Safety Harbor is a quaint, small town in Florida. Its secluded location provides a peaceful retreat from the busier cities, while remaining conveniently close for a weekend getaway or day trip from St. Pete or Tampa.
You’ll love its perfect mix of old Florida charm and modern tranquility. Safety Harbor has history, opportunities to explore nature, and a friendly community. Today we will explore the hidden gem in Florida that is Safety Harbor and all the best things to do there.
Wander Main Street Safety Harbor
Main Street Safety Harbor has a little bit of everything. You’ll find shops, restaurants, bars, and even a park. You can spend a whole day wandering Main Street.
Whimseyland is a one of a kind place to visit. This is someone’s private house that they have decorated and shared with the world.
Basically, the couple who lives here traveled all over seeking unique places. These travels inspired them to transform their house. What really got the ball rolling was when they went to a flea market and brought home free bowling balls. You’ll see these bowling balls along the perimeter of the house but there is a lot more than just bowling balls now.
The house is decorated with sculptures and trinkets. You can’t help but be happy here. Entrance is free, just be respectful because as I mentioned it is their home and where they live.
Safety Harbor Art and Music Center
The Safety Harbor Art and Music Center, also known as SHAMC, is a place for everyone to gather and connect with art. The building and surrounding space is so unique, bright, and creative.
SHAMC is a place of the arts, where musicians, artists, actors, writers, poets, and more gather. They have art classes, open mic nights, concerts, and more. There is also artwork and other items available for purchase.
There is a market on Sundays in Safety Harbor from 9am-1pm. The Sunday Market has food, music, arts and crafts, and other local vendors. They do take a break in the hot summer months, from around July through September.
Safety Harbor Resort and Spa
There is a saying in Safety Harbor that people come for the spa but stay for the small-town charm.
The spa is located right on the Tampa Bay waterfront. It was established in 1925 and was built on a natural mineral spring. Because of its location on the natural spring, it’s believed that the water here restores youth and vitality.
Spa services include skincare, nails, massages, a hair salon and more. But you also have access to amenities when you book a spa service. Those amenities include steam rooms, saunas, a plunge pool, indoor pool, whirlpools, and an outdoor lap pool. There is also a fitness center, a cardio room, and a weight room. Fitness classes such as yoga, pilates, Zumba, tai chi, and water classes are available as well. If you want to access the amenities without booking a spa service, you can just book a day pass.
Safety Harbor Pier
At the very end of Main Street, right behind the Safety Harbor Spa, you’ll find the Safety Harbor Pier. You can walk the length of the pier for some gorgeous views. We even saw a pod of dolphins hunting for their breakfast once. On clear days, you can see Tampa from the pier.
Philippe Park is located north of historic downtown Safety Harbor. It is actually the oldest park in Pinellas county.The park is named after Odet Philippe, who claimed to be a surgeon for Napoleon and settled there in the 1830’s.
Before Odet arrived, the area was a Native American settlement and within Philippe Park is The Temple Mound, built by the Tocobaga Native American Tribe. It’s the largest remaining mound and listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks. It is believed that the mound was used for ceremonial purposes or for the chief’s dwelling, but no one knows for sure.
It is a beautiful waterfront park with trails, pavilions, restrooms, playgrounds, a rock climbing park, and access to kayak. Philippe Park has a mile of shoreline with beautiful views. But my favorite part of the park is the live oak trees which are absolutely beautiful. The oak trees make it a popular location for photographers. We are no exception because we got our pregnancy announcement pictures taken there!
Check Out the Breweries
There are two breweries in Safety Harbor, and I love them both. Troubled Waters Brewing is on Main Street and Crooked Thumb is a half mile away. Both have great beer and great atmospheres.
Crooked Thumb has both indoor and outdoor seating. Their indoor seating is an open air, warehouse-style type setting. On our first visit, they were having a greyhound adoption event, which was so much fun!
Troubled Waters has their own beer on tap as well as some guest beers. Their Mango Habanero SMaSH is my favorite, but they have hoppy, malty, sour, and lighter options as well.
Places to Eat in Safety Harbor
Cafe Vino Tinto is a must for breakfast or for a coffee while you wander through Safety Harbor’s Main Street. They have speciality lattes and I always appreciate when coffee shops have unique flavors for me to try. Their food is great, too. It’s a popular place among locals with indoor or outdoor seating.
The Sandwich on Main is a great sandwich shop if you’re looking for something quick, or even if you’re just looking for a delicious sandwich. It’s a small shop with some seating both inside and outside. They have a creative menu and some unique bottled soda selections.
Bar Fly Saltwater Grill Bar Fly serves great bar-type food and seafood. Bar Fly is located in the heart of downtown Safety Harbor. They have indoor or outdoor seating with colorful, reggae-type decor. It’s a great lunch spot.
Whistle Stop Grill & Bar We discovered Whistle Stop as we were walking back to Main Street from Whimseyland. The park my husband used to play basketball at was named Whistle Stop, so it caught our attention. Whistle Stop has open air dining but it’s covered which is nice for the hot Florida days and random storms. We love the atmosphere here. Their food and drinks are really good. They serve bar food and have live music on a regular basis as well.
Gigglewaters is a unique place to visit. Gigglewaters’ name comes from what you would call a cocktail in the 1920’s – giggle water. Located in the heart of Safety Harbor, Gigglewaters is a 1920s restaurant, social club, and screening room for movies. They have a swanky look with good, but classic comfort food. It has even been featured on Man v Food on the Travel Channel. You can eat your meal in the dining room or walk through the double doors to find their 32 movie theatre. They show classic movies while you eat and you can check out what they are playing, as well as showtimes, on Gigglewaters’ website.
Safety Harbor is one of my favorite small towns to visit in Florida (if you’re looking for another great small town to visit, I recommend Dunedin!) It is small and charming yet there is plenty to do to keep you busy. I have enjoyed Safety Harbor both as a date day and also as a girl’s getaway and it is perfect for both occasions! Hopefully this blog post was helpful in finding some of the best things to do in Safety Harbor, Florida, for your visit.