Tarpon Springs Travel Guide

  • Tarpon Springs
    by barrypanzer
  • Tarpon Springs
    by barrypanzer
  • Tarpon Springs
    by barrypanzer

Tarpon Springs Things to Do

  • Florida Tarpons

    If you happen to be in Naples Florida, don't forget to watch the game of the season. It will be fun and exciting because I for one did have the grandest time watching it. It was totally amazing! You can check out their website to see the schedule but I know there will be a game on April 28 at the Germain Arena.

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  • Fred H Howard Park, Beach Side Bathing

    There's a causeway that leads to a sandbar island with plenty of beach access on both the bayside and gulf side. See the water sports tip for this place.

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  • Fred H Howard Park, Bayside Picnicking

    The lush tropical picnic grounds of this part are developed so that large groups can reserve their own space. But, this part of the park is also popular for joggers and cyclists pushing through to the causeway and beach areas of the park.

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  • Tarpon Springs Cultural Center

    The Tarpon Springs Cultural Center has a variety of actives, but for starters there's the building that houses them. This neoclassical style brick building was once the Tarpon Springs City Hall, designed by Ernest Ivey Cook and dedicated in 1915. The city government has since moved into the old high school and restored this structure. This building...

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  • St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

    Dedicated in 1942, after the sponge boom had largely ended, the Orthodox Church has presented a lasting edifice of Greek influence in this town for past 70 years. The copper domed structure, which was intended to resemble the Byzantine Haga Sophia in Constantinople, was designed by the Eugene Brothers of Chicago, and so mixes some modern and...

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  • Sponges and more sponges

    See my shopping tip on how to buy sponges and other items, but suffice to say this place has plenty of shops selling sponges, and it's definitely fun to browse around these products of nature.

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Tarpon Springs Hotels

Tarpon Springs Restaurants

  • Delicious and Authentic

    Hella's is a great place to eat. Very authentic Greek food and desserts. The restaurant ambience and atmosphere is lovely. The service was just great. Our waiter was very helpful and attentive. We would definitely return if in the area again. Michael loved the shrimp sauteed in garlic butter. I loved the souvlaki and saganaki. Both were very...

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  • Grilled Octopus and Gyros

    Actually, there are many really great Greek restaurants on the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks, but my host recommended this one. We sat outside and watched the promenade of fishing boats and tourists. As an economical move, we ordered gyros, but then I noticed the grilled octopus available as an appetizer and couldn't resist ordering this. With some...

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  • Mama's Greek Cuisine - Please Close the...

    Mama's is probably the biggest restaurant in Tarpon Springs. Though it is slightly off the main tourist track away from the water, it gets a huge crowd for lunch and dinner. During our first visit to Tarpon Springs, Mama's was very busy, but we decided on a different place by the water. On our second Tarpon Springs visit, we chose Mama's as our...

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  • Parthenonas Restaurant & Bakery

    Parthenonas Restaurant & Bakery is one of numerous Greek restaurants along the Tarpon Springs waterfront area. From the outside it looks slightly nicer than many of the other places along the Sponge Docks, with a few tables lining the sidewalk and the owner always present inviting customers in for a meal or dessert. Inside is pretty nice, but it...

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  • Yummy authentic Greek food

    Authentic Greek cuisine. Lots of lamb and ground beef options. I had the chicken breast stuffed with spinach and three cheeses, topped with Greek seasonings. Took half of it home, as it was very big. Must try the Greek potatos...roasted in lemon, oil, and Greek seasoning. The Greek salad is nothing to write home about; I much prefer the Greek salad...

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  • greek

    the greek taverna is located next to the sponge docks in dowtown tarpon springs. good greek food moderately priced. in the evening they have greek dancing shows.

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Tarpon Springs Nightlife

  • doug48's Profile Photo
    snookers grill

    by doug48 Written Mar 19, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    snookers is a key west style restaurant and bar located on 19ALT in downtown tarpon springs. they offer local seafood and american fare. the reason i am writting this as a nightlife tip is that snookers is the best bar in tarpon springs.

    Dress Code: casual.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Beaches
    • Architecture

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Tarpon Springs Transportation

  • atufft's Profile Photo
    Tarpon Springs, FL 1 more image

    by atufft Written Jun 1, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Forget transit in this part of Florida, that I know of. This is all about finding a parking space, and then paying for it. Right at the entrance to the sponge docks, there are several parking lots, but their prices vary a lot. Check this out carefully to save a dollar or more. For the most part, there's no parallel parking for cars on the street, but motorcyclists might be able to find more creative ways to park. There's lots of disability parking available.

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Tarpon Springs Shopping

  • Buying Fish

    At the very end of the sponge docks, there are a couple of fishing boats that do bring in a daily catch. There's also a good fish market there with a variety of locally caught fresh fish, some of which (such as the shrimp) appeared to me brought in from the open fish market. Tarpon, gouper, and rock fishes are good buys here.

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  • Buying Sponges

    In the 1920's there was a sponge exchange for the fisherman, but now that is all gone, and most of the sponges sold in Tarpon Springs are imported. Nevertheless, the selection of sponges available at the sponge docks really is pretty amazing. At the first souvenir shop, I began stocking up for gifts, but then my friend recommended that we go shop...

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  • Tarpon Springs Hotels

    13 Hotels in Tarpon Springs

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Tarpon Springs Local Customs

  • Tarpon Springs Farmer's Market

    Every Sunday, from January through May, there's a farmers market at the Meres Municipal Plaza on Tarpon Ave, near downtown. Vendors sell locally grown fruits, vegetables, condiments, and crafts.

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  • Epiphany City

    Reportedly the largest Greek Orthodox festival in the western hemisphere, the Tarpon Springs Epiphany celebration in January has become something of a tourist attraction. The ceremonies begin with a church service at St Nicholas Greek Orthodox church in Tarpon Springs, then there's a procession to the spring for a blessing of the waters. This...

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  • Sponge docks is the place...

    Sponge docks is the place which most of the people visit first. It’s only a quarter mile north of the historic district. Here you can eat, shop, take cruises to the Gulf of Mexico, or go deep-sea fishing. Besides numerous shops and restaurants, there are 2 museums here. Coral Sea Aquarium maybe a good place to visit with kids (Dodecanese...

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Tarpon Springs Tourist Traps

  • Sea shells, bath bars, and sponges

    Although there are some notable exceptions, most of the beauty products sold at Tarpon Springs are NOT locally produced. Most of the olive oil moisturizer bath soaps and even the natural sponges are imported. The long luffa body scrubbers are actually a type of gourd, typically grown in Mexico. The sea shells, starfish, and mother of pearl jewelry...

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  • Spongedock parking tip

    Not a big deal, but... there are parking lots by the sponge docks that charge several dollars to park. You can easily park for free on a residential street a block or two away, and the extra exercise will give you an excuse to buy another baklava. :)

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Tarpon Springs Off The Beaten Path

  • Mother Meres Memorial

    There is an eye catching mural memorial to Mother Meres, a early immigrant settler made famous for her gardening and hotel hospitality. See the link below for a very pleasant story about this "garden fairy". The mural is located at Meres Municipal Plaza on Tarpon Avenue, near downtown.

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  • Old Downtown Tarpon Springs

    The sponge docks are not the only place to shop or eat. Try browse for a better deal downtown. Tarpon Springs has a nice tree lined vintage downtown with plenty of parallel parking and few other tourists.

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  • Fred Howard Park hides far...

    Fred Howard Park hides far from the mainstream in Tarpon Springs, but is the best beach in this parts that is accessible from the mainland. Howard Park offers both beach and wooded areas. The beautifully canopied grounds are favorite for picnickers. A mile long causeway delivers you to a sandy beach on the island (free parking, restrooms, picnic...

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Tarpon Springs Sports & Outdoors

  • Kayaking at Fred H Howard Park

    Tarpon Spring's Fred H Howard Park has excellent parking and launching facilities for kayakers and canoes. The gulf is normally pretty tranquil as it is, but the bay is even easier to enjoy. There's plenty to navigate around Tarpon Springs, and there are no entrance fees to the park or boat launch that I know of either.

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  • Windsurfing at Fred H Howard Park

    There aren't any waves, particularly on the bayside at Fred H Howard Park, but the winds are gentle and constant. Parking and launching for windsurfing is easy and popular here. I don't recall any rental kiosk though.

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Tarpon Springs Favorites

  • Sponges

    Natural sponges are the skeletons of invertebrate animals. After they are harvested, the diver must squeeze and clean the sponges using special chemicals. Originally bleach was used, but this was found to damage the sponge, so now more delicate chemicals are used. It's a laborious process to ready the sponge for sale to the marketplace. Care of...

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  • Tarpons Springs Historic...

    Tarpons Springs Historic District. The town center is two miles from the coast, where Tarpon Ave (SR 582) meets Pinellas Ave (US 19A). It’s a pleasant place to stroll, full with shops and restaurants. Due to its historic significance, downtown is listed in The National Register of Historic Places. On the Cultural Center (Pinellas Ave) you can learn...

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  • Go down to the sponge docks!...

    Go down to the sponge docks! It's more than just a place where the sponge boats come in. There are restaurants, little museums, and many interesting shops along the channel to the gulf. The city just spruced up the area around the docks, making it even more pleasant for visitors. After you've seen it all, head about a mile south and visit Tarpon...

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