Home to a substantial population of generations-old Greek American families, Tarpon Springs is a beautiful small town located in Pinellas County. The city lies west of Keystone and to the northwest of Lake Tarpon, with Orlando about a 40-minute drive from the city outskirts. The downtown district has been under beautification plans for years, so the area retains an old-fashioned, friendly atmosphere with a few modern Tarpon Springs attractions.
Known as the 'sponge capital of the world' be sure to visit the historic Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks. Here, discover a unique Greek-influenced area of the city to learn about sponge harvesting, view sponges drying on boats, and explore a variety of unique shops, restaurants and attractions. Select from a variety of day-cruise options featuring dolphin-watching, charter fishing, and other water excursions. Complete your day with a visit to the Spongeorama Sponge Factory, see the sponge diving museum and watch the free movie.
Here are several more fun things to do in Tarpon Springs!
The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, located to the north of Clearwater Beach, supports the city’s abundant arts scene with ever-changing exhibits that showcase local artists. The collection also features some 20th century masterpieces from well-known artists. Or, if you love animals, take your kiddos to the Tarpon Springs Aquarium. There are over 30 species of sea creatures and fish, many of which you can interact with in a touch tank. You can also learn tons about sea life with narrated shark feedings and dive shows.
Tarpon Tavern is one of the most popular downtown places, as it has served the area for decades. Locals and travelers alike love the little pub ambiance. The beer is good and local, the fried fish is delicious and served on newspaper, and the company is boisterous and friendly.
If you feel like relaxing on the seashore, head over to Fred Howard Park on Sunset Drive. The park features a few miles of sands and shores, with beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico. Swim, hang your hammock from palm trees, laze around along the shoreline, or walk your dogs on a designated section of the beach.
Consider staying at one of the best hotels in the Tarpon Springs—Quality Inn & Suites, Hampton Inn & Suites Tarpon Springs, VISTA Hotel on Lake Tarpon, and Innisbrook Golf & Spa Resort. Check out more information and hotel accommodations in Tarpon Springs at TravNow.
Select one of the best hotels in Tarpon Springs to enhance your stay!
The Quality Inn & Suites
The Quality Inn & Suites on US Highway 19 North is a top-ranked hotel in the area, with homey, cozy accommodations that ensure returning guests. The amenities are pleasant, the customer service is courteous, and the staff is both knowledgeable and nice. Guests have access to free high-speed internet, a free parking lot, room service, an on-site bar and lounge, free daily breakfasts, and concierge services.
The concierge will help you plan your vacation, from which restaurants to eat at, to which attractions and beaches to visit. Other accommodations include a swimming pool, an on-site workout room, and meeting rooms and business centers with internet and cable access.
If you want to experience southern cuisine on sophisticated levels, walk to Johnny Grits for lunch on East Klosterman Road. Have a brunch meal of homemade waffles and crunchy-skinned chicken with fresh maple syrup. Or, partake in their famous home fries, four-cheese grits, and crispy bacon. Afterwards, take a stroll through A.L. Anderson Park, where you can feed the ducks, watch for gators, and take in beautiful views from a shaded rest bench.
The Hampton Inn & Suites Tarpon Springs
Voted number one on TripAdvisor out of the 4 hotels in Tarpon Springs, the Hampton Inn & Suites Tarpon Springs is a local favorite, situated on US Highway 19 North. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, with a well-equipped kitchenette, full-stocked bathroom, and super-cozy bed. There are toiletries, clean linens, and fresh, fluffed towels available upon request whenever you need them.
Other amenities include free daily breakfasts, free parking spaces, an on-site fitness center, free high-speed internet, and cable access in each room. There is also a swimming pool and hot tub, as well as a self-serve laundry room, dry-cleaning services, and business centers for professionals.
For something a little different entertainment-wise, take your family to the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary on Alternate Highway 19. Observe and meet dozens of different apes and monkeys, while learning more about their habits, habitats, and important nature roles. Be sure to donate a few bucks at the front gate towards the preservation and care of these amazing animals.
The Vista Hotel
The Vista Hotel on Lake Tarpon, located 5 miles to the outskirts of Tarpon Springs, is a close neighbor to Palm Harbor. The hotel is pet-friendly and old-fashioned, with southern charm packed into spacious rooms, courteous staff, and accommodating amenities. There are 95 rooms, which bolsters an intimate, peaceful atmosphere, as well as a swimming pool, hot tub, on-site fitness room, and business center with meeting rooms. Guests have access to self-serve laundry facilities, a banquet room for celebrations, and free high-speed internet.
Views of the harbor, palm trees, and general Florida pleasantness are gorgeous, while the hotel staff often leave surprises, such as origami bathroom towels, in each room. Lounge by the swimming pool, take a luxuriating dip in the hot tub, or stay in a plush bed to watch cable on a ginormous flat-screen television. It’s your vacation, so you pick your indulgences.
Traveling with your family? Take them to the Innisbrook Loch Ness Monster Pool and Grill. This place is especially great for children under 10, as the pools are shallow and the waterpark is filled with slides and splash zones. The food is typical amusement park cuisine, like chicken tenders, French fries, and a big cup of lemonade.
Another Tarpon Springs favorite that is closer to Palm Harbor is the Innisbrook Golf & Spa Resort. This hotel is family and business professional friendly, with a peaceful, upscale atmosphere and sophisticated accommodations. Each suite is set up like a small apartment, with a spacious bathroom, plush bed, and cozy sitting area.
The on-site spa offers manicures, pedicures, massages, and facials, while the on-site golf course offers 18 holes across rolling green hills. This hotel is ginormous, and you don’t have to go anywhere else to have a good time.
Entertainment-wise, the resort offers an on-site workout room, family-friendly summer activities, babysitting services, an on-site restaurant, bar, and lounge, and a swimming pool with waterslides and a hot tub. You could experience all of the fun and comforts of Tarpon Springs without ever leaving the resort.
Ready for an adventure near Florida's western coast? Book your trip to Tarpon Springs with TravNow.