and Tarpon Springs, just to name a few of it’s popular stops. Unlimited daily pass for the Jolley Trolley is only $4.50. If you would like a boat ride to Clearwater, you can reserve a ride on the ferry that runs out of the Dunedin Marina however, the ferry only runs Friday thru Sunday.

Another really great thing about Dunedin is the beautiful beaches nearby at Honeymoon and Caladesi Island. Dunedin truly is a great place to visit and has all the ingredients of a great Florida vacation spot. So if you are planning a trip to the central west coast of Florida, I suggest that you consider Dunedin. It’s one of my favorite places and I bet it will be yours too!!

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