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Honeymoon Island January 26, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Mindfulness, Nature, Travel & Leisure.

Honeymoon Island (previously Sand Island, then Hog Island ~ in honor of  its rotund porcine residents) is a State Park with pristine beaches and a Nature Center overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.

It earned its present moniker when honeymooners from all over the country came in the Thirties to stay in Lover’s Nook (or one of 50 other grass huts on the island) to enjoy their change in status from single to newly wedded.

A causeway to the mainland added in the Sixties made the island more accessible to tourists.

Concerned citizens managed to halt development and preserve the island’s  serene beauty.  As a result of their efforts, the island offers gorgeous views and delightful breezes without high-rises competing for attention.

From Honeymoon Island, visitors can take a 20-minute ferry ride to Caladesi Island . . . voted the BEST beach in America in 2008 by Dr. Beach.

We opted to save an excursion to Caladesi Island for another day since the beach on Honeymoon Island offered everything that we needed for our brief visit ~ sun, sand, and waves gently lapping at our feet.

Wandering along the beach, with our feet splashing through the turquoise waters, we grasped the appeal of this tranquil island to newlyweds in the days of yore.

As we made our way back to the car, we found a Chestnut Turban.

Wikipedia ~ Chestnut Turban (in Public Domain

This aptly named seashell, with an intricate turban-like appearance (reminiscent of Aladdin’s Genie of the Magic Lamp), varies in shade from Chestnut to pearly white.

Our pearly white Chestnut Turban is a subtle reminder that life is full of magical moments, sweet surprises, and new adventures around every bend in the road . . . as long as we keep our eyes (and hearts) open.

Open Sesame!

For more information:  Florida State Parks 75th Anniversary * Honeymoon Island State Park Photo Gallery * Turbo Castanea


1. Paula Tohline Calhoun - January 26, 2011

OOOOOHHH! I can hardly wait! How far is it from your houe? Is there relatively inexpensive lodging on the island? Wow! I love Gulf beaches. So beautiful, warm water, gentle (relatively) surf. I couldn’t ask for more. . .When I was a little girl, we rented a house for 2 week in the summers on Siesta Key. Bet we wouldn’t recognize it now, but it used to be fairly unpopulated, with lots of unspoiled beaches. . .Thanks for sharing this info. I’m looking forward to maybe giving it a try!

nrhatch - January 26, 2011

Siesta Key is just south of us. It’s beaches are still AWESOME. And there are tons of FUN restaurants there ~ maybe that’s where we should head for lunch with you and Ashley?

One, the Lobster Pot, served the best Lobster Roll I’ve had south of Maine.

Honeymoon Island is probably 90 minutes north of us ~ near Dunedin and Tarpon Springs. It’s beaches are beautiful, but so are ALL the beaches up and down the Gulf Coast. My favorite beach is on Anna Maria Island and it’s only 3 miles from our villa. 😀

So, there, you have something to look forward to after Dr. Cutting gets done cutting you up some more.

Paula Tohline Calhoun - January 26, 2011

Anna Maria, here we come1 ;-D and Siesta Key for dinner, too! Thanks! (Any inexpensive lodging in Sarasota/Siesta Key that you would recommend?)

nrhatch - January 26, 2011

I’ll e-mail you.

2. Debra - January 26, 2011

It sounds and looks wonderful. I miss Florida:)

thank you for the smiles this post brought:)

nrhatch - January 26, 2011

Yay! Glad you enjoyed.

I’m so happy living here amid swaying palms beside turquoise seas. I feel as if I’m finally HOME. 🙂

3. SuziCate - January 26, 2011

life is full of magical moments, sweet surprises, and new adventures around every bend in the road . . . as long as we keep our eyes (and hearts) open – beautifully stated! Thanks for sharing this island, I’d never heard of it.

nrhatch - January 26, 2011

Florida has done a wonderful job protecting areas from development by incorporating them into the park system.

It’s also done a great job keeping beaches ACCESSIBLE to all . . . not just to those who can afford to stay in swanky resorts.

When we want to go to the beach, we can usually park right next to the beach for FREE. Very different from beaches in NJ that require passes and expensive parking fees.

4. Cindy - January 26, 2011

It sounds utterly charming, Nancy. I wish …

nrhatch - January 26, 2011

Me too . . .


5. kateshrewsday - January 26, 2011

Right now, I could do with a spell on that island, Nancy…
Beautiful shell.

nrhatch - January 26, 2011

I don’t collect many seashells, nor do I remember the names of those I have picked up.

But I loved the Chestnut Turban and had to discovery its secret identity when we got home that day.

6. nrhatch - January 26, 2011

Thanks for spreading the sunshine! ;D

7. souldipper - January 26, 2011

Bloggers Conference!! Caladesi Island!! We’ll get right on it. I’ll sell blogging tents so the sand won’t kill our laptops. 🙂

nrhatch - January 26, 2011

This would be a perfect spot for a bloggers conference. The weather inspires me on a daily basis.

8. Carol Ann Hoel - January 26, 2011

Nancy, we have some “places” in common. My daughter lived in Oldsmar, just outside of Tampa, for about a year, so I am familiar with Dunedin and have been through it going from one place to another. Also, my husband and I had a timeshare (got rid of it finally) on Anna Maria Island. We used to vacation there every year. We loved that area. We’ve never seen Honeymoon Island, but it looks beautiful. Yes, the Gulf beaches are gorgeous. Blessings…

nrhatch - January 26, 2011

I remembered that you had some ties to Florida but didn’t know that you vacationed on AMI.

We’ve been coming to AMI on and off for the past 20 years. I never thought I would be lucky enough to live here.

Dunedin is a cute town. Haven’t been to Oldsmar yet.

The beaches up and down the Gulf Coast are so gorgeous.

9. tsuchigari - January 26, 2011

Why must you torture us lonely landlocked writers who sit amidst snow and ice! Alas, I can dream of sunny skies and warm feet. Looks like a great time for a vacation!

nrhatch - January 26, 2011

C’mon down! It’s been a bit cool this winter, but not a flake of snow in sight.

I’ve been amazed at all the snow and ice getting tossed around up north this year. We endured many a northern winter before migrating south, but this year’s weather seems particularly wicked.

Here’s to an early Spring. 🙂

10. jannatwrites - January 26, 2011

That place looks gorgeous, Nancy, I love the picture of the wildflowers by the beach. If I played a CD of ocean sounds, I could stare at it and lull myself to sleep 🙂

Thanks for sharing your experience!

nrhatch - January 26, 2011

Glad you enjoyed, Janna.

When I started meditating, I used an Ocean Waves CD. I’d close my eyes, listen to the waves, and be at the beach.

Relaxed. Calm. In the moment. One wave rolling into the next.

11. Booksphotographsandartwork - January 27, 2011

Hmmmm my husband and I haven’t had a honeymoon yet, it’s been 23 years! That looks like the place for me!

nrhatch - January 27, 2011

The huts are gone, but it’s a beautiful spot for a day trip.

Day tripper. Day tripper, yeah!

nrhatch - January 27, 2011

Oh, and you should plan a honeymoon ~ maybe for your 25th?

12. granny1947 - January 27, 2011

Oh wow…look at the colour of that sea!!!!!

nrhatch - January 27, 2011

The color of the water is tropical. Very different from the ocean where I grew up.

13. flyinggma - January 27, 2011

Love the shell. It’s the type of thing I would see and pick up while walking. I’ve never been to Florida but have enjoyed the South Padre Islands off of Texas in the Gulf. Just beautiful…

nrhatch - January 27, 2011

I expect that they are very similar . . . in their natural state at least. We checked out many of the islands off the Florida coast and note differences, but most are man-made.

The sand, the sun, and the turquoise sea are fairly uniform.

14. Tammy McLeod - January 27, 2011

That is my perfect kind of day Nancy. I shall visit one day.

nrhatch - January 27, 2011

Definitely. Next time you are in Florida, aim for the Gulf Coast. 🙂

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