Saturday, January 29, 2011

Kayaking Safety Harbor


By Marcia Biggs
If you're looking for a quiet getaway just minutes from Tampa and the beaches, the quaint town of Safety Harbor on Upper Tampa Bay is the perfect hideout. Many visitors like to stay at  Safety Harbor Resort & Spa. From here you can stroll up Main Street and visit a number of small shops and cafes, enjoy the bike trail or just walk along the Bayshore to beautiful Philippe Park.


The Safety Harbor Pier

One of my favorite things to do  in Safety Harbor is visit the fishing pier at the Marina. Here you can see a fantastic sunrise and the sunsets aren't bad, either. During cooler weather it's easy to spot manatees who hang out at the end of the pier at the warm springs.  

 Tocobaga Tours offers kayak tours from the Marina most weekends, weather permitting. It's run by local resident Ken Bambery, who is a great guide and instructor for children and beginners. Ken takes you around the pier and along the shoreline where the mangroves usually provide excellent bird watching opportunities. When you reach Philippe Park, you'll learn all about the Indian Mound there and the history of the Tocobaga Indians and the arrival of  Hernando De Soto. It's an easy paddle and a great introduction to this special area of Upper Tampa Bay.