Dunedin is a wonderful location in this part of Florida; a destination unto itself most certainly. It's also a dandy place from which to launch your broader explorations. That's exactly what I've been up to lately.
Leaving downtown Dunedin, one can head north to Palm Harbor, Ozona, and Tarpon Springs. Heading south, you've got Clearwater, Indian Shores, Gulfport, and St. Petersburg, to name a few. East is Safety Harbor and a hop across the bay to Tampa. West is Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island. All of this within a 45-minute drive. Some within 10 minutes.
The Pinellas Trail, over 40 miles long, stretches from Tarpon Springs all the way to St. Petersburg. I ride my 3-wheel bike on the trail many times a week. It is a joy exploring in this way and my dog, Pedro, gets to ride along in the back basket while my camera equipment is at the ready in the front basket.
It's about a 10 mile trip on the Pinellas trail from Dunedin to Tarpon Springs and a fun peddle. Tarpon is an old greek village famous for its sponge industry which began in the late 1800's. This boat just docked is full of sponges.
Tarpon Springs is a beautiful little village located where a series of bayous meet the Gulf of Mexico. I've read that it has the largest percentage of Greek Americans of any city in the United States. Walking down the streets, one can often hear the locals speaking Greek.
Tarpon Springs is full of delicious Greek restaurants. Costas is just around the corner from the sponge docks. Our food was delicious! Believe it or not, a chicken dined with us... under the table, that is. We may or may not have shared a bit of our food with said chicken. Opa!
Baklava is a Greek delicacy that I can't seem to resist. This small bakery had delectable offerings right across from Costas.
Returning from Tarpon Springs, my peddling buddies and I stop at Wall Springs Park in Palm Harbor. The park is over 100 acres and boasts a gorgeous natural spring that was once used as a spa and bathing area. There is a lookout tower, four fishing piers, covered picnic areas, a covered playground, and boardwalks. This park is worth a visit.
Fish and fowl abound at Wall Springs. I watched an elegant great blue heron down a huge fish with ease. It was a sight to behold and amazing that a fish this large did not choke the heron.
Mama Mallard did good! Such happy babies swimming right beside the flowing spring.
While at the park, be sure to search the trees for resting night herons. They are there and fun to spot.
But home is where the heart is and I now call Dunedin home. You can't beat the feeling of community here and the stunning sunsets. Yes, Dunedin has stolen my heart.
Stay tuned for further explorations.
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