1. Watch a sunset at beautiful Fred Howard Park
1700 Sunset Drive, , 34689
Palm trees, white sand, and warm water await you at this quiet Tarpon Springs beach. Located away from the more popular, touristy beaches in Southern Pinellas County, Fred Howard offers you the opportunity to get in some sun and fun, minus the extreme crowds. Be sure to also plan a sunset visit for top notch photo opportunities.
2. Walk the quiet trails & look for alligators at John Chestnut Park
2200 E Lake Road, , 34685
A great everyday park, Palm Harbor's John Chestnut, is the perfect choice for morning and evening exercise. In addition to a 3/4 mile loop which is idea for walks and jogs, the park provides the following great amenities: a large dog park, a sand volleyball court, several picnic shelters, and a mile plus of boardwalk trails complete with scenic swamp and lake views.
Taking a walk across the swamps gives you an idea of what Florida looked like in the old days. This low key, scenic community park is one of the best choices in the area for exercise, photography, and relaxation.
3. Take a hike at Brooker Creek Preserve
3940 Keystone Road, , 34688
This secluded preserve in Tarpon Springs offers a perfect solitary escape for the nature enthusiast. Several miles of scenic hiking trails and endless opportunities for sightings of various wildlife (turtles, birds, armadillos) await you at this quiet little gem.
Trails are easy, peaceful, mostly shady, and often filled with wildlife. It's not uncommon to see a tortoise or armadillo crossing the path right in front of you!
4. Take a stroll around historic downtown Dunedin
Main Street, , 34698
Dunedin is home to one of the nicest historic downtowns in the Tampa area. In addition to a handful of great local restaurants and shops, you'll also find a lineup of unique yearly events, most notably the festive Holiday Boat Parade.
In addition, monthly events like the 2nd Friday Art Walk give you interesting activities to look forward to all year long. Taking a stroll around this charming downtown is a welcome departure from the many bland chains surrounding the area.
5. Bike the Pinellas Trail
Main Street, , 34698
Biking enthusiasts must check out the Pinellas Trail, a Rail-Trail Hall of Fame recipient, offering 30+ miles of paved trails through several Gulf coast communities in the Tampa Bay area. The trail is flat, well-marked, and not overly crowded.
The section which travels through Northern Pinellas county (Dunedin, Palm Harbor, and Tarpon Springs) is by far the more scenic and relaxing of the trail with the advantage of mostly tree-lined streets and less congestion.
The opportunity to take advantage of convenient detours (like Honeymoon Island State Park) makes the ride a bit more exciting.
6. Relax and enjoy the views at Honeymoon Island State Park
1 Causeway Blvd, , 34698
Honeymoon Island almost always places well amongst various "best of" Florida beaches lists, due to the amazing sunsets that one can experience while visiting this pretty Gulf coast beach. Daytime summer visits offer opportunities for swimming in the warm waters of the Gulf and enjoying the views.
Beaches aside, the highlight here is the 2 miles of gorgeous, natural hiking trails. Along the trails, you will have the opportunity to see native Florida plants and observe all different types of wildlife including bald eagles, gopher tortoises, and armadillos.
Tip: Visit the park one hour before sunset for reduced parking fees and fewer crowds.
7. Soak in naturally rich mineral waters at Safety Harbor Resort and Spa
105 North Bayshore Drive, , 34695
Safety Harbor is a small Gulf coast community said to be the location where the Fountain of Youth was found by Hernando De Soto. The Safety Harbor Resort and Spa was built on the land where the original springs were found.
The resort is said to use these healing waters in their spa treatments, in their restaurants and drinking water stations, and in the indoor pool and spa. The restorative waters supposedly cure a long list of illnesses in the form of natural healing power.
Whether or not the waters are actually beneficial, the spa is still an excellent place to plan a day of total relaxation. In addition to a long list of luxury treatments, you will be able to enjoy all the amenities (tennis courts, a lap pool, indoor and outdoor hot tubs, steam rooms and saunas, and 2 on site restaurants).
8. Try out a new local restaurant in downtown Safety Harbor
Main Street, , 34695
Safety Harbor's small downtown is packed with local restaurants and shops. Say goodbye to the chains and try out a unique Greek, Italian, or Cuban restaurant. This quaint downtown is a great place to visit for a relaxing, yet fun night out on the town.
There are always people around, but never too much congestion to enjoy the night. The Christmas season brings a variety of festive events including the annual tree lighting, a special holiday themed parade, and a craft fair.
9. Take a quiet stroll at Anclote River Nature Park
550 Dixie Highway, , 34689
Peaceful views and wildlife sightings await you at this local Tarpon Springs park. Trails are short enough to suit everyone of all activity levels, making this the perfect place for an easy walk through nature. The park is small, yet scenic with nice views of the river and lots of chances to catch a glimpse of wildlife in their natural habitat.
10. Shop & dine in owntown Tarpon Springs
Dodecanese Blvd., , 34689
Tarpon Springs, most famous for being the sponge capital of the world, also happens to be home to the highest population of Greek residents in the US. The picturesque downtown area is home to a number of quality authentic Greek restaurants, the famous sponge docks, and Spongeorama (a unique place that sells the largest collection of natural sponges).
Other activities include cruises, shops, and several small museums. The town has a yearly lineup of great events including the extremely popular "There's Snow Place Like Tarpon Springs," a festive yearly event featuring Santa visits, snow, a holiday boat parade, and carriage rides.