Florida’s beautiful weather – sun, sand and waves – what could be better than you and your four-legged companion enjoying all that together? To make this a reality, we’ve put together some ideas to help you plan that perfect getaway with your furry friend!
Choosing the right location is the first step in making your time in Florida a perfect getaway. One of the BEST kept secret vacation spot in Florida, known to locals and experienced travelers – Safety Harbor!
Situated on the northwest shore of Tampa Bay, Safety Harbor is centrally located to the greater Tampa Bay area. You can get to Tampa, St. Petersburg or Clearwater all within 20 minutes or so.
SAFETY HARBOR – THE BEST PLACE IN FLORIDA YOU MAY NEVER HAVE HEARD OF
Safety Harbor is a charming, beautiful and walkable community with its downtown Main Street extending 10 blocks from the Safety Harbor Pier on the east end of town to 10th Ave on the west end. The speed limit through downtown is 25 mph, and most days you’ll see more bikes, kids, pedestrians and dogs than cars!
You’ll find more wonderful locally-owned restaurants, bars and pubs than you would ever imagine for a city this size. Most of the bars, pubs and restaurants have outdoor seating, where you can enjoy the beautiful Florida weather with your four-legged friend!
THIRD FRIDAY STREET PARTY
If your stay in Safety Harbor has you in town during the third Friday of any month, you’re in for a rare treat! The whole town comes out for a giant street party. Main Street is blocked off and becomes a busy promenade with people, kids, dogs, street performers, food and live music. Many of the restaurants serve drinks and food on the sidewalks and even more food vendors set up along main street.
WHERE TO STAY
You won’t find a chain hotel anywhere near Safety Harbor. What you will find are many charming and beautifully restored homes that are available as furnished rentals.
These homes are listed on online travel sites such as AirBnB and VRBO / HomeAway. Shamless plug – we’d love to have you book your stay at one of our pet-friendly homes, please see below!
PEDESTRIAN TRAILS AND WALKWAYS
Safety Harbor is blessed with beautiful pedestrian trails along the Tampa Bay waterfront that go for miles! Take Main Street east to the end at the Safety Harbor Resort, and turn right on Bayshore Blvd and stroll along the Tampa Bay waterfront. If you’re up for it, you can walk or bike about 2.5 miles to the Courtney Campbell Causeway (see above) and enjoy the beach and more miles of trails across the bay to Tampa..
Take Main Street east to the end at the Safety Harbor Resort, and walk back to the Safety Harbor Pier, and catch the beautiful new trail that includes an elevated walkway through the mangroves that connects to Phillippe Park.
SAFETY HARBOR CITY PARK
Safety Harbor has a wonderful city park just a few blocks from downtown with a dog park, playground, skate park, and basketball courts. This is a great way to get both two-legged and four-legged travelers outside for some exercise in the Florida sun!
Safety Harbor is a short drive from some of the best beaches in the country. Clearwater Beach was recently named “Best Beach in America” in 2018. Clearwater Beach, just 20 minutes from Safety Harbor, has also recently been named #1 beach in the country by USA Today.
The closest beach to Safety Harbor is the Courtney Campbell Causeway / Ben Davis Beach, which is just 5 minutes’ drive from Safety Harbor, which is on Tampa Bay and not the Gulf of Mexico.
When planning a doggie-friendly Florida getaway, do keep in mind that not all beaches are pet-friendly. In fact, most do not allow pets. However, there are two great options in the Tampa Bay area: The Honeymoon Island State Park Dog Beach near Dunedin FL (15 minutes’ drive from Safety Harbor), and The Fort Desoto Park Paw Playground (45 minutes’ drive from Safety Harbor)
Safety Harbor is the perfect place for a doggie-friendly getaway! From the restaurants with outdoor dining, most of which have water bowls for the doggies, to the pedestrian-friendly downtown and the miles of beautiful walking/biking trails, we couldn’t imagine a better place to bring your furry friend to enjoy a beautiful Florida experience. Safety Harbor’s central location makes it easy to experience all of Tampa Bay, including dog-friendly beaches such as the Fort Desoto Paws Playground and the Honeymoon Island dog beach. We would also suggest checking the rules at each location, most of which always require your dog to be on a six-foot leash , and of course to clean up and leave nothing behind but happy footprints and paw prints!