Caladesi Island, where to stay and what to do

Caladesi Island State Park is a lovely place to get away from the hustle and bustle of Tampa and Clearwater by taking the boat out to one of the barrier islands. Caladesi Island is packed with fun activities including swimming, shelling, hiking, and resting on the beach. On our Florida road trip, we stopped there, and it quickly became one of our favorite beaches in the state.

The sugary white sand and swaying palms are something out of a fantasy. Be on the lookout for armadillos, as we spotted several of them wandering the island. Our first encounter with wild armadillos!

This is a wonderful site to visit whether you are a local or just passing by on a day trip from Orlando, Florida. Getting to Caladesi from Honeymoon Island is a breeze thanks to the boat service.

Where to stay near Caladesi Island?

You can look for your ideal accommodation near Caladesi Island here on Booking:


Clearwater To Caladesi Island

Caladesi Island Ferry Tickets & Information is the most convenient terminal for passengers departing from Clearwater. It takes roughly 25 minutes to travel from Clearwater to the ferry terminal in Caladesi.

Caladesi Island in Florida

How to get to Caladesi Island?

The island is accessible from Clearwater Beach by private boat, kayak, ferry, or on foot.

Take the Ferry

The ferry is the most common and convenient means of transportation to the island. Honeymoon Island State Park is where you catch the ferry for the about 20-minute crossing. The journey is enjoyable and peaceful on the water. There is a strict 4-hour time restriction on the island if you take the Caladesi ferry.

The ferry to Caladesi Island operates everyday (with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas). At 10:00 am, ferries begin leaving Honeymoon Island every half an hour.

The following is a list of the prices associated with using the ferry from Honeymoon Island to go to Caladesi.

Price for Adults: $16.
Price for kids 6-12: $8.
Kids under 5: Free.

The aforementioned prices are for a round-trip ticket. Remember that the ferry departs from Honeymoon Island State Park, which does charge a $8 entrance fee.

Take the Kayak

Renting a kayak is an exciting and unique means of transportation to the island. Sail Honeymoon is the finest spot to rent a kayak on Calades Island. These may be found on the island’s south side, close to the causeway that leads to Honeymoon. Single and tandem kayaks are available for hire.

It takes around 20 minutes to kayak to the island. You may hire the Kayak for either two or four hours, depending on how much time you wish to spend there. If you want to hike the island’s three-mile mangrove walk, you should set aside extra time, maybe even a full day.

Take the boat

Caladesi Island is accessible via boat, so if you’re in the region, consider bringing your own or renting one. The ferry boats dock at designated piers, although you are free to anchor anywhere you please.

There is a $6 entry charge for up to 8 passengers in a boat. If you’re taking the ferry, you’re exempt from this rule.

You can arrange a private boat charter to visit Caladesi Island, Florida, and see dolphins while also getting to know the surrounding region. Several of the barrier islands, such as Caladesi Island and Three Rooker Island, are accessible during the half-day charter. You can book this private boating half-day trip that includes Caladesi Island on Viator here: 

Can you walk from Honeymoon Island to Caladesi Island?

Walking between Honeymoon and Caladesi Islands is not possible. Getting to the island of Caladesi from Honeymoon Island requires a 20-minute ferry journey. Clearwater Beach provides easy access to the island by foot.

The walk to the island is not quick, but it is possible. This is a lovely stroll along the beach and is sure to please beachgoers. The trek is around three miles one way from Clearwater North Beach. There isn’t much of a challenge, although the trek is around 6 miles round way.

The northern end of Mandalay Avenue is the ideal spot to park if you want to stroll out to the state park. Accessibility to the beach is greatest via Somerset Road. If you go north, you’ll eventually reach a sign pointing toward the bridge and nature walk.

This is not something we would suggest trying. Take the ferry so that you can spend your energy enjoying the Caladesi beach.

What to do on Caladesi Island?

There is a wide variety of exciting activities and destinations to discover on the island once you arrive. And if you simply want to chill out, the beach on Caladesi Island is stunning.

Try swimming at Caladesi Island

The answer to the question of whether or not you can go swimming on Caladesi Island is “yes.” The beach is gorgeous, and the waves are mild, making it ideal for swimming. This is a top activity on the island to try.

Enjoy Caladesi Island beach

The beach on the island is around four miles long. The beach in Caladesi is home to a wide array of fauna, flora, seashells, and crystal-clear water. This island is less crowded than adjacent Siesta Key Beach and Clearwater Beach since visitors must take a boat to get there.

There will be plenty of areas for you to spread out and enjoy the beach and the island. The beach on Caladesi Island was almost empty when we visited. A few other tourists were also walking the beach in search of shells.

Snorkel at Caladesi Island

Caladesi State Park is an excellent area for families to go snorkeling because of the four miles of flat beach and the neighboring shallow seas. The waters close to Main Beach are among the greatest in the world for snorkeling. The beach is the one nearest to the facilities and the eatery.

The white sand here is both deep and fine-grained. There isn’t much to see in the water, but there could be something if you look hard enough. Don’t get your hopes up about seeing plenty of fish and other marine life.

See the seashells at Caladesi Island

Shells have a far better chance of washing ashore in one piece due to the very flat continental shelf off Florida’s coast.

We spotted stunning shells throughout the west coast of Florida, not only on Sanibel Island in Fort Myers, which is widely recognized as the world’s seashell capital. It’s a blast to go shelling on the islands of Caladesi.

About one hour before the low tide is the best time to go shell hunting. During low tide, the sandbar is exposed, making it simpler to search for shells than at high tide. 

Don’t forget to carry a shell bag to help to transport your finds more simpler. The perforations in the bag allow excess water and sand to drain, making this shell bag both convenient and useful.

After disembarking the ferry, your first stop should be at the Shells of Caladesi Island exhibit. Even if you don’t go shell hunting yourself, it’s still awesome to see all the different kinds of shells that others have discovered on the island. Furthermore, on the way back to the ferry, stop here to identify the shells you collected. On the board, there seem to be about 45 shells.

Try Caladesi Island kayaks

Caladesi Island, Florida’s east side is where you want to go if you want to go kayaking. The side that faces the mainland is this one. The water is shallow and clean, providing for a pleasant and fruitful kayaking adventure. There are many different species of birds that live along the sea. A huge blue heron and several pelicans were seen.

Sea life such as stingrays, tons of fish, and crabs may be seen in the clear water with abundant wildlife. You could get fortunate and see a manatee in the mangroves if you come during the winter.

Paddling around the island on the Mangrove Kayak Trail is a great way to get up and personal with the mangroves. The track is three miles long, but if you don’t feel like paddling that far, you can always turn back.

For $25, you can hire a kayak on Caladesi Island from the marina.

Go fishing at Caladesi Island

Tarpon, snook, redfish, and more may all be caught in the shallow waters of the passes immediately offshore. Trophy snook fishing is best in the summer.

You can cast your line from the beach, a kayak, or a boat. Honeymoon Island Causeway is a convenient launching spot for kayakers and people with smaller boats, while Caladesi Island is just a 15-minute boat trip away.

Go hiking at Caladesi Island

If you wish to go trekking and discover the natural wonders of Caladesi Island, you may do so along a track that spans three miles and goes all the way around the island. Go on the boardwalk from the pier. At the T junction where the boardwalk ends, hikers can follow the signage to the Island Trail.

The island’s seaside scrub, salt marshes, and the beach itself may all be explored along this walk. Keep an eye out for armadillos and raccoons along the path, even though you’re more likely to see their footprints than the animals themselves.

There are several branches and interconnecting paths, so it’s smart to get a photo of the trail map before setting out. The hammock made from an oak tree and a palm tree is a sight to see.

Take a helicopter tour of the Caladesi Island

Caladesi Island is magnificent on the ground, and now it’s time to view it from above. The aerial view of this Florida beach with beautiful water is breathtaking.

I highly recommend scheduling a guided trip with Tampa Bay Aviation if you’re interested in taking the greatest possible helicopter tour of Caladesi Island and the neighboring Clearwater Beaches. Book it here now:

Amenities at the Island

There are a number of facilities available on Caladesi Island to make your day trip or night camp at the dock slips more pleasant. Picnic areas with grills can be reserved in advance.

If you aren’t planning on bringing your own food onto the island, there is a café where you may place an order for lunch and beverages. A modest souvenir store is also available.

A tiny playground can be found close to the shore.   Caladesi Island beach is one of the nearest beaches to Orlando, making it a fantastic option for a family vacation.

You can get beach umbrellas and seats at the end of the beach where it meets the sand. The ferry also allows passengers to bring their own chairs. 

There are facilities, dressing rooms, bathrooms, and a drinking fountain midway between the beach and the boat pier.

Camping at Caladesi Island

Caladesi Island State Park does not have any overnight camping options or accommodations for visitors. The marina offers overnight docking for visitors who go to the island by boat.

A total of 108 seats are on offer. You need just check in before closing time. Water and 30 Amp electricity are available at each slip.

The price of a night in a slip is $24 + taxes. Online booking is available, or you may go up to the marina and hope to get lucky.

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