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Tarpon Springs Real Estate and Information

Tarpon Springs Real Estate and Information

Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks

Tarpon Springs
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Just 45 minutes north of St. Petersburg and found along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, Tarpon Springs was named for the fish found in abundance in nearby waters. The region, with a series of bayous feeding into the Gulf of Mexico, first attracted attention as a place for winter homes about 1876. Some of the newly arrived visitors spotted tarpons jumping out of the waters and so named the location Tarpon Springs. The first Greek immigrants arrived in this city during the 1880s, when they were hired to work as divers in the growing sponge harvesting industry. Tarpon Springs is home to the highest percentage of Greek Americans of any city in the US. Out of the population of 21,000, 11.8% are Greek American with 8% speaking Greek at home.

Tarpon Springs is known as the "sponge capital of the world,". Sadly, a red tide algae bloom occurred in 1947, wiping out the sponge fields in that region of the Gulf of Mexico, most of the sponge boats and divers switched to fishing and shrimping for a livelihood. The city then converted most of its sponge-related activities, especially the warehouses where they were sold, into tourist attractions. The Sponge Docks are now a fun attraction with shops, restaurants, and museums dedicated to the memory of Tarpon Springs' earlier industry.

Tarpon Springs Restaurants:

There are many restaurants serving traditional Greek cuisine and fresh seafood that dot the street as well as quaint boutiques that sell everything from real sponges to imported goods. The street is narrow and reminiscent of a seaside village in Greece. The local favorite is Hellas Bakery, boasting authentic Greek food and Pastries so delectable you'll want to gobble them up right on the spot and their retail bakery enables you take a little bit of Greece home with you, OPA! For a laidback atmosphere and live entertainment, visit Tarpon Tavern. They have a great selection of beer and the best fish and chips. Other restaurants include Rustie Bellies Waterfront Grill or Mykonos Family Restaurant.

Tarpon Springs Shopping:

In addition, its charming downtown center is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors to the Historic District can stroll along brick streets while browsing in 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 quality programs.

Only 40 minutes away is the International Plaza offering over 200 specialty stores and restaurants including Gucci, Burberry, Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. A little farther of a drive, you can take advantage of one of the world’s finest outlet shopping, Ellington Premium Outlets, located in Bradenton.

Tarpon Springs Parks and Recreation:

The nearby beaches like Clearwater Beach are popular for swimming, windsurfing, picnics, boating, and other water sports. People also come to the beaches to watch the beautiful sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. Sandy barrier islands off shore shift position over time with the waves and storms. They are accessible by boat and are especially ideal for shell spotting and watching bottlenose dolphins at play. One permanent island, Anclote Key, is a State Park Preserve with a historic lighthouse, bird nesting colonies and pristine beaches. A large number of shorebirds nest and breed on Anclote Key and the surrounding islands.

Contact Information

Joanne Hiller
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
110 Island Way
Clearwater FL 33767
Fax: (727)446-2691