Saturday, June 1, 2019 6:52 AM

The Villages to Dunedin 94-mi, 2-hr
Gainesville to Dunedin 153-mi, 2-hr 30-min
Ocala to Dunedin 110-mi, 2-hr 10-min

Beyond the Wall Guesthouse

520 Skinner Blvd, Dunedin, FL 34698 
    (727) 500-2337

The Honu
516 Grant St, Dunedin, FL 34698 

    (727) 333-7777
Happy’s Bayou Bites
431 Skinner Blvd, Dunedin, FL 34698 
    (727) 240-1102
Thirteen of us Villagers spent the night at the Beyond The Wall Bed and Breakfast in Dunedin built and run by Michelle and Rock, an ex-military pilot couple. The compound has an updated Key West feel with guest rooms in a main building and a cluster of cottages. Off street parking is free, and we were steps from the action downtown. The rooms are neat and organized and breakfast is served in the main lounge. This guest house has a very private pool area. There are several other accommodations in or close to the downtown, however if you were in the services, or appreciate exasperating attention to detail, Beyond The Wall is a great choice.
    We first met across the street for lunch at Happy’s Bayou Bites and were greeted with live music and a Cajun style menu. This is an outdoor eatery under large oak trees and appears a first to be an old dock house, but is actually a facade that they pull their food truck behind, adding to the charming vibe. Everyone was pleased with their lunches but the big surprise was the home made cookies. We all went back for more.
    Most of our crowd spent the sunny afternoon with cocktails at the pool where the posted rules sign stated that mermaids could “swim without their shells after sundown,” and several crazy seniors took advantage later of that after-dark option.
    Some of the group wandered nearby checking out the stores and the arts district. Directly next door is Rick’s Picks, a meld of antiques, beads, art and old fashioned head shop. Rick has a large collection of ashtrays that range from old hotels and restaurants to smart assed quotes to stamp out your smoke in. There is a vintage clothing section, lots of vinyl and anything else you can imagine.
    Dinner was enjoyed at The Honu a nearby Hawaiian restaurant. It’s a bungalow style cottage reimagined as an eatery with most of its seating in the front yard lit with tiki torches and live music that does not interfere with conversation. The food is very inventive and crisp, not overspiced or over-sauced. Pitchers of sangria are more than ample and there is a selection of beers and ciders to choose from. Dunedin is a beer drinking town with twelve micro breweries, most serving food also.
    Breaking into smaller groups after dinner we went exploring the downtown. Dunedin becomes very pedestrian oriented after dark and most of the restaurants and bars have courtyards or have their doors open with live music spilling out into the streets. The retail ranges from an old fashioned book seller to a late night homemade ice cream joint. We were impressed with the lack of ticky-tacky touristy T-shirt shops so common in Florida resort towns. There are clubs and bars to visit and at the end of the main drag is the Gullf of Mexico. You can wander the waterfront park and marina or visit the recently restored jazz-age Fenway Hotel which has a rooftop bar overlooking the water, there is no better place to watch the sunset.
    Dunedin is close to beaches and other Tampa area locations. When saying good bye we all realized that an extra night was needed to experience this town and agreed to come back soon.

    Check out the video below showing us having fun in Dunedin which is close to Tarpon Springs, Clearwater, Tampa and St. Petersburg.

Welcome to my blog about nearby adventures that await Villagers ready to venture outside the bubble!

- Greg Madsen