Tarpon Springs is a historic small city of 24,000 with an unusual mix of Greek culture, and Victorian and Floridian architecture. Incorporated in 1887, it is the oldest city in Pinellas County, Florida. Located on the Gulf of Mexico on the west coast of Florida, Tarpon Springs is north and west of the Tampa-St. Petersburg metropolitan area. The city is full of parks, bayous and brick streets, and boasts two distinct downtowns. The NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES lists downtown, which is a mix of antique shops, boutiques, galleries, and museums. The internationally known Sponge Docks is the heart of the City’s Greek Town, settled by Greek fishermen and their families in the early twentieth century. One of Florida’s few working waterfronts, at the Sponge Docks you can see sponge fishermen unloading and processing their harvest, as well as locally built Greek sponge boats listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Called the Venice of the South, Tarpon Springs has been an arts destination since the early 1900s, when GEORGE INNESS, the father of American landscape painting, made his home here; other artists, performers and arts enthusiasts soon followed. (See the GEORGE INNESS, JR. Paintings at the UNITARIAN CHURCH) Tarpon Springs is perhaps most famous for its 100-year-old annual Epiphany celebration, involving Greek Orthodox young men diving for a cross that’s thrown into Spring Bayou. Today the population is rapidly expanding; more and more businesses, families and retirees are discovering the magic of Tarpon Springs.
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For more historical information visit the TARPON SPRINGS AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY, 160 East Tarpon Avenue.
For more arts and culture, visit: WWW.ARTSTAMPABAY.COM