THINGS TO DO IN TARPON SPRINGS, FL
It is a little-known fact that Tarpon Springs is the oldest city in Pinellas County, Fl or that it was originally settled by farmers and fishermen back in 1876. In fact, you can still take in the original wonders of Tarpon Springs; one of the historical mansions built in 1883 was home to the former Arizona governor, now named the Safford House Museum, it remains open today as a history museum. It is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays to the public between 11am – 3pm.
Tarpon Springs is better known for the sponging industry that has attracted spongers, entrepreneurs, and tourists for many years. The sponging industry was firmly established in 1890 when the Cheney Sponge Company sold nearly 1 million dollars in sponges that year! The following years, divers from Greece were brought to Tarpon Springs and by 1905 there were over 500 Greek divers! Due to this influx of populations, there was a need for eating establishments the thus the Sponge Exchange was created in 1907 – now known as the Sponge Docks.
While the sponging industry slowed in the mid-1900’s due to blight, the 1980’s brought the discovery of new sponge bed and new growth to the sponging industry! Today, Tarpon Springs is back to being a leader in the world’s natural sponge market and the Sponge Docks remain a wonderful place to visit with authentic Greek cuisine and natural sponge shops. We personally recommend Hella’s Bakery & Restaurant for Greek dining and to satisfy your sweet tooth!
Finally, if you’re looking for a way to view more of the beautiful Florida wildlife, we recommend the Tarpon Springs Aquarium. With admission just $5.75 for children and $7.75 for adults, this a truly a local hidden gem with entertainment and learning opportunities for the entire family!