Safety Harbor is located by the sheltered inlets of Old Tampa Bay, on the “sunrise side of the bay” as the locals say. Its colorful history includes Native American tribe headquarters, Spanish explorers, pirates, healing waters and the first grapefruit ever planted in Florida.
The community itself is welcoming and picturesque. A beautiful waterfront park and marina offer excellent views of the bay as well as being a popular spot for viewing manatee in the summer months. Next to the marina is the historic Safety Harbor Resort and Spa, a historical property situated on the site of ancient mineral springs once discovered by Spanish explorers in their quest for "the fountain of youth". The mineral waters are still used today for spa treatments and drinking water.
Downtown Safety Harbor is definitely for walking. Art galleries, shops, boutiques, a much-used pavilion and one of the largest live oak trees in existence can be found within several blocks. The Chamber and welcome center provide brochures, visitor information and area gifts for purchase. Restaurants and cafes abound; many are locally owned and offer outside dining.
The Safety Harbor Regional Museum of History offers a glimpse into the early development of the area and showcases artifacts, dioramas, and artwork dating to the 1500s. The museum sits on the site of a Tocoboga Indian mound.
The very popular Philippe Park, a 122-acre county-run park, flanks scenic Tampa Bay and features scenic picnic shelters, playground, boat ramp and walking trails. A raised Indian mound is on the site, as is the gravesite of Odet Philippe, whose land grant and subsequent developed citrus grove resulted in the first grapefruit ever planted in Florida. Philippe has been inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame for his contributions to what is now a billion-dollar citrus industry in Florida.
For a small town with population under 20,000, Safety Harbor hosts many events throughout the year including the annual wine festival, HarbourSounds music festival and other family events. On the third Friday of each month, the Main Street is closed down to street traffic and is lined with arts and crafts booths, food vendors, and entertainment. A seasonal farmer's market is held by the pavilion throughout the cooler months. Only 20 minutes from TPA and PIE airports and 30 minutes from Clearwater Beach, Safety Harbor is a perfect getaway.
The Safety Harbor Chamber of Commerce phone is (727)726-2890 www.safetyharbor.com