Tarpon Springs - A Day Trip To Greece - Part 1

By Published On: November 27th, 2020

Tarpon Springs a Day Trip to Another Time and Place! Part 1

Published on 11/27/20: Day trip to Greece! Well as close as you’ll come in the United States. Tarpon Springs is just 45-55 minutes north of St Pete and has the highest percentage of residents of Greek heritage in the US! It made for a fun trip. There are seafood places, dessert shops, gift shops and much more.

Also known as the ‘Sponge Capital of The World’, Tarpon Springs had 500 Greek spongers initially set up shop here in around 1905. Such a cool area, making for a very fun day with lots of culture. Exhausted traveler here, more to come tomorrow on Tarpon Springs!

From VisitFlorida.com:

“The Hellenic influence remains strong today. According to census figures, more than one in 10 residents claim Greek descent, giving Tarpon Springs a higher percentage of Greek-Americans than any other American city. More than seven percent report that they speak Greek in their homes. The high school sports teams are nicknamed “Spongers.”

Venture from the Anclote River’s original sponge docks up side streets, peer into small cafes or storefront meeting rooms, and you may spy men talking loudly in Greek, playing cards and perhaps enjoying a bottle of tangy retsina wine. The aromas of garlic lamb and horiatiko – baked chicken – mingle with the honeydew scents of confections such as baklava and loukoumades.

His grandfather, father and uncle helped establish the sponge industry

“We have 125 businesses, 25 restaurants, three or four boat rides, and I don’t know how many bakeries,” said George Billiris, whose family came to Tarpon Springs in 1904. His grandfather, father and uncle helped establish the sponge industry.

“It was like a gold rush when it started,” said Billiris, whoin his 80s years old still works on the docks with his St. Nicholas Boat Line. It began in 1924 as an attraction offering tourists a boat ride and a chance to learn about sponge-diving. And thus from sponges sprung the tourist industry.”

Read along with over 25 thousand people who follow my LovingStPete on Social Media. You’ll receive up to $10K at closing when you use my LovingStPete Team to buy or sell a property! If you are interested in buying or selling a property in the Tampa Bay Area, simply contact me. As a Saint Petersburg Real Estate Agent, I would love to earn your business! My past includes developing a vacation rental advertising company that I ran for more than a decade before HomeAway/VRBO acquired.

Share this article

Written by : St Petersburg Realtor, Mike Braswell

Mike Braswell is a Tampa Bay Realtor, serving St Petersburg, Clearwater, all nearby beaches and more. Mike started LovingStPete in October of 2020 after a difficult year took its toll on local businesses. After being cooped up for portions of 2020 (lockdown) Mike and his son decided to get out and explore, helping spread the good word about the local area he loves so much. Often even doing gift card giveaways to support local. LovingStPete is now followed by over 48 thousand people on social media! The majority of posts are informative on fun parks, activities, day trips, great restaurants, and in general provide a comprehensive tour of the area!

Soon after receiving his bachelors in Management Information Systems, Mike developed and then operated a vacation rental advertising business for 10+ years as CEO/Owner. The business was eventually acquired by VRBO. Mike has earned the trust of many large clients over the years. Such as NFL, Wynn Resorts, Blue Cross Blue Shield, VISA, Genuine Parts Company (NAPA Auto Parts), AT&T, and other Fortune 500 companies.

When not spending time with his beautiful wife and energetic son, Mike enjoys boating and is also an avid tennis player. An interesting fact about Mike is that he grew up on an avocado farm with over 15 varieties, some of which you can find in our local Publix/Winn Dixie as his dad still farms the same farm at 87 years old!

Leave A Comment

Follow us

Contact Us

Contact Page
Latest articles