Found in Pinellas County, Florida, Dunedin is a rarity on Florida's west coast: it is one of the last remaining open waterfront communities between Sarasota and Cedar Key. Just south of the downtown district, along this 1-mile stretch of Edgewater Drive (Alt. 19 N.), no buildings obscure the scenic view of tranquil St. Joseph Sound, Clearwater Beach and Caladesi Island State Park.
Historic Fenway Hotel
The posh Fenway Hotel opened in the midst of Florida's first boom time, on Dec. 10, 1925. Interestingly, it was the site of Pinellas County's first radio transmission: One of the principal shareholders, George H. Bowles, happened to be a promoter of the "new-fangled gizmo." Diplomats, artists and other celebrities such as Clarence Darrow, Carl Sandburg and Babe Ruth were among the hotel's famous guests.
Today, the Fenway sits empty, a victim of difficult economic times. While some wish to raze the building to make way for a housing development, a preservation effort is under way seeking to restore the hotel to its former glory. Considering Dunedin's strong links to its past, renovating and restoring the beautiful building to attract future tourists would seem the prudent choice.
The quaint and picturesque setting along Main Street in Dunedin, with its distinctly Scottish charm, conceals the fact that this bustling city is home to some 35,000 residents. And while the downtown business corridor always feels vibrant and alive, it's rarely overcrowded. Many businesses are scattered along side streets radiating from Main Street.
According to the Downtown Dunedin Merchants Association, there are more than 100 privately owned shops, restaurants, bars and pubs, boutiques, art galleries and antiques stores in and around the downtown area.
Main Street Meets The Pinellas Trail
A signpost stands where the Pinellas Trail crosses Main Street in Dunedin, pointing the way to many of the local shops and restaurants. Adding to the "small town charm" of Dunedin's downtown district is the fact that it is accessible to Pinellas County residents via the walking and biking trail that stretches from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs.
Galleries At Douglas Village
One of the best examples of Dunedin's Scottish ambiance can be found at the Galleries at Douglas Village, a cluster of eight structures reminiscent of a traditional Scottish village. Complete with a brick-inlaid courtyard where shoppers can rest on benches and watch a fountain, this 6,500-square-foot retail center houses specialty shops such as the Rose Garden Boutique, Cappuccino's Bakery and Cafe and Chocolate Diva's.
The Galleries at Douglas Village are at 731 through 737 Broadway, just off Main Street in downtown Dunedin.
Dunedin Historical Society Museum
The Dunedin Historical Society Museum, 349 Main Street, contains approximately 2,000 artifacts, 2,500 photographs and a library containing 200 volumes of local and Florida history. Visitors can see antique clothing, household tools and utensils used by Dunedin pioneer families dating back to the 1870s. The museum also exhibits materials from Dunedin's first post office and first bank as well as items from other major businesses the Dunedin area, including the Orange Concentrate plant.
Dunedin Historical Society Museum And The Railroad
The Dunedin Historical Society Museum is situated in a building that once served as Dunedin's railroad station. The train tracks were pulled up years ago and the route became the basis for the Pinellas Trail. The museum showcases its link to the rails by displaying a variety of railroad material such as vintage posters and pictures of Florida railroads, railroad equipment, telegraph material, original material from the Dunedin railroad station and material that traces the evolution of railroad companies that flourished in Pinellas County and Florida.
Flanagan's Irish Pub
Pinellas County residents don't wait for St. Patrick's Day to visit Flanagan's Irish Pub, 465 Main Street in downtown Dunedin. Easily one of the best Irish pubs in the Tampa Bay area, guests will find traditional menu items including cream of potato soup, shepherd's pie, steak and mushroom pie, bangers and mash as well as fish and chips.
Flanagan's is just one of the many restaurants located in and around downtown Dunedin. Some of the other nearby restaurants are:
- Café Alfresco, 344 Main St.
- Casa Tina, 365 Main St.
- Sea Sea Riders Restaurant, 221 Main St.
- The Black Pearl, 315 Main St.
Dunedin maintains over 220 acres of land dedicated to public use for hiking, biking, swimming, playing and picnicking. The city's wise use of its natural resources enhances the quality of life in Dunedin for residents and visitors alike.
Right in the downtown area are several parks, including the small but peaceful Armston Park, 201 Main Street; Edgewater Park, 51 Main Street; and Pioneer Park, found at the intersection of Main Street and Douglas Avenue. Found in the park, this plaque, erected in 1981 by the Dunedin Historical Society, exemplifies the city's high regard for its heritage.
Pioneer Park Band Shell
Imagine gathering here on a Friday night at dusk to watch a movie under the stars; or hearing the Dunedin Pipe Band performing a concert on a lazy Sunday afternoon; or shopping for fresh produce at the Greenmarket on Friday mornings from October through April. These are just a few of the programs that the city sponsors here at Pioneer Park in downtown Dunedin.