Hotel at a Glance: Best Western Plus Yacht Harbor Inn
In 2008, Dr. Beach named Caladesi Island State Park the best beach in America for its soft white sands and “sparkling clear water.” Located on Caladesi Island, one of a string of barrier islands off Florida’s west coast, it’s accessible only by boat or ferry, which helps maintain the beach’s pristine wildlife setting. You can see these islands from the Best Western Plus Yacht Harbor Inn, a boutique hotel overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Boat charters are available at the marina next door, putting Caladesi Island State Park and other award-winning beaches within reach.
Onsite dining: At the hotel’s onsite Bon Appetit Restaurant, diners can enjoy award-winning seafood and spectacular water views. Marina Cafe’s waterfront terrace is a great place for predinner cocktails.
Interesting dishes: Roasted red snapper on a bed of lobster hash and maine lobster linguine flambéed in sherry
Go swimming: In the hotel’s heated outdoor pool and jacuzzi, or head to Clearwater’s famous white-sand beaches 5 miles south
Must-see attraction:Busch Gardens is home to more than 2,000 exotic animals including bengal tigers, chimpanzees, giraffes, and white rhinos, all of which live in re-creations of their natural habitats.
Recommended biking trail: The 47-mile-long Pinellas Trail runs through downtown Dunedin, with beautiful coastal views along the way.
Nifty in-room amenities: Renovated in 2012, all guest rooms feature refrigerators, microwaves, and balconies or patios.
Dunedin, Florida: Barrier Islands with Sandy Beaches and Native Wildlife
Located 30 miles west of Tampa and just north of Clearwater Beach, the town of Dunedin overlooks the Gulf of Mexico. Running parallel to the coast of Dunedin is a string of lush barrier islands; drive across the Dunedin Causeway to reach the popular Honeymoon Island and its eponymous state park. Here, you can snorkel in the warm waters of the gulf and comb the beaches for seashells. Keep an eye out for osprey nests and other native shorebirds.
From Honeymoon Island, you can take the Caladesi Island Ferry to the more secluded Caladesi Island State Park, famous for its unspoiled white-sand beaches. Hop on a kayak and paddle a 3-mile waterway past mangroves or hike a 3-mile nature trail on the island’s interior.
Valid for check in Sun-Thurs or Fri-Sat based on option bought
Reservation required, subject to availability
24-hour cancellation notice required or fee up to Groupon price applies
Must be 21 or older to check in
Credit card required at booking and check-in
Not valid with reward points
12% tax not included.
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One king bed or two queen beds
Standard occupancy: 2
Maximum occupancy: 2 in king room, 4 in queen room
Adding occupants above standard: no charge for guests 13 or younger; $20 per night per guest 14 or older
Check-in: 3 p.m.
Checkout: 11 a.m.
Parking: free valet parking is available
Rollaways: available upon request
Smoking policy: no smoking inside the property
Pet policy: pets allowed based on the availability of pet-friendly rooms. Up to two dogs per room with an 80 lb. weight limit. Additional pet types (cats, birds, etc.) may be accepted at the hotel's discretion. Pet rate is $20 per day with a $100 per week maximum. A refundable cleaning-and-damage deposit of $50 per day is required upon check-in.
Accessibility: handicap-accessible rooms are available upon request during booking.
Room upgrades: available for an additional fee at check-in
By plane: 22 miles from Tampa International Airport (TPA)
By cab: about $65 from TPA
By car: about 26 miles west of Tampa
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