Planning The Perfect Doggie-Friendly Florida Getaway

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!

LOCATION

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!


Casa Blue (The Blue House) – 2 Bedroom, 2 Bath, 4 Guests

Casa del Tren (The Train House) – 2 Bedroom, 2 Bath, 6 Guests

Casa la Cala (The Creek House) – 3 Bedroom, 3 Bath, 8 Guests

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!

BEACHES

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.

DOGGIE-FRIENDLY BEACHES

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)

IN SUMMARY

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!

Best Breakfast Spots in Safety Harbor Florida

So you arrived in Safety Harbor yesterday, had a great day and evening. Maybe you were up pretty late enjoying the scene after dinner at one of the many fantastic Safety Harbor locally-owned restaurants, bars or pubs.

Now the sun has been up for a while, you’ve hit snooze on your phone alarm more than you can count and it’s time to get the day underway. But you’re hungry! Where to go and what to do about that? Relax!! We’ve got you covered. Here’s what you do…. choose from one of these awesome spots!

Daydreamers Café and Grill

143 7th Ave N, Safety Harbor FL 34695

(727) 723-0909

Closed on Monday and Tuesdays
https://daydreamerscafeandgrill.com/

It is really hard to miss this café, when you spot the most colorful and HUGE mural wall just off Safety Harbor’s Main Street, you found it!

This is one of our most favorite breakfast places in Safety Harbor, the café somehow magically combines all the vibrant colors you could think of…the staff is dressed delightfully and colorfully, but super professional and welcoming. The menu is like no where else – be sure and check out the womelette. Yep…waffle + omelet =womelette!

The owner is a 30-year veteran restaurateur, and he and his staff bring all that experience together to make for a most excellent start to your day!  

Did I mention Mimosa? Yes…there are breakfast cocktails on the menu…get over there and get you some!!

Ben’s Paradise Restaurant

443 Main St, Safety Harbor, FL 34695
(727) 725-1208
https://dineparadiserestaurant.com/

Paradise restaurant is another local Safety Harbor treasure. Like all the restaurants in downtown Safety Harbor, Paradise is locally owned and operated. It’s been here for decades and is a perfect example of a local diner. Very popular with locals, you will notice that folks are greeted warmly by the staff, often with questions about each other’s family, kids and pets. Non-locals are greeted just as warmly, and the conversation will often shift towards where you’re from, and maybe the staff has family, or knows someone from your area. 

The food is great – breakfast classics, as well as Mediterranean-inspired dishes. The omelets are our absolute favorites! The Mimosa, a classic breakfast cocktail, is available after 8:00 AM Monday – Saturday, and after 11:00 AM on Sunday.

Athens Restaurant

226 Main St, Safety Harbor, FL 34695
(727) 726-3471

Athens is another local favorite. Are you seeing a pattern here??!! This and many of the other wonderful restaurants in downtown Safety Harbor have been family-owned for decades. This is another classic breakfast place and diner with all the local charm. The staff and many of the locals know each other’s kids, grandkids and pet’s names…and they’ll make you feel like a local too. Highly recommended!

First Choice Food and Deli

335 Philippe Pkwy, Safety Harbor, FL 34695
(727) 799-1465
https://www.yelp.com/biz/first-choice-food-and-deli-safety-harbor

Ok…I’ve saved my pro tip for last. You’d drive right past this place and have no clue what you’ve missed. It looks like a convenience market, and sure…they have that. BUT…go in there and do what I do.

Get Eddie to make you one of the best Cuban sandwiches you’ll find in the Tampa Bay area…for breakfast. Yeah…for breakfast. Just do it. Large or small, whatever your appetite demands.

Chilled wines and OJ in the cooler to make your own Mimosa if you’re so inclined. Then hang a left out of the parking lot, head north down Philippe Parkway for a couple of miles and hang a right into Philippe Park. Circle around, find a parking spot and make your way to one of the picnic tables right on the Tampa Bay waterfront. Congratulate yourself on finding the best place in Florida and enjoy!


Visiting Safety Harbor? Stay At Our Place!

We own and manage three beautiful, fully-furnished vacation rental homes in Safety Harbor, all within a few blocks walk of Safety Harbor’s beautiful Main Street. Each home is beautifully renovated with up-to-date technology, and each unique in its own way. Click on each photo below to learn more about each home and book your stay!

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