"Tarpon Springs - A Greek town not on the Med" Top 5 Page for this destination Tarpon Springs by Ewingjr98

Tarpon Springs Travel Guide: 62 reviews and 134 photos

From around 1900 until the end of WWII the Tarpons Springs sponge industry was huge. It is said this was, for several decades, the largest industry in Florida. Around 1946 a blight nearly eliminated the sponges, but today the industry is again thriving, with some 1,000 people employed in harvesting and selling sponges, and $15 million in revenue yearly.

Many of the original sponge divers were Greeks, and the area known as the Sponge Docks still boasts a strong Greek influence. Here you will find a number of Greek restaurants and bars. There are also numerous shops, most selling sponges or diving equipment.

Downtown Tarpon Springs is nearby, but distinctly different than the Sponge Docks area. The downtown area has a traditional Main Street feel, with lots of restaurants and antique shops. The old railroad route is now a busy walking and biking trail, with the railroad station the visitors center. There is a large Greek Orthodox church in town serving the area's Greek population.

Along the sponge docks you will find a statue of a diver and a plaque for the sponge divers. The statue is dedicated to those Tarpon Springs residents who died harvesting sponges, with a plaque "In memory of the spongers of Tarpon Springs." Below the statue are plaques containing the names of those who died in the sponge industry.

  • Last visit to Tarpon Springs: Sep 2009
  • Intro Updated Jun 9, 2011
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Ewingjr98

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