The Tampa Bay region is not necessarily known for being mellow. The area boasts plenty of nightlife, bustling tourist destinations, and endless festivals. You can, however, find peace in a variety of locations. One of those destinations is Safety Harbor, Florida. Safety Harbor seems to be a preserved slice of American history that no one dared to change. Located along the railroad line that made the county populous to begin with, the small town enjoys numerous perks.
The most obvious attraction in Safety Harbor is the waterfront. The town is located on the shores of Tampa Bay, with sweeping views across the waters from the marina and pier. Paddle craft rentals are available for the adventurous, as is fishing, picnic spots, and a long bicycle path. The City of Tampa is visible in the distance from the shoreline, although, it is over nine miles away. The towers of downtown are usually visible through the shimmering haze coming off the waters of Tampa Bay.
The allure of Safety Harbor comes, in large part, from its undeveloped nature. Most of the roads are still paved with red brick. Those same roads enjoy hundreds of well-preserved homes from the beginning of or middle of the last century. Merely walking or driving the back streets can be a pleasure. In the midst of those homes, and mostly adjacent to the main road through town, you will find a large number of businesses that have moved into those historic buildings. The charm of a restaurant in a preserved building cannot be beat.
Safety Harbor is a bit of a secret dining spot for the locals of the region. While tourism is welcomed in the town, it does not tout a sandy beach or even a waterfront swimming area. That shortcoming leaves it out of the loop created by the popular sandy shorelines to the west. However, if you are wise or lucky enough to discover Safety Harbor you will find a street with one charming, eclectic place to dine after another. Southern bar-b-que, sandwich and pizza shops, pubs, and salad bars line the street. If you like unique dining opportunities, you will love Safety Harbor. While the fancy, high-end restaurants are mostly not present, there are still some quite nice place to get a bite, with plenty of mid-range and down home places in between.
Safety Harbor is also a hub for street fairs. Consisting mostly of food and souvenir vendors, the street is lined with tents and vendors more often than the sleepy town appears ready to bear. Nevertheless, a visit to the bay-front community might wind you up in a festival you didn’t expect to join. If you arrive on a day or evening with little foot traffic, however, walking the streets is still a pleasure.
If you find yourself in the area and you need to explore something new, you might want to plug the name Safety Harbor into your map and give it a try.