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On Florida's Gulf Coast, Dunedin is Known for its Cute Downtown, Pretty Marina and Five Miles of Sparkling Oceanfront Beaches and Warm Blue Waters
On Florida's Gulf Coast, just north of Clearwater, Dunedin ("Dun-EE-ton") receives was once an important seaport and the site of Florida's largest sailing fleet. Today this city of 38,000 people boasts five miles of sparkling shoreline and receives rave reviews from just about everyone.
The cost of living is 4% above the national average. Fifty-five percent of residents are age 45 or better. The crime rate is below the national average, and politics lean to the left. Thirty percent of locals are college educated. Racial diversity is minimal. Dunedin has maintained its population within the last decade.
Housing ranges from modest condos and block ranch ramblers to Mediterranean-style custom homes. The median home price is $425,000, reflecting a 2% increase over a year ago. Edgewater Arms is a nicely manicured 55+ condominium community with waterfront views.
Dunedin has a charming, pedestrian-friendly Main Street with a colorful assortment of cafes, pubs, galleries, eclectic restaurants, shops and bookstores. No chain stores are here.
Called the nation's most walkable town, Dunedin is also bicycle friendly, with Pinellas Trail, a 39-mile long walking and bicycling pathway, running right through downtown. In the pretty marina, where weathered fishing vessels were once the norm, glistening pleasure craft of all shapes and sizes now bob in the water.
Two beautiful beaches, Honeymoon Beach State Park and Caladesi Island State Park (only accesible by boat), the latter of which is often called the nation's best beach, beckon with five miles of pristine white sand and warm blue waters.
This is a lively place, and festivals and events are many. The city's Scottish roots are celebrated during the Highland Games and Spring Clan Gathering each spring, and Mardi Gras, Wines the Blues, Art Harvest, Celtic Music and Craft Beer Festival, Hog Hustle, the Dunedin Cup and Kiwanis Regatta and Oktoberfest are just a few of the town's other happenings.
Dunedin Public Library offers adult education classes, film showings, book discussion groups and has Internet access. The Dunedin Fine Arts Center is a lovely facility and mounts various exhibits throughout the year.
The Hale Senior Activity Center is operated by the city and offers an extensive menu of programs and activities for those age 50+ (no membership required). Each winter it hosts the Senior Awareness Fair, a showcase of local resources available to the mature demographic.
Dunedin operates three other recreation centers, as well, and it recently received a state award for its programs. The city's Committee on Aging helps with planning for the needs of the senior population.
Dunedin has two golf courses, but many more are just a short drive away. Each year, baseball-crazy crowds come out to watch the Toronto Blue Jays' spring training.
Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority provides public transportation.
Mease Dunedin Hospital is a 120-bed facility and is a designated stroke care center. It is award-winning for nursing care and meets or exceeds national averages in most specialty areas. It is accredited by the Joint Commission and accepts Medicare patients. Several other major medical facilities are within 5 to 15 miles.
Summer high temperatures usually top out in the low 90s, and winter temperature highs are in the 50s, 60s, 70s. Average rainfall is 50 inches per year with the usual summertime afternoon showers. On the comfort index, a combination of temperature and humidity, Dunedin is below the national average. The sun shine 242 days of the year.
Dunedin has some drawbacks. According to Florida Geological Survey geologists, Dunedin is a prime spot for sinkholes. Lawsuits have been filed against the city and developers for negligence regarding homes built on unstable soil. Hurricanes are always a possibility. In fact, Irma in 2017 and Michael in 2018 both brought flooding and wind damage.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes | Is Florida Tax-Friendly for Retirement? Yes
The hurricane potential and sinkhole issue are drawbacks, but a fun downtown, good medical care, beautiful beaches, good senior programs, lots of festivals and a low crime rate are all pluses, making Dunedin a place to consider for retirement.
Named Pascua Florida by Juan Ponce De Leon, the Sunshine State did not enter the Union until March 3, 1845. Balmy mild winters began attracting snowbirds to the state in the late 19th century. Retirees continue to flock to the state. It's not hard to see why tourism has become the leading industry.
International trade and citrus are also major contributors to the state's economy. Eighty percent of the nation's oranges and grapefruits are grown here, and 40 percent of all U.S. exports to Latin America flow through Florida.
Florida's landscape includes uplands and coastal plains. It contains more than 11,000 miles of waterways and about 4,500 islands spread across 10 acres.
The state has 1,250 golf courses, more than any other state in the Union. The 47 mile Pinellas Trail is the longest urban trail on the east coast. Orlando theme parks attract more visitors than any other theme parks in the U.S. The only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles co-exist is in National Everglades Park.
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