Known as the “sponge capital of the world” the historic riverfront town of Tarpon Springs is located along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico just 40 minutes north of St. Petersburg. The city has a Greek heritage owing to the arrival of Greek sponge divers in Tarpon Springs to grow the now-famous sponge industry. The Greek community is famous for some of the finest Greek restaurants, including Mama’s Greek Cuisine, Hellas and Mykonos, markets, and bakeries in the country.
The city, named for the abundance of fish found in nearby waters, offers numerous attractions along with beautiful miles of waterfront. The city hosts famous Sponge Docks, downtown center listed on the National Register of Historic Places, antique stores, art galleries, and specialty shops housed in buildings dating from the late 1800s. The Tarpon Springs Performing Arts and Cultural Centers offer concerts, theater, art and historical exhibits, and other quality programs. Dodecanese Boulevard, which follows the riverfront, has gift shops that carry everything from home goods to unique Greek and Florida Souvenirs, to natural sponges to olive oil soap.
Keep reading for the full list of the best things to do in Tarpon Springs, FL!
1. Brooker Creek Preserve
The county park is a treat for bird watchers and nature lovers with beautifully laid out boardwalks, meeting rooms, and clean restrooms. The easy to walk trails marked through forested wetlands and pine woods, with a lot of wildlife scattering around, are fantastic. The onsite museum and their displays are also quite useful for both youngsters and adults. The preserve is also the location of the Brooker Creek Watershed.
Brooker Creek Preserve
Address: 3940 Keystone Rd, Tarpon Springs, FL 34688, USA
Website: Brooker Creek Preserve
2. Fred Howard Park
With public restrooms and showers, a nice beach, kayaks and paddle boards for rent, it is a great place to spend a day. The first portion of the park is a shady forest with a nature trail and picnic shelters scattered throughout. On moving through the park you come to the coast with a mile (1.6 km) long boardwalk to the beach where people fish, swim and ride jet skis.
It is a great beach during the week to sun, swim, and relax. This Tarpon Springs beach has a separate parking lot and white sand. The park is fantastic for events, walking, biking, and swimming.
Fred Howard Park
Address: 1700 Sunset Dr, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689, USA
Website: Fred Howard Park
3. Day Dream Charters
Awesome Charter Wednesday with the Miller family from Jacksonville Florida. Book yours today at: www.charterclearwaterfl.comPosted by Daydream Charter on Thursday, 23 March 2017
Captain Luke is friendly and knowledgeable about the area. Captain Luke takes his clients to islands loaded with shells and provides a booklet to identify the shells. If you want to find sand dollars, Luke knows where to take you. The tubing is exciting and fun as well! The Captain ensures a great experience for his clients, including dolphin watching, snorkeling, shelling, tubing and a beautiful sunset; it is just an excellent trip.
Day Dream Charters
Address: 1813 Mariner Dr #150, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689, USA
Website: Day Dream Charters
4. Dolphin Deep Sea Fishing
Dolphin Deep Sea Fishing is filled with excitement and joy with dolphins, pelicans and seagulls following the boat. The Two Georges boat at the Sponge Docks has a friendly crew that teach first timers how to fish and are always on the spot to help fix the line tangles and help unhook the catch. The fishing pole and bait are included in the fee and are sufficient for catching fish.
They supply everything for you and you can either buy food and drinks on board or bring your own with you. They even clean the fish for you. The food options on the boat are great and the prices are reasonable - 5 USD for a double cheeseburger.
Dolphin Deep Sea Fishing
Address: 810 Dodecanese Blvd, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689, USA
Website: Dolphin Deep Sea Fishing
5. Konger Tarpon Springs Aquarium
This is a great little place for a family trip at 7.50 USD entry fee. You can feed stingrays with your hand and sharks with a stick. The varieties of fish are fascinating; you’ll see everything from grouper to lionfish and eels. The alligator feeding and the shark feeding is a treat to the eyes. You can help carry a snake, and touch a turtle and horseshoe crab. The plus point is you are able to re-enter the aquarium throughout the day, so check for the schedule of feedings.
Konger Tarpon Springs Aquarium
Address: 850 Dodecanese Blvd, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689, USA
Website: Konger Tarpon Springs Aquarium
6. Springs Castle Winery
This “down home” looking winery is owned by an older couple, and the wine tasting is a unique process. The “chocolate paradise” tasting comes with 4 wine tastings, one full glass, a box of chocolates, and a bottle of your choice. The wines are exquisitely made using European technique with American-grown grapes. If you understand the difference between European wines and California wines you’ll appreciate Castle Winery.
Springs Castle Winery
Address: 320 E Tarpon Ave, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689, USA
Website: Springs Castle Winery
7. Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art
This small museum located adjacent to the St. Pete College Tarpon Campus Library Building is filled with great art pieces and knowledgeable staff. The museum is well laid out with an Interactive Gallery for students and visitors, and also has the only life-size replica of Picasso’s famous painting, Guernica.
The gallery includes an outstanding display of underwater photography of many of Florida’s prominent springs and cavern systems. The museum periodically runs exhibits. The permanent galleries display the abstract expressionist Abraham Rattner (1893-1978), his wife Esther Gentle, and his stepson, Allen Leepa. Some items of Manet and Picasso are also there.
Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art
Address: 600 E Klosterman Rd, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689, USA
Website: Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art
8. A.L. Anderson Park
This is a beautiful and clean maintained park with a nice boat launch. There is a nice trail along the water through gorgeous cypress, palms, pines, ferns, oaks and numerous birds of all kinds. There are also many different picnic areas, clean bathrooms, and shelters you can rent. Great place to launch your boat or kayak onto Lake Tarpon.
There are lots of people boating in the lake, so you can watch the activity on Lake Tarpon. Picnic spots abound; it’s a wonderful park for singles, family, and friends.
A.L. Anderson Park
Address: 39699 US Hwy 19 N, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689, USA
Website: A.L. Anderson Park
9. Replay Amusement Museum
Great old school fun at the Replay Amusement Museum in Tarpon Springs @ReplayMuseumPosted by Screamscape on Friday, 3 April 2015
This can be termed as the BEST arcade with 80-90’s video games and pinball machines in the country. The selection of games is unmatched; the pinball and arcade games they have are great fun. You can come and go as you please for 13 USD all day play. On Friday and Saturday, you can play from 11 am to 11 pm. The staffs are knowledgeable, and parking is free outside the museum or in the nearby public parking.
Replay Amusement Museum
Address: 119 E Tarpon Ave, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689, USA
Website: Replay Amusement Museum
It's a beautiful night for a FREE concert at Sunset Beach! Craig Singleton & The Big City Band rocks the stage from 7-9pm!Posted by Sunset Beach Concert Series, Tarpon Springs, FL on Thursday, 3 November 2016
The man-made family friendly sandy Sunset Beach is an ideal destination to enjoy the beautiful sunset, clear water, and beautiful views. The water is shallow and calm, perfect for children.
This Tarpon Springs tourist attraction has beautiful white sand; a public restroom centrally located just a few minute’s walk from the beach areas. There are pavilions and charcoal grills if you want to have a beach cook out. It is a favorite spot for para-surfing. The evening concerts are also quite popular and draw a big crowd, just bring your own chair, snacks, and enjoy the night.
Address: Tarpon Springs
Website: Sunset Beach
Fantastic Helicopter Tour- Tarpon Springs, Clearwater beaches & Caladesi Island
Duration: 30 minutes
11. Rusty Bellies Waterfront Grill
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
While the establishment opened in 2005, the team behind Rusty Bellies Waterfront Grill has been in the seafood business since their arrival in Tarpon Springs in the ‘70s. The business originated as a shrimp boat selling seafood, and it has evolved into what the restaurant is now. Try their wide selection of sushi and steamed seafood along with some of their specialties: Due West Snapper, Madame Butterfly, Galilee, and E. Sea Rider! Pair these with some of their Rusty Bellies Sangria, and you’re good to go.
Rusty Bellies Waterfront Grill
Address: 937 Dodecanese Boulevard, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689, United States
Website: Rusty Bellies Waterfront Grill
Opening hours: Tue - Thu: 11am - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 10pm; Sun: 11am - 9pm (closed on Mon)
12. Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum
If you’re keen on getting to know the history of Tarpon Springs, you have to visit Heritage Museum. There, you’ll be welcomed with stories and interactive displays from the Greek beginnings and community of the city. There’s also a photograph exhibit that shows the development of Tarpon Springs. Heritage Museum, and museums in general, brings you a sense of familiarity with the place you’re trying to explore. Do you have little ones who are always curious? This is a great way to keep them occupied. Come one, come all!
Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum
Address: 100 Beekman Lane, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689, United States
Website: Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 4pm (closed on Sat & Sun)
13. Odyssey Cruises
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Go further across the ocean to see the sunset or meet our underwater friends by joining Odyssey Cruises. For a little intimate and romantic getaway with your special someone, join their relaxing two-hour sunset cruise. As you travel down the Gulf of Mexico, the history of Tarpon Springs will be narrated by your enthusiastic captain. If you’re travelling with children, we highly recommend joining their Dolphin Adventure Island Cruise to ensure an absolutely good time. Tours like cruises are always weather-permitting, so make sure to call ahead. As always, keep your cameras close!
Address: 776 Dodecanese Boulevard, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689, United States
Website: Odyssey Cruises
14. Spongeorama Sponge Factory
You’re visiting the Sponge Capital of the World, of course you’re going to find a sponge factory here! Spongeorama Sponge Factory has a vast collection of natural sea sponges and offers free admission to their museum and movie theater, which tell the story of Tarpon Springs’ beginnings, Sponge Docks, and the sea sponge industry. It’s only fitting that you get to know where you are! After your history lesson, head right on to the gift shop to purchase one (or many) of your own!
Spongeorama Sponge Factory
Address: 510 Dodecanese Boulevard, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689, United States
Website: Spongeorama Sponge Factory
Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (daily)
15. Silverking Brewing Company
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
For the beer lovers out there, this next thing to do is for you! Silverking Brewery Company was fairly recently established, in June 2012, but it has been a vision and hard work for a long time by a tight group of fishermen and outdoorsmen. The brewery is now standing on the old Tarpon Springs Jail & Fire House. Try their flagship beer, Silverking Strike, which is now served across 50 establishments in San Francisco’s Bay Area. Take your fellow enthusiasts for a night of drinks at Silverking Brewery!
Silverking Brewing Company
Address: 325 East Lemon Street, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689, United States
Website: Silverking Brewing Company
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 5pm - 9pm; Fri: 5pm - 12am; Sat: 2pm - 12am; Sun: 2pm - 6pm
Sponge Capital of the world
The historic riverfront town of Tarpon Springs hosts famous sites and fun activities for all. We hope that, by now, you have an idea of what to do in Tarpon Springs. The beauty of this city with its Greek heritage has to be seen to be believed.
Frequently asked questions about things to do in Tarpon Springs, FL
1. What are the best attractions to visit in Tarpon Springs?
One of the best attractions in the Sponge Capital of the World is, of course, Spongeorama Sponge Factory! Make sure to hit up Sunset Beach as well!
2. What are the best outdoor activities in Tarpon Springs?
A few of the best outdoor activities in Tarpon Springs are exploring Brooker Creek Preserve and deep sea fishing on Two Georges. Don’t forget to walk along A.L. Anderson Park, too!
3. What are the most popular things to do in Tarpon Springs with kids and family?
Your entire family is going to enjoy this kid-friendly destination! Take your little ones and visit Konger Tarpon Springs Aquarium and Replay Amusement Museum. You can also join Odyssey Cruises to see the cutest dolphins!
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