This freebie I found was a diamond in the rough! Yes, the Pinellas County Heritage Village Largo Florida is free to visit and make the top of my list for free things to do in Tampa! This village has historical buildings from all over Pinellas County. This is one of our favorite free things to do in the area
Tour of the Pinellas County Heritage Village Largo Florida
The Pinellas County Heritage Village is attached to the Florida Botanical Gardens. Both attractions are free on normals days but can cost money to visit when special events are going on, like their Holiday Lights shows.
Located in Largo Florida this is a suburb and just west of Tampa Florida. Coming from the south you will pass the Manatee Viewing Center (which is also free) and cross the Skyway Bridge. Coming from the north you will pass the Weeki Wachee State Park, home of the mermaids as you head in.
You can see our video tour of the Pinellas County Heritage Village on YouTube or scroll to the bottom of this post!
Head in and start at the visitors center soy you can grab a map and head out. In the visitor center, they have a museum of items from a house that is being renovated, the Tuner House.
The building across the walkway from the visitor center is a small museum of local history and a few interactive exhibits for kids and more info on the area.
Related: Top 15 Free Things to do in Tampa, Florida
As you step on to there property there are so many directions to go. Each building has a sign out front telling what the building is and the history of the building and a map showing where in the county it came from. There are also QR codes you can scan and use with an app on your phone for more info.
We visited the old school, the Harris School, first since it was one of the first building you come to. I thought the items they preserved were fantastic, like the kid's artwork.
They also had a great hands-on area for the kids to explore what kids their age would learn and play with back then. My kids played here for almost an hour and didn't want to leave!
The room isn't a lot different than some of the school rooms today. It's very open and bright with lots of windows and a fireplace for heating.
They have an old general store that has vintage goods and items that would have been sold there when the store was open. This is also a spot on the property you can buy drinks if needed. But they only take cash.
The prices of the items in the general store are listed all around and it's really neat to see but also makes me wish for those prices again! Fresh eggs for 45¢ for 2 dozen, bell peppers 10¢ a pound, strawberries 2 boxes for 25¢, 3 pounds of coffee for 59¢ and more!
Take a look at the price comparison sheet.
Attached to the general store is also the barbershop.
In the barbershop is a post office and telegraph office.
They have the barbershop set up and the old post office boxes, an old phone, old wanted posters which included Bonnie and Clyde. They showed the old post rates and a lot of more info.
Behind the general store is the auto repair and gas station.
The first thing I saw when I walked in was this old cash register. I was fascinated by it!
They have the walls covered with old signs and car parts and tools. They have several cars in the garage as well at this Modle T.
Also, the only phone in the post office at the front of this building works and connects to the only phone here in the auto shop!
Related: 11 of the Absolute Best Places to View Manatees in Florida
They recently got a new house added to the property, the Turner House, when the owner died the house and everything in it was donated to the property. So they were getting the house ready to be shown. The items from the house are displayed in the visitor center.
They also have a train depot that you can explore. They have it set up with luggage and a waiting area along with a ticket booth.
To the side of the train depot, they had an old train car that is normally open to tour but is currently under renovations.
Around the park, they had these barrels that had activities for the kids to do in individual buildings. One activity was at the train station loading cargo. Another was behind the McMullen cabin shows kids how they used to wash and dry laundry.
The Harris School has some school activities, there is an activity at the firehouse and many more scattered all over the property.
Related: Visiting Winter and Hope at Clearwater Marine Aquarium – Clearwater, Florida
They had this great old cabin that was built by the McMullen family and was later bought by the Coachman family who ‘modernized it' by adding glass to the open windows and sealing the gaps between the logs.
The Coachman's bought this cabin and 240 acres for $8,100 in 1902. If only I could score that good of a deal now! It had everything they needed!
Related: Crabby DocksideRestaurant – Clearwater Florida
This tiny cabin caught my attention. Tiny homes are all the rage right now so they were way ahead of there times!
It was built by Joshua Boyer who was a sailor and when he met Alexander Ormond who lived in the now Pinellas area, and he fell in love with Ormond's daughter and they built this small cottage.
Related: Ultimate Guide to the Bay Area Renaissance Festival
We checked out this old church as well. It was the old Safety Harbor Church built-in 1905.
The inside of the church is very simple but still very beautiful. They had some singing going on when we were there and it sounded amazing in the building!
We also saw the sponge warehouse which is one of the newer buildings to the property. Inside you can see how the sponges were stored and learn the companies history and there is a hands-on, make your own postcard activity for the kids.
And we also saw the Bandstand in the center of the right side of the property. They host events here now and even do photos shoots.
One of the buildings I found very fascinating was this Union Academy School has such a history!
Built as a WWI barracks and later used as a portable building at Tarpon Springs Elementry in 1942 it was moved to Union Academy and used as the first colored school. Everything was a hand me down so as you can see nothing matches!
Related: The Florida State Fair – Tampa Florida
The next stop we made was an old fire engine and firehouse. While you can't go inside the firehouse there is an activity for the kids on the side showing them how they used to have to put out fires with the bucket brigade.
From here make sure you check out the Lowe Barn. You can learn the story of this barn and why they had to expand it.
From there you can head over and view the Lowe house which is now an exhibit dedicated to the counties past and present sheriffs.
Make sure to take in all the little things scattered around the property too! We saw several of these fruit carts.
They also preserved as much history as possible like this rusted car in the ground.
As you head back to the parking lot make sure you take in the area that is on your left as you leave the visitor center.
Down here is the famous House of Seven Gables (the Florida version!) They do presentations here about every 30 minutes.
There is also a garden for the blind with signs in braille and lots of great smelling plants and a free library as well.
There is so much to see and do I can't believe this place is free! Next time you are in Tampa Florida make sure to check out the Pinellas County Heritage Village. If you have been let us know what you thought in the comments below!
Top 15 Free Things to do in Tampa, Florida
Wednesday 6th of April 2016
[…] Pinellas Heritage Villiage – This village holds old historical buildings from all over Pinellas County, everything from a school house, firehouse, general store and more. Admission is free. […]