Honeymoon Island State Park should be on the top of your list to visit if you’re in the Tampa/Clearwater area. The beaches are beautiful, the crowds aren’t nearly as bad as the main Clearwater beaches, and there is plenty to do. Probably the best $8 per carload you can spend (or $120 if you want the one year Florida State Park pass).


We have spent a lot of time at this park, so without further ado, here is our:

10 Things to do at Honeymoon Island State Park

Sit on the Honeymoon Island State Park Beach

Clearwater beaches are known for their beauty, and Honeymoon Island delivers. You will love the white fine sand and the deep blue waters. Although not the biggest beach, and some parts are a bit rocky (depending on the tide and how bad the storms have beat it up), it is still a pleasure for chilling on. 

Of course, like most Florida beaches, the crowds are very dependent on the weather and the time of year. For most of the winter, we enjoyed a lot of quiet time on the beach – very few people come to the state park, especially during the week. But once the weather warms up, it can get VERY crowded and a bit crazy. We went on a Sunday at the end of February (first day in the low 80’s) and the park was absolutely packed. I guarantee that the main Clearwater beach was even worse!

Walk the Trails

The trails at Honeymoon Island State Park aren’t particularly long, but you are rewarded with a tropical environment that is pretty unique. Hitting all the trails on the north side of the island gets you about 3 miles of hiking. One has a loop and goes through the center of the island. The other runs closer to the beach. At the northernmost point of the trail they both dump onto the north side of the beach. The terrain is very flat, and is mostly dirt or sand. It can get pretty muddy if it has been raining, and some areas are tough to pass on a mountain bike due to deep sand.

One thing to absolutely bring is mosquito repellent. We ran into certain areas that were absolutely infested – our legs were covered with more mosquitoes than we ever had seen in our lives! 


north beach access at Honeymoon Island State Park

Eat at the Restaurant

There are actually two small restaurants at Honeymoon Island – pretty basic grills with burgers, hot dogs and chicken fingers. Expect to pay above average prices for this luxury! We would always pack our lunch. Both healthier, and easier on the wallet!

Take the Ferry to Caladesi Island State Park

The only way to Caladesi Island is via the ferry crossing at Honeymoon (unless you have a boat or jet ski!). Check out our article on Caladesi or our video!

Ride a Bike on Honeymoon Island State Park

The park isn’t huge, but it has a surprisingly nice paved bike trail throughout. Smooth, wide and well-marked. And if you have a mountain bike, the 3 miles of trails are also accessible by bike. We would rate it as an easy mountain bike trail, with the only challenge being some sandy sections that you might have to walk unless you have fat tires. The trail is smooth enough for rollerblades or roller skates – they did a good job on building it out!

Rent a Kayak

Although not available directly in the state park on the south side of the Island. Also,  just outside of the park is a Kayak rental store called Sail Honeymoon. for about $60 per day you can explore the island from the water! 

Explore the Visitor/Nature Center

The visitor center has a lot of interesting information and is worth the visit. Make sure you go out back and take in the view of the gulf! They maintain a garden of native plants just outside the visitor center, which is a quick informative tour.

Enjoy the Wildlife

A variety of wildlife exists on the island – plan to see a ton of turtles, armadillos, birds and the occasional rattlesnake. Schools of dolphins are often playing right next to the beach.

Bring Your Pet on the Beach

The first section of the beach actually allows pets, which is great for dog lovers!

Watch the Sunset at Honeymoon Island State Park

Almost the entire beach is west-facing, offering some of the best sunsets in Florida! The best ones are when the sky is partly cloudy. The clouds just really make for an amazing show. In our opinion, one of the best places to hang out for the sunset is actually just outside of Honeymoon Island – you can park on the causeway beach right next to the water and put your chair out. Makes it a lot easier to get out of traffic once the sun sets!