One of the greatest perks of living in or visiting Florida is the abundance of water views. Aside from the positive benefits being near water has on our health and brain1, you never know what you might see. As a waterfront restaurant in operation for 44 years, we’ve observed all kinds of interesting things. Some are more common than others, but interesting nonetheless. To give you an idea of what you might see, we’ve compiled a list of our favorites.
5 things you might see when you dine with us:
1. Seabirds aplenty
If you think we’re talking about seagulls, think again. Of course, seagulls are known to make their rounds, but we’re thinking bigger. How big? Pelican big.
Located directly off the back of the restaurant is Bon Appetit Restaurant’s Sunset Pier. The pier was added in 2016 and is a popular wedding ceremony spot for obvious reasons. When it’s not being used for weddings or private events, Sunset Pier is open to Bon Appétit visitors to take in even more gorgeous waterfront views.
The pier is also popular with our flying friends. It has several tall structural pillars that the pelicans love resting on. Almost every day, there will be one or two pelicans scanning the water for fish or drying their wings in the sun. These guys are fun to watch when you’re dining outdoors on the terrace, especially when they swoop down into the water.
In addition to watching pelicans, you’re also likely to spot ospreys, egrets and other crane-like seabirds. In fact, this past spring, an osprey decided to make Bon Appétit’s roof its home for the season.
We first noticed the nest being built while monitoring our Live Web Camera, (remember ospreys are a protected species; it is illegal to tamper or disturb their nests), and we enjoyed watching it while we could. Here are a couple pictures of our temporary resident before it decided to move on.
2. Fish, Dolphins, Sharks…oh my!
Wondering why those aforementioned seabirds love hanging around Bon Appétit Restaurant, well, it’s because the fishing is good! The water is relatively shallow depending on the tides, so looking off Sunset Pier or the neighboring City of Dunedin pier, you’ll likely see fish swimming around.
These shallow, calmer waters with plenty of fish attract other sea creatures too. My favorite to watch for are dolphins. Personally, I’ve only spotted dolphins a handful of times, but watching these majestic animals glide through the water never disappoints. I’m sure they appear more often than I’m aware of, so keep your eyes on the water, they may show up just for you!
Dolphins are easier to watch for while seated at your table in the restaurant since they literally come up for air, but if you’re interested in looking for even more sea life, definitely walk out onto Sunset Pier. Although rare, it is possible to spot stingrays and even sharks while looking down into the water from the pier.
3. Here comes the bride (or groom)…
Don’t be surprised if you catch a glimpse of a couple about to say, ‘I do’. Bon Appétit Restaurant’s waterfront location is a naturally romantic setting with stunning views year-round.
As we mentioned earlier, Sunset Pier, is a popular location for outdoor wedding ceremonies. Paired with our upstairs ballroom, a spot perfect for indoor weddings, gatherings and receptions, there’s no other venue in Dunedin, Florida, better equipped to host beautiful weddings, large and small, under one roof.
Wedding captured by Carlton Thompson Photography
Typical for most wedding venues, you’re more likely to catch a glimpse of a bride or groom on the weekends. But you never know, we host couples from all over the world, so there’s always a chance you might spot a wedding when you dine with us.
First things first, what is a waterspout? According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a waterspout is a whirling column of air and water mist. Waterspouts commonly occur during Florida’s rainy season, and although they look like their land cousins, the tornado, they usually dissipate before they ever make landfall.
Although rare, when the conditions are right, we’ll spot a waterspout in St. Joseph Sound. For some, this might be a scary thought, but remember, the majority of waterspouts never even make it to land. So, if you do happen to see one during your visit, snap a pic, it might be the only waterspout to form that year.
Photo taken June 13, 2020 and shared via Facebook
5. Colorful Sunsets
The best perk of living on the Gulf side of Florida is having the sun set directly over the water. Sunsets are beautiful no matter where they are, but there is something particularly stunning about watching the sun sink beyond the water.
Bon Appétit restaurant sits on the water’s edge in Dunedin, overlooking St. Joseph Sound and Caladesi Island, so thanks to this view, we often see an array of colors dance across the sky in the evening. Over the last forty years, we’ve learned whether it is a guest’s first visit or one hundredth, Bon Appétit sunsets never disappoint.
Happen to visit the restaurant on a cloudy day? Don’t let it get you down. More times than not, you’re likely to catch a sunset. In fact, some of the most colorful and dramatic sunsets transpire on a cloudy day! Just look at the proof…
No matter when you decide to visit the Dunedin waterfront and dine with us at Bon Appétit Restaurant, you’ll be able to enjoy stunning views. Just remember, keep your eyes peeled because you might see something to make your trip even more memorable! Have you ever spotted a dolphin or anything else during your visit? Let us know in the comments below or share it with us on Facebook or Instagram (tag us @bonappetitrestaurant)!