‘A Pristine Florida Island for the Beachgoing Purist’
“HIGH-RISE condo towers march shoulder to shoulder along most of the barrier islands that line the Florida coast. But in the middle of a densely settled stretch on the Gulf coast north of Clearwater, a little bit of the old Florida survives. It is Caladesi Island, a largely undeveloped spot that can transport visitors to a pristine past that has become harder and harder to find.” — The New York Times
Caladesi Island, the setting for Yesteryear I Lived in Paradise, is still that — a paradise —and has been recognized as America’s best beach.
Now a Florida state park accessible by boat, Caladesi is one of few remaining natural islands along Florida’s Gulf Coast. If you go, you’ll discover Caladesi’s white sand beaches are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing.
If you love to fish, you can fish from your boat or from the shore. If you enjoy wildlife, you’ll like the three-mile nature trail through the island’s interior and a three-mile kayak trail through the mangroves and bay.
Up for a picnic? Tables and shelters are near the beach, and picnic pavilions can be reserved for a fee.
The park also has a marina with electric and water hookups, a snack bar, and a gift shop.
Hours of Operation
Florida state parks are open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year.
• be alert to sun, insects, sting rays and sandspurs; take proper precautions.
• stay on the trails, boardwalks and public areas.
• keep a respectful distance from the wildlife that you may be fortunate to see.
• carefully put any cigarette filters into a proper trash receptacle for disposal.
• leave the island with the trash that you generate having been responsibly recycled or properly stowed in a trash container.
Please be a visitor who leaves Caladesi even better than you find it!
Caladesi Island is accessible by boat or ferry.
By boat: From channel marker #14, just west of the Dunedin Causeway Bridge, take an approximate 212´degree heading on your compass for approximately 1 mile. Follow the channel markers into the Caladesi Island State Park Marina.
Driving Directions to the Caladesi Island Ferry at Honeymoon State Park:
From Orlando: I-4 west to I-275 south to SR-60 west. Cross Courtney Campbell Causeway, then turn right on US Hwy 19 north. Left on Curlew Rd. (SR-586). Follow SR-586, crossing Dunedin Causeway, to Honeymoon Island State Park for Caladesi ferry.
From north of Tampa: I-75 south to I-275 south to Hillsborough Ave. exit.
West to slight left at Curlew Rd. (SR 586). Pass fork at SR-580. Follow SR-586, crossing Dunedin Causeway, to Honeymoon Island State Park for Caladesi ferry.
From Bradenton and South: I-75 north to I-275 north to Roosevelt Ave. exit (Follow signs for St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport, last exit before the Howard Franklin Bridge). Stay right on SR-686 west when SR-688 forks to left. Right (north) on McMullen Booth Rd. (CR-611) to cross over the Bayside Bridge. Left on Curlew Rd. (SR 586). Follow SR-586, crossing Dunedin Causeway, to Honeymoon Island State Park for Caladesi ferry.
Admission Fees – $6 for up to 8 people per private boat; $2 more per person for more than 8 people.
Kayakers: Admission Fee $2.
Catch the ferry at Honeymoon Island for entrance onto Caladesi Island. Entrance fees at Honeymoon Island are: $8 for 2-8 people per car / $4 for an individual entrance. The ferry travels to Caladesi Island for a 4-hour stay.
$2 Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.
Ferry fees are: $14 per adult. $7 for children ages 6 – 12. Children 5 and younger ride free. Sorry, no pets are allowed on the ferry.
Picnic Pavilion Rental Fees:
$30 per day, plus tax. Call ahead at least two weeks for Pavilion reservations.
Boat Camping Fees:
$24 per night, tax included, for reservable sites. (Reserve through Reserve America, 800-326-3521.) $1 per foot, tax included, nonreservable sites. T-Docks are nonreservable and rent for $2 per foot including tax.
Florida residents 65 and older pay half price for camping.
Marina Electric Usage Fee: $7 for day use.
For more information about Caladesi Island State Park, please call 727-469-5918 or visit this web page.
Thanks everlasting to Gerald S. (Jerry) Rehm, the individual most essential to Caladesi Island becoming a state park.