Today we visited Tarpon Springs, Fl. We have visited this town a number of times over the years, starting in the 80’s, when my parents spent the winter in the area. Back then, when we went to Tarpon Springs, we only visited the sponge docks and enjoyed the food and marine sights. In fact, until our last visit in 2009, we never really considered looking at the rest of the town.
So on this visit; we started in the historic downtown which got its start when the railroad came through the downtown. The main street is largely populated now by antique shops and a museum/welcome center in the former train station. We started in the station and were quickly intercepted by a volunteer who wanted to show us around and tell us about the town history. It took only a few minutes for Anneke and the docent to establish that they shared the same heritage. There went the rest of the morning. During an extensive tour we discussed the Dutch experience and current problems. He had an interesting history, starting when he left the Netherlands at 18 to work in Australia for three years and eventually ended up in the United States. Among other things he served 20 years in the US Army, 20 years with the local county Sherriff’s Department and now retired-volunteers at the historical center. We had a great visit and a better appreciation for Tarpon Springs.
After touring the town center, and a nice County Park with beach, we headed down to the docks for another great Greek lunch and a tour of the many tourists shops. In all the times we have visited here, we never picked up any of the sponge products. This time we made up for that by getting two sponge plant displays and a bath sponge.
This is definitely a town worth the visit and do not forget the village center.