Tarpon Springs, Pinellas County FL
Visit Historical Tarpon Springs
The City of Tarpon Springs is located on the Anclote River less than a mile from the Gulf of Mexico, just 45 minutes north of St. Petersburg. Although details about the naming of the city are uncertain, several accounts attribute it to early settlers who arrived in the 1870s. The tarpon is a rather large species of fish that populated the waters of this area in greater numbers in the late nineteenth century than exist today.
In 1864, Samuel E. Hope migrated from South Carolina to become the first private land owner in the area, purchasing land on the north side of the Anclote River.
Sponges were also discovered to be in abundance throughout the area in the late 1890s, which is when the commercial sponging industry began to grow. Once Greek immigrants started arriving in the early 1900s, the industry went through an explosion as they expanded and refined the activity. Divers were brought from Greece for the specific purpose of commercial sponging.
Today, Tarpon Springs is known as the “Sponge capital of the world.” The downtown area along Dodecanese Blvd. is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Streets along the Historic District are brick paved. Here, you can browse art galleries, antiques stores, and specialty shops housed in buildings dating from the late 1800s. For the culturally-minded, the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts and Cultural Centers offer theater, art and historical exhibits, concerts, and other programs.
Chauffeured Transportation Services provides Tampa airport limo service to and from Tarpon Springs. Or maybe you’re already in town and want to go out for a great Greek dinner and then hit some of the best dance clubs or Breweries in the area. Let us take you! No worries about traffic, parking or having one too many.
Tarpon Springs Business Directory (Add your business)
Quality Inn & Suites (5 stars)
38724 US Highway 19 North, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
The Quality Inn and Suites is conveniently located just minutes from the historical district of the famous Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks. Hotel amenities and features include free deluxe continental breakfast with hot items, outdoor pool, hot tub, fitness and business centers. The staff is very friendly and helpful, all work hard to make your stay pleasurable as can be.
Hampton Inn & Suites (3.5 stars)
39284 U.S. Hwy. 19 N., Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
The Hampton Inn & Suites is located on the west side of U.S. 19 North, just off of Klosterman Road. It is also just minutes away from the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks and Historical District, whose streets are lined with many restaurants and shops. Visit the Sponge Museum or experience a live sponge-diving exhibition. The hotel has a large outdoor pool and a state-of-the-art workout fitness center. It also has a fully equipped business center complete with fax, photocopying and printing access. WiFi Internet access and free full hot breakfast.
Tarpon Shores Inn (4 stars)
40346 U.S. Hwy 19 N., Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
Considering it is located on the west side of U.S. 19 North and on the Spring Bayou in Tarpon Springs, FL, the Tarpon Inn offers a relaxing atmosphere. Rooms are quiet enough to have you questioning if you were really off a U.S. Highway and not on a side street or dead end road. Most convenient to Clearwater Beach, the Gulf of Mexico, downtown Tampa and only minutes to the Sponge docks and Greek village. This is a newly renovated property and rooms feature kitchenettes, microwaves, mini-fridges and much more. Visit the beautiful outdoor pool or relax by the lake. Attentive staff that do all they can to assure your comfort. Free WiFi.
Fairfield Inn & Suites Holiday/Tarpon Springs (3 stars)
3060 US Highway 19, Holiday, FL 34691
The Fairfield Inn & Suites Holiday/Tarpon Springs is the only Marriott hotel in Tarpon Springs/New Port Richey area and is just a few minutes’ drive from downtown Tarpon Springs and the Sponge Docks. It has all of the features you are looking for and expect from a Marriott hotel. All guest rooms feature HD flat screen televisions with complimentary HBO and Marriott luxury bedding. Free WiFi, complimentary hot breakfast, 24 hour fitness and business centers. Upgraded accommodations include a microwave, refrigerator and more living room space. The staff makes your comfort their number one priority.
Hellas Bakery & Restaurant (4 ½ stars)
785 Dodecanese Blvd, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
Hands down, this has got to be one of the best places for a Greek ethnic food experience. Saying it is “Authentic” somehow doesn’t do it complete justice. Everything from the food, to the music playing in the background, to the overall ambiance will have thinking you’re out in the Mediterranean off the coast of Crete. New to Greek cuisine? Try the combination platter – Gyro, Mousaka, Pastitsio, Dolmades and Tzatziki sauce. Simply out of this world.
Mykonos (4 stars)
628 Dodecanese Blvd, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
Mykonos is a gem. Greek cuisine you rarely find anywhere else outside of Tarpon Springs, FL., or Greece for that matter. Quick and friendly service. The staff is quite knowledgeable about all the dishes served and well equipped to offer suggestions. Mykonos comes highly recommended by locals. Everything is fresh as can be, the seafood in particular, coming straight off the boat. Be it the spanokipita (spinach pie), the shish-ka-bob, or the moussaka you will leave Mykonos truly impressed and satisfied.
Rusty Bellies (4 stars)
937 Dodecanese Blvd, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
Great place right on the water they have outdoor and indoor seating. Just beyond the Tarpon Springs Aquarium, and out to the little point of land facing Tarpon Bayou, that’s where you’ll find Rusty Bellies Waterfront Grill. This is clearly a seafood lovers paradise, yet you will also find selections for those who are not the biggest fans of shellfish and seafood. But you know you’re in a seafood restaurant (and one of the best in the area) when oysters, shrimp, crab cakes, calamari, mussels, and fish dip for appetizers, along with chowders, gumbos, and green salads takes center stage on the menu. Their Restaurant Motto: “Eat Local, Be Local”.
Cielito Lindo Taqueria (4 ½ stars)
672 E Tarpon Ave, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
Who would have thunk a Mexican restaurant of this caliber would be located right in the middle of a Greek community. Well here you have it. It’s a small establishment with a big local following and for good reason. Many others tend to Americanize their dishes. But Cielito Lindo Taqueria is as authentic Mexican as you can get. If you want to get a good idea of what CLT is capable of, try the “Crazy Taco” specials. You can choose chicken, steak, and carnitas or perhaps the tamales (pork & chicken). You won’t be disappointed.
Howard Park (4 ½ stars)
1700 Sunset Dr., Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Fred Howard Park consists of 155 acres of sprawling lush greenery that receives approximately 2 million visitors annually. Its location provides access to the Gulf of Mexico via a 1-mile long causeway. The white sandy beach is a very popular northern Pinellas County swim area. Nesting ospreys and eagles are frequently sighted as they fish for food in the surrounding waters. You can also spot dolphins, and occasionally manatees from time-to-time. The causeway is a perfect place for sunbathing and fishing. Truly a relaxing experience.
Anderson Park (3.5 stars)
39699 US Hwy 19 N, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
This park has a distinctive hilly terrain and wooded areas with beautiful vistas overlooking Salmon Bay and Lake Tarpon. There are plenty of picnic areas where you can throw a blanket down on the grass and use their BBQ grills. A 500 ft. long elevated boardwalk and a nature trail will take you out over the water along the shoreline amidst cypress trees. Truly a wonderful place to bring the entire family for some quiet time. The park was named in honor of Alphonse L. “Andy” Anderson, former Mayor of Gulfport and Pinellas County Commissioner from 1959 – 1971.
Tarpon Springs Annual Greek Food and Wine Festival
17 East Tarpon Ave., Tarpon Springs, Florida 34689
Hosted by St. Nicholas Cathedral, the festival features over a dozen Greek wineries and various beers from multiple regions of Greece available to us here in the United States. Greek delicacies made to order and grilled favorites such as pork/chicken, souvlakia, gyro, Loukaniko, Spanakopites, Tiropites, Greek salads, loukoumades, and much more. The bazaar is sure to satisfy all your shopping needs with souvenirs, services, gifts, sweets, Greek grocery, frappe booth, and a variety of artifacts. The KID ZONE with games, bounce houses, and fun foods is a delight for the kids. Live Greek music, DJ entertainment, dance troupes, and various other entertainers are typically on hand. Free admission and parking. Typically runs Friday – Sunday in November. https://www.facebook.com/TarponSpringsGreekFoodAndWineFestival
Annual Fine Arts Festival
100 Beekman Lane, Tarpon Springs, Florida 34689
As of 2014, this festival celebrates its 40th year as one of the best juried art shows in the Tampa Bay area. The Tarpon Springs Fine Arts Festival “On the Bayou” attracts more than 20,000 art enthusiasts each year. The venue used is the beautiful Spring Bayou in Craig Park in Tarpon Springs. There is never a shortage of entertainment or food and beverages. Commemorative T-shirts and posters are always available at reasonable prices. The festival usually runs Saturday & Sunday in April.
Dolphin Deep Sea Fishing Inc. (4 ½ stars)
810 Dodecanese Blvd, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
For the deep sea fisherman in you, Dolphin Deep Sea Fishing Inc. has what it takes to get you to catch the big one. Along with the captain and 2 crew members, you and about twenty others will be taken about 15 – 20 miles from shore where your lines are cast. It rarely takes long for them to start biting, however the captain keeps the boat moving every 20 – 30 minutes to make sure an area is not over fished and to keep them biting. It doesn’t matter what your experience level may be. The crew is there to show you what to do and they are all highly experienced.