Exploring Tarpon Springs
Tarpon Springs is the most Greek of Florida communities. Settlers from the Dodecanese Islands – which include Rhodes and Kos – brought their knowledge of diving. Using pressurized suits to collect sponges as they did in the Mediterranean, they created Florida’s natural sponge industry in the late 1800s.
The original Greek settlement along the Anclote River feels like a piece of Rhodes dropped in Florida, and just as touristy. It’s still a charming place to stroll the waterfront, visit the Sponge-O-Rama, and indulge in tasty Greek food at a variety of restaurants.
Closer to the springs for which the city is named, the historic downtown district is just as walkable. It is the terminus of the 38.2-mile Pinellas Trail, a paved bicycle trail stretching south to St. Petersburg.
The Tri-County Trail, a northerly bike path connection into Pasco County, connects the Pinellas Trail to the greater Florida Coast to Coast Trail, 250 miles across the state.
Lake Tarpon is an imposing presence in the community, which grew around it. It is fed by Brooker Creek, which rises from marshes to the northeast of the lake.
Resources for exploring the area
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Trails and Parks
Best Hiking near Tarpon Springs
Best Biking near Tarpon Springs
A paved ribbon stretching the length of Pinellas County from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs, the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail provides cyclists with nearly 38 miles of low-stress cruising
Florida State Parks near Tarpon Springs
A place to play Robinson Crusoe for a day or overnight, Anclote Key Preserve State Park is an offshore gem in the Gulf of Mexico made up of four islands within sight of Tarpon Springs
Protecting a windswept shoreline and a variety of habitats on a barrier island, Caladesi Island State Park is one of the gems of the Florida State Parks system
An offshore getaway accessible by car, bike, or paddle, Honeymoon Island State Park offers white sand beaches along the Gulf of Mexico
Gift World in Tarpon Springs is the one place I know I can find authentic imports from Greece, be it the latest pop CD from Anna Vizzi or a new alphabet primer for the little ones.
INCLUDES: Oldsmar, Palm Harbor | NEARBY: Clearwater, Clearwater Beach, Dunedin, New Port Richey, Safety Harbor, Tampa| PART OF: Central Florida