The city of Tarpon Springs, which is located 45 mins away from St. Petersburg on the Gulf of Mexico, received its name from the abundant fish that can be found in the area’s waters. However, it is also renowned for its 51 miles of gorgeous beachfront, Greek heritage, and status as the “sponge capital of the world.”
The lovely downtown area of Tarpon Springs is protected by the National Register of Historic Places. The Historic District offers visitors the opportunity to tour art galleries, antique shops, and specialized stores set in late 1800s-era structures while they stroll down brick streets. Search for Tarpon Springs vacation rentals and see what the town has to offer.
Learn the history and culture of Tarpon Springs:
- View the amazing Public Art displays located all over the city.
- Tour with family and friends at the Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum’s Ecology and History Wings.
- The Safford House Museum, which is the original residence of Tarpon Springs’ founder, Anson Safford, provides guided tours that transport guests back in time to the Victorian era.
- Attend the many festivals, and other special events offered all year long, such as Wine Walks, First Friday, Hippie Fest, Seafood Festival, and Snow Place.
- Watch a community theatrical production in the charming seventy-seat Tarpon Springs Cultural Center theater, which was built in 1915 as the city’s first building. The place is also registered on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Observe the Greek Independence Day Parade, which is held annually in March.
- Visit St. Michael’s Shrine, which is a renowned location for healing miracles.
- View the magnificent stained glass windows, crystal chandeliers, marble pulpits, and other features of the renowned St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
- See Cycadia Cemetery, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the burial place for the largest number of Greeks and Greek Americans in the country.
Popular places to eat and drink when in Tarpon Springs:
- At Shaka Restaurant and Bar, enjoy a taste of the tropics while relaxing in the spacious outside area.
- The Blackbeard’s Grub & Grog offers amazing food, fantastic times, and great drinks.
- The Fournos Bakery offers freshly made bread and all other Greek bakery needs.
- Amor a la Mexicana is an authentic Mexican restaurant at the Sponge Docks.
- Fresh bread and Greek pastries have been available since 1925 at the national bakery.
- At Tarpon Turtle Grill & Marina on Lake Tarpon, enjoy a waterfront meal with a Caribbean twist.
- The Tarpon Tavern is an old-world bar serving American food and specialty brews in a structure constructed in the 1920s.
- Take a trip to Taste of Japan to savor hibachi and sushi.
- The Bistro serves informal, imaginative cuisine from the Americas and the Mediterranean.
Nature spots to explore around the city:
- Spend a day at the beach at Sunset Beach or Fred Howard Park.
- Visit the trails, playground, fishing pier, boardwalk, canoe launch, and other amenities at the North Anclote River Nature Park.
- Take a ferry ride to Anclote Key Preserve State Park & Lighthouse.
- You can enjoy picnicking, a playground, and trails at Highland Nature Park.
- Ride a bike or take a stroll along the Pinellas Trail, which passes right through the community. Visit the Downtown area for some ice cream, a cool beverage, or a meal.
The largest Greek and Greek-American community in the country is found at Tarpon Springs. The city is home to the iconic sponge docks, which are still being used today as a working seaport. The city expanded in line with the sponging industry. Additionally, with various spots placed on the National Register of Historic Places, along with a historic district and the well-known Greektown neighborhood, and also numerous public art pieces spread everywhere, the city has gained popularity among those who enjoy both history and artwork.