The first five day Central Region Workshop in Dunedin, Florida just wrapped up on Sunday. Rumor has it we can anticipate an encore in January 2016, with likely several other special events including banquets and programs in Dunedin before then.
The consensus is in and it seems there is overwhelming enthusiasm hailing from Alaska to Florida and many points in between regarding plans for us to put down deeper roots in Dunedin. Hopefully at least as many Fung Loy Kok participants as have visited the International Centre in Mono, Ontario (Orangeville) will one day pay a visit to our second international center at the historic Fenway hotel in Dunedin. If you are considering making the journey, here are some suggestions to help you get the most out of your visit:
1) In downtown Dunedin, just five blocks from the Fenway Taoist Tai Chi International Center, visit the many unique shops and then have an ice cream, beverage or meal of your choice. There’s something to suit every palate.
2) Visit Dunedin’s popular “Green Market” in the downtown every Friday and Saturday till 2pm. Much more than just produce, this farm market features artisans, green products, unique teas and many other delicacies and delights.
3) Attend a class at the Dunedin Taoist Tai Chi Centre; for the moment still located on Main Street two miles from downtown, but soon at the centrally located Fenway Center. Check the local branch website for further news about upcoming programs and special events.
4) Take a stroll and bird watch along quiet Victoria Drive from the marina at the end of Main Street (at the Best Western) to Weaver Park. How many species did you spot on the docks, waves, palm trees and shoreline within a mere six blocks? How lucky our we all to have an oceanfront lawn like this now too at the Fenway?
5) Catch the Toronto Blue Jays in training at the Florida Auto Exchange Stadium just two blocks from the Fenway. Or when it’s not spring training season, check the schedule for the Dunedin Blue Jays.
6) Though off the usual beat and path, locals recommend Homeplate for some freshly made homestyle cooking; its just one of several dining options in the ballpark neighborhood a couple of blocks behind the Fenway.
7) Watch the radiant sunset from the front porch of the Fenway. Practice your Taoist Tai Chi® arts in the fresh ocean air here and you’ll be radiant too. Anyone up for a sunrise set?
8) Don’t forget to take your own “karate kid” photo posing on a post that once supported the Fenway’s private pier and perhaps will again in the future.
9) See pods of wild dolphins up close and get a guided boat tour of the offshore islands and celebrity homes. If you go on a sunset cruise, bring an extra layer; the ocean breezes can be a little chilly after the sun goes down. Check the Internet or visit the marinas in Dunedin and Clearwater to investigate options.
10) Enjoy live music with your lunch or dinner at many pubs, breweries and restaurants around town including gourmet options Bon Appetit (at the marina) and the Living Room (downtown).
11) Whether from a pier, private vessel or fishing charter, try some deep sea angling. I hear there’s some good fishing down here in January… ice free!! Stop by the Olde Bay Café & Dunedin Fish Market for the catch of the day and a chat with Walt about the marine life “under the dock” at the marina.
12) Rent a bicycle from Dunedin Cyclery, Energy Conservatory or Wheel Fun Rentals and enjoy Dunedin’s plentiful bike lanes and paths including the renowned, paved, level, motorized-traffic free walking and cycling path, the Pinellas Trail, and take in the ocean views. It passes right through downtown and just half a block inland from the Fenway!
13) Stop and enjoy some of the many parks along the way. Did you pack your picnic lunch?
14) Try some Dunedin style “bar hopping” on board the vintage trolley cars or stop along the Pinellas trail to try the trail front cafés.
15) Explore Dunedin’s roots at the Celtic Shop of Dunedin along the Pinellas Trail near downtown and the Dunedin Historical Museum located in the former train station. What more can you discover about the Fenway’s interesting history?
16) Tour the Dunedin Brewery. No newcomer to the microbrewery trend, it’s the oldest craft brewery in Florida, but by no means the only place to try a unique brew in town.
17) Antiquing anyone? Dunedin offers many options for treasure hunters of the vintage variety. Start downtown and inquire from there.
18) Shopped out the downtown? Check out the Westfield Countryside Mall just 10 minutes drive from the Fenway. Find all your favorite cross-border shopping destinations within an easy drive in the Bay Area.
19) The cinema at Westfield Countryside has 12 screens and is just one of 4 movie theaters within 15 minutes of the Fenway. There are a dozen more within 30 minutes, several of which have 20 screens or more. When did you last watch a movie you really wanted to see on a truly big screen?
20) Take a thirty minute side trip to St. Petersburg and visit the Dali Museum. Call or email the local Taoist Tai Chi club to see if there is a class happening on the museum’s architecturally acclaimed plaza with its stunning views of the marina and airport.
21) Feeling artistically inspired? Get connected with the local arts scene by visiting the Dunedin Fine Arts Center as well as the many downtown galleries and studios.
22) Take the bridge over to Honeymoon Island and explore the beaches and hiking trails in the state park.
23) Catch the Ferry from Honeymoon Island to Caladesi Island and work on your tan on one of the most beautiful natural beaches in the entire USA; afterwards, limber up with some tai chi and a gentle hike on the adjacent nature trails.
24) Rent a kayak (or stand-up paddle board) and explore Caladesi Island’s kayak trail.
25) Pinellas county has many other renowned beaches. Which one will you be doing tai chi on next?
Whether you’re a local, snowbird or recent first-time visitor, do you have more suggestions to add to this list? Know where to sample the local citrus? Explored some other worthwhile side trips in the area? Found the perfect park bench for resting or reading? Have a favorite activity or eatery to recommend? Which of Dunedin’s many Festivals throughout the year should we visitors try to catch? Submit your recommendations to email@example.com