Caladesi Island State Park

Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin: Address, Phone Number, Caladesi Island State Park Reviews: 4.5/5

Caladesi Island State Park
4.5
State Parks • Islands • Beaches
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About
One of Florida's few remaining undisturbed barrier islands.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
1,355 reviews
Excellent
977
Very good
260
Average
81
Poor
29
Terrible
8

Connie G
3 contributions
Feb 2022
We visited Caladesi Island State Park in February 2022. We took the ferry from Honeymoon Island over to Caladesi. The beach was a natural, beautiful beach. We wanted to kayak through the mangroves. This operation was very disorganized. We were told they would start allowing you to kayak at noon. When we got there they said not until 1 p.m. We had about a 3 hour window before we had to get the ferry to go back to Honeymoon Island. Finally around 1:30 p.m. we had our kayaks and were off. They gave us a map and very limited verbal directions. We found our way through the mangroves fine, but when we came out at the end our map did not say which direction we needed to go to get back (right or left). We decided to head left and then flagged down a small boat and asked them which direction it was to the Caladesi dock. We were goin the right way, but it was a long way back. We got back just as the Captain of the ferry was giving the last call for our ride back. The kayaking was fun, but tense at the end as we were not sure we would make it back. Be careful too because they added a 20% tip onto the rental fee, which is ridiculous because it was not a guided tour. Caladesi was worth visiting the island, but you might want to be careful about the kayaking. Just make sure you understand the map and that it might take 1-1/2 to 2 hours to do the self-guided tour through the mangroves.
Written March 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

LessStuffMoreLife
Bay City, MI107 contributions
Mar 2021
With the right kind of weather (80 degrees and mostly sunny), we had the perfect beach day on Caladesi. The sand is super soft, the water is clear and beautiful, and the crowd was family-friendly. There WAS a crowd, and you should know if you're going during spring break to get there early. We arrived at 10:30 and waited over an hour to buy our tickets and wait for the ferry. Our return trip was much smoother with no waiting. The website says there's great shelling, but be warned that the "great shelling" area is a 1.5 mile one way walk down the sand to the other end of the island. The website also says you'll see dolphins and manatees, we saw none and it seemed like it wasn't a typical thing to look for them. The ferry ride is fairly quick, and the captain and mate are friendly and efficient. There are beach chairs for rent right on the island and a cafe. We are from Michigan, and I would put this on par with one of the great Lake Michigan beaches we are used to visiting in the summer, but with softer sand.
Written March 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

sarahkandchrisk
Cincinnati, OH25 contributions
Feb 2022 • Couples
Do not miss this! It should be # 1. And my app is not allowing me to give 5 stars.
So beautiful and peaceful- we went 2x to Caladesi Island and 2x to Honeymoon Island during our stay. Great, easy well maintained trails. Very flat. Not crowded either. The ferry ride is only 15 minutes over and back, and leaves on the hour to Caladesi and in the 1/2 hour to return to Honeymoon Island. Its $8 per car load to get into the state park and $16 RT per adult for the ferry. There is a concession stand on Caladesi which is handy, but pricey, and they have snacks, fried chicken, ice cream, beer etc. You could probably pack a small cooler to bring with you- we were hiking the nature trails and really didn’t feel like carrying a cooler around so we sucked it up and bought $5 Lays chips lol and $8 beers. Gorgeous beach but windy so bring a fleece if you’re normally chilly. We would recommend a stop in Dunedin on your way. They have umbrellas and chairs for rent as well. The ferry operators accept tips- make sure to have cash 😊
Written February 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

chicos257
Cleveland, OH109 contributions
Feb 2022
The island is beautiful! It was busy the day we went. Stayed about 3 hours, which was enough, since we couldn’t get an umbrella to rent. For the amount of people that the ferry takes to the island, one would think they would have more to rent. Luckily we took our own chairs, otherwise I’m not sure we would have stayed as long as we did. On your return ticket they stamp a time (4 hours) after you arrive on island. If we would have stayed that long, we would have been fried. Anyhow, we stood in line to get on an earlier ferry. This was an experience that I don’t want to have again. They took those that were assigned the time the boat was scheduled to leave (makes sense). Then comes the craziness. They announce that those waiting to come back early is on a first come first serve basis. Really it’s a “who can push their way to the front of the line” get on the boat. Hence the craziness I mentioned. There has got to be a better way to do this (assign numbers or something). I can see a fight happening because of the great push to the front. Really enjoyed the island, just not getting on the ferry on the way back. Hence only three stars.
Written February 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

mek99
Syracuse, NY309 contributions
Feb 2022
The island is accessible by ferry or private boat and was a wonderful experience. There is a café on the island, rest rooms with beach chairs and umbrellas available for rent. The 3 mile beach is made up of white sand with some unusual and large intact seashells everywhere. The beach is left in its natural state so the wrack (dried seaweed and sea grasses) is present. To me, however, I loved the fact that the wrack provides food for the many sea birds on the island. For those who like hiking, there are over 2.5 miles of cleared trails throughout the interior of the island. We live nearby but had never visited the island. It is absolutely worth a visit and we will be going there again.
Written February 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

valgalbrown
Aurora, CO76 contributions
Jul 2021 • Friends
This is the most perfect place for a beach day. We came on a Friday and there was maybe 100 people total on a mile stretch of beach. It is very secluded and private. The water is crystal clear and the beach is immaculately clean. We were however disappointed that we couldn’t kayaks. There is a red algae that is taking over the whole Tampa area and killing the fish. So we’ll kayak through the mangroves next time. The beach day was perfect and we were okay with just relaxing. You have to pay $8 to enter Honeymoon Island then catch the ferry to Caladesi for $16. All worth every penny. A highlight of our Florida adventure.
Written July 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

sharonKentucky
kentucky32 contributions
Apr 2021
We arrived at 945 and got tickets for the 1030 ferry. The island was beautiful and we got lots of shells. My daughter even found a live starfish which we took pictures of and put back in the ocean. We had to leave after 3 hours. We had our elderly parents with us and had gotten a beach wheelchair for my dad. I recommend that you do not do that. It was very very hard to push. My husband managed to push him to the beach where we rented chairs for them to sit down. It took everything he could do to push it there. I dont know if the tires werent totally inflated or what but that wheel chair was useless. (We had to have him walk part of the way back because we couldn't push it up hill through the sand.) We couldn't walk around or anything. My parents sat there in the shade the whole time at the beach. Then we waited in line in the cafe for 30 minutes for a smoothie. The smoothie I believe was $6.00 for a tiny cup and seemed to be a mixture without any real fruit in it. After that we took the Ferry back early because we couldn't leave my parents alone and it was impossible to do anything. It was beautiful and we will come again by ourselves and hopefully get to kayak and explore the island. They are building a discovery center and a high area to climb to see over the entire island. It looks as if its close to being finished. Maybe it will be open in June.
Written April 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

gulfcoastbabe
Springfield, MO2 contributions
Apr 2022
First of all, do not go on a weekend because you will wait an hour in traffic to even get to the entrance of the park. We wanted to kayak the mangroves which had done in other areas of Florida before. There are no instructions as to what to do once you come out of the mangroves. We did not know which way to go and there was no one around. We paddled against the tide and ended up at a private club called Carlouel. The young man at the dock said that others had this happen before. We had no way to get back to where we were dropped off from the ferry. We called the rental place at the park and they were of no assistance. The folks at the club said it would be over an hour walk (maybe in the water) to get back. We were forced to leave the kayak there. We got no assistance or help so be prepared if you choose to do this. We ended up calling an Uber (the wait was 2 hours). This was an expensive "adventure" that was not worth it.
Written May 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Christian
Washington DC, DC118 contributions
Apr 2022
The ferry experience was great and you will likely spot wildlife on your trip. The beach is much quieter compared with Clearwater beaches and you can truly relax here. If you need refreshment, there is a cafe on the island offering standard beach food.
Written April 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

BucketLister500
10 contributions
May 2021
Caladesi Island is beautiful. This is the first time I rented an umbrella on the beach...sign said "$29.00". Just flew back home and saw my credit card got charged $34.80. Dug up the receipt, and it has a $5.80 "tip" added on. Tip for what? The guy sits in a beach chair and swipes your credit card!

Definitely need shade on the beach, just know going in that the price is higher than advertised.
Written May 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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