Safety Harbor: A Super Cute Waterfront Town
Once I’ve settled into my new digs, it takes me about three days to develop a new routine. I get a free breakfast with the Days Inn, so each morning I catch up on my emails while I enjoy my coffee. Around 10:00 AM the caffeine kicks in and I start getting antsy. Luckily, the town of Safety Harbor is only two miles up the road. It’s loaded with walking trails and Tampa Bay waterfront parks. Lacing up my sneakers, I grab my SiriusXM radio (Channel 54, Disco Classics, of course) and get my steps in before it gets too warm. This is March in Florida. SPF 50 sunscreen is not optional.
Safety Harbor offers a charming small-town feel. The restaurants host café tables on the sidewalks, and everyone is super friendly. The town’s main focus is the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa which has overlooked Tampa Bay since 1924. I haven’t explored the Spa yet; I’m saving it for a future Girl’s Weekend destination. I’ve heard it offers hot mineral soaks which are one of my favorite things. The historic Espiritu Santo springs are located here, so named by the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1539. That guy got around. I found a photo of the original spa way back in the day. Evidently, they’ve come a long way, too.
One Safety Harbor surprise is the historic Baranoff Live Oak, purportedly the oldest live oak in Pinellas County. The trunk is nearly 20 feet in diameter with a magnificent spreading crown. It’s estimated to be between 200 and 300 years old. It was named after Dr. Salem Baranoff, a doctor who once owned the spa. I love that the tree is next to the public library. I do my afternoon reading here while enjoying the quiet and its cool shade.
Currently I’m reading The Marsh King’s Daughter, a masterful story of psychological suspense by Karen Dionne. It’s being made into a movie starring Daisy Ridley. The narrator’s voice rings clear and true. If you haven’t read it yet, be sure to pick it up. Seriously. It's that good.
And since it’s always about the food, I’m sharing my new favorite lunchtime watering hole, The Bar Fly Saltwater Grill, the perfect reward after my morning routine. Yesterday was Taco Tuesday. An unsweetened iced tea and Mahi-Mahi tacos perfectly fit the bill.