If a quiet town with friendly locals, pretty parks and a cute downtown area sounds like your kind of place, check out Palm Harbor, about 20 minutes north of Clearwater.
Things to Do
Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club is undoubtedly Palm Harbor’s biggest attraction and, if you’re a golfer or a golf fan, you likely know the name. The PGA tour’s Valspar Championship is held here each year on the resort’s Copperhead course, famous for its lengthy fairways and abundant wildlife. Book a stay at the resort to reserve a tee time on the course where some of the world’s greatest professional golfers have played.
The tiny Palm Harbor Museum is a hidden gem, housed in a historic building that was once both a home and a citrus ladder factory, supplying tools for the Florida citrus industry. Plan a short visit to learn about area pioneers, citrus farming and fishing. (Tip: Hours are limited, so check online or call first before visiting.)
Parks & Nature
Capture scenic views of Lake Tarpon and untouched cypress swamps along hiking trails and boardwalks at John Chesnut Sr. Park - you’re likely to see plenty of wildlife here, too, including white-tailed deer, wading birds and baby alligators. Wall Springs Park is another local favorite, with a lookout tower, playground, historic displays and a lovely butterfly garden. If you’re in Palm Harbor at sunset, head to the small pier at Pop Stansell Park for a beautiful view at day’s end.See All Nature & Parks in St. Pete/Clearwater
Where to Eat & Drink
Craft beer is a huge part of the culinary culture here in St. Pete/Clearwater and Palm Harbor contributes to the cause with several great local breweries. Stop in at de Bine Brewing Co. downtown on Florida Avenue for a delicious German Hefeweizen, have a “Soul Candy” milk stout at Stilt House Brewery right off the Pinellas Trail, or sample a high-gravity beer (and some homemade beer sausage) at Lagerhaus Brewery.
If you’re more about breakfast than brews, don’t miss the fresh, made-from-scratch treats at Palm Harbor’s Cosmic Donuts - with flavors like apple maple crumble and Samoa, you can’t go wrong. Not up that early? Palm Harbor has great lunch and dinner spots, too - including the hand-tossed, wood-fired pizzas at Fireside Pizza Cafe (sit at a table outside with your pup, if you wish). For burgers, seafood and sushi, check out the Thirsty Marlin, a fun, “old Florida-style” restaurant with outdoor seating as well as live entertainment. Enjoy fresh oysters - and some kitschy fun - at Molly Goodheads, a 170-year-old Florida Cracker-style house in itty-bitty Ozona, just south of Palm Harbor. After your meal, head to local fav Strachan’s Ice Cream for flavors such as carrot cake and Heath Bar Crunch.
Places to Stay
Palm Harbor is primarily a residential community, so you won’t find major hotel brands right in town. However, you can stay at one of several independently owned small hotels and vacation rentals or at the large resort at Innisbrook. Dunedin, Clearwater and other nearby cities also offer many accommodations options.
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