Fishermen and farmers were among Tarpon Springs' first settlers in 1876. They named their new home Tarpon Springs after the tarpon fish they saw jumping in the gulf's waters. Steady growth saw Tarpon Springs become the first incorporated city in Pinellas County in 1887. The city attracted more residents and tourists when the Orange Belt Railway arrived the following year.
John K. Cheyney established Tarpon Springs' first sponge business in the 1880s. The local sponge industry took off, growing to become one of the city's leading sectors in the 1980s. Today, Tarpon Springs is still known as the sponge capital of the world.
The charm of Tarpon Spring's historic downtown region, its vibrant cultural scene, and its Mediterranean flavor make this coastal city a popular vacation destination for travelers throughout Florida and beyond. Browse the antique stores and art galleries, see a show at one of the city's cultural centers, taste great Greek food, and have fun on the water; spending time in Tarpon Springs is always lots of fun.
When to Visit Tarpon Springs, FL
Tarpon Springs has a humid, subtropical climate. Temperatures are warm all year round, although summer's extremes make mid-year traveling unpleasant. The heat is an obvious problem during the summer months. Temperatures usually hover in the high 80s to mid-90s, but they've been known to exceed 100. The high humidity also brings frequent thunderstorms. You don't want to be in Tarpon Springs if these storms bring hail or tornadoes.
Tarpon Springs is at its best during spring and fall. The average highs in the mid-70s to high 80s are perfect for sightseeing and fun on the water. Summer rain persists in early fall, though, so if you'd prefer dry weather, opt for later in the season or visit during spring.
Don't dismiss the idea of a winter vacation in Tarpon Springs. Snowfall is almost unheard of; during the day, average temps usually hover around the mid-70s. It can get a little chilly at night, but it's nothing a jacket can't fix. While accommodation prices rise over the festive season, they'll fall to their lowest levels after the New Year.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Tarpon Springs, FL:
Averate Rates by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs displaying average nightly cost patterns by star rating class in Tarpon Springs, FL. Analyze these illustrations to determine the cheapest dates to make a reservation in Tarpon Springs for upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotel Options in Tarpon Springs, FL
4 Star Average Prices: $152.43
Tarpon Spring's most luxurious hotels offer high-end facilities and service with a smile. Discover the difference at the following area hotels.
Innisbrook Golf & Spa Resort in Palm Harbor is the ideal choice for keen putters and anyone who enjoys the finer things in life. You'll stay in low-rise lodges thoughtfully designed to blend into the woodland setting. Rooms and spacious suites are sophisticated, with flat-screen TVs, iHome radio alarms, and premium furniture. You're not likely to spend a lot of time there, though, with four championship golf courses, six swimming pools, and tennis and racquetball courts all fighting for your attention. Treat yourself to a massage or beauty treatment in the spa or a delicious meal at one of six on-site restaurants.
Fairfield Inn & Suites Holiday / Tarpon Springs is a traditional hotel with a modern feel. It features well-appointed guest rooms and suites, all with inviting plush beds, writing desks, and flat-screen TVs showing premium movie channels. Wi-Fi is also free throughout the hotel, so you can post selfies by the pool and video chat with family at home from the privacy of your room. The free breakfast buffet is generous, with tempting treats like sausages and scrambled eggs. If you overindulge, simply work off the calories in the fitness room.
Affordable Hotel Options in Tarpon Springs, FL
3 Star Average Prices: $103.09
The most affordable accommodation is located just outside the city in nearby Palm Harbor. Sacrifice a downtown Tarpon Springs location, and you can enjoy your stay in the area on a shoestring.
Vista Hotel on Lake Tarpon is an affordable hotel with an enviable waterfront location. Its rooms aren't flashy, but they have everything you really need, including cable TVs showing HBO and other premium channels, work stations, and lake views. Enjoy waffles, muffins, and other morning treats at the free continental breakfast before trying your luck bass fishing in the lake. Swimming in the lake is discouraged, as the water is inhabited by the alligators and legendary lake monster Tarpie, but you can cool off in the hotel's outdoor pool. When the weather cools, hit the hot tub.
Knight's Inn Palm Harbor is much more modest than the Vista Hotel, but it's also one of the most affordable hotels in the Taylor area. The rooms look a little dated, but they have modern features like satellite TV and fast, free Wi-Fi. Parking is also free, perfect for road trippers who want to explore Taylor and other neighboring cities. Alternatively, you could take it easy and spend your days reading a book on a deck chair or swimming in the outdoor pool.
2 Star Average Prices: $70.06
Tarpon Springs, FL Hotels with Discounts
Hotels from well-known accommodation groups often discount their regular rates for selected travelers. Remember to bring identification to prove you qualify for the savings.
Hampton Inn & Suites Tarpon Springs has special rates for AAA, AARP, and CARP members, government and military personnel, and travel agents. June 2018 renovations have freshened up the guest rooms, which feature coffee makers, flat-screen TVs showing popular TV channels and movies, and signature Hampton beds. After a restful night's sleep, enjoy a leisurely buffet breakfast or grab an On the Run Breakfast Bag as you race out the door. They're all included in your room rate. There's no excuse for letting your fitness regime slide, with a large outdoor pool and well-equipped gym on site.
Rodeway Inn in New Port Richey lowers its already affordable standard rates for AAA and CAA members, seniors, AARP members, government and military employees, and members of large traveling groups needing 10 or more rooms. Its spacious rooms have flat-screen TVs, and comfortable beds. Book early to secure one of the selected rooms with a coffee maker, microwave, and fridge. If you miss out, you can still get free coffee every morning in the lobby. It also flows freely at the complimentary breakfast buffet. An outdoor pool, guest laundry, and meeting space add value.
Best Value Options in Tarpon Springs, FL
For real value for the money, you can always trust the following Tarpon Springs hotels. Make one of these hotels your home away from home while you're visiting Tarpon Springs.
Quality Inn & Suites Tarpon Springs is ideally located a short walk from Crystal Beach, so it's ideal for guests visiting for Florida's famous sun, sand, and surf. While other hotels put microwaves, fridges, and coffee makers in selected rooms, they're standard at Quality Inn & Suites. The premium mattresses, plush blankets, and fluffy pillows ensure you'll get a good night's sleep. When you wake, enjoy the breakfast buffet, which has healthy and indulge treats for all tastes. Staying fit is made easy with the outdoor pool and gym. Coffee and Wi-Fi are both free for guests.
Holiday Hotel & Resort is an independent accommodation option with well-appointed guest rooms. The 75-foot outdoor pool is always a hive of activity during summer. There are many local restaurants nearby, but you don't have to put on your walking shoes for dinner. Kahuna Bar and Grill on-site serves decadent meals like chicken-fried steak, gator tails, and oysters. While there's plenty of seating, the restaurant also offers free delivery to the hotel's rooms.
Best Greek Restaurants in Tarpon Springs, FL
Tarpon Springs has America's highest percentage of Greek residents, so it's the perfect place to enjoy authentic Mediterranean cuisine. These restaurants serve some of the best Greek food in Florida.
Hellas Restaurant has been a part of the Tarpon Springs community since 1970. The Karterouliotis family members, owners and operators of the restaurant, delight in sharing the dishes of their homeland with diners. They make Greek classics like saganaki, skordalia, and avgolemono soup using recipes passed through their family for generations. Make sure you don't skip dessert; all sweet treats are handcrafted in the on-site bakery.
The Original Mama Maria's Greek Cuisine serves Mediterranean meals just like Mama would make. It's another family-owned and operated local restaurant that prides itself on its authentic Greek dishes made using only the freshest ingredients. Look out for great-value lunch and dinner specials like souvlaki sandwiches, crab-stuffed grouper, and the meat lovers' favorite, mix grill.
Costa's Cuisine is a friendly restaurant by the water. While you'll still find all your meaty favorites like gyros, souvlaki, and roast lamb, the menu really celebrates seafood. The Grecian octopus, signature mussels in red sauce, and traditional codfish dish bakaliaros are among the restaurant's specialties. Friday nights are always popular with families, as kids eat free with paying adults.
The coastal waters and welcoming atmosphere of Tarpon Springs are calling you. This city offers plenty for visitors to see and do without the fast, frantic pace of many Florida cities. It can still get busy during peak seasons, though, so book your accommodation early to secure the best rates.
Recent traveler guest reviews of Tarpon Springs, FL
Below are reviews of the city of Tarpon Springs, FL from an actual visitor's perspective.
"Lots to See"
Score 4.0 / 5
Good dockside restaurants where the locals go to. The Greek culture and restaurants were great. The local parks are nice and not overcrowded. There are good grocery stores and the traffic is not too bad.
The average traveler rating of the city of Tarpon Springs, FL shown above is 4.0 out of 5 based on 1 reviews