Tarpon Springs, FL is known for its scenic Gulf waters, a rich Greek heritage and its historic sponge docks. Enjoy the area’s natural beauty and explore all this waterfront city has to offer! Choice Hotels in Tarpon Springs offer ease, convenience and value to help you make the most of your visit.
This central Florida community was settled by farmers and fishermen in 1876. The new inhabitants noticed tarpon fish in the waters and gave the area the name of Tarpon Springs. Over the next ten years, the city grew into a vacation spot for wealthy northerners to escape the cold winter months. At the same time, a man named John Cheyney founded the first local sponge business—harvesting natural sponges from the Gulf of Mexico. In 1905, John Cocoris, a Greek businessman who also had experience in the sponge industry, introduced sponge diving in Tarpon Springs. He recruited many divers and crew members from Greece, and the sponge business began thriving Florida. The industry fluctuated between high and low periods through the 1980s, and while sponges aren’t as big of a business as they once were, you can still see sponge fishermen working along the docks on Dodecanese Boulevard.
If you want to learn more about the area’s history, make some time to visit Spongeorama museum. And in addition to its historic waterfront attractions, the city is home to many fantastic Greek restaurants and bakeries!
As you plan your visit, make sure to book a room at one of the Choice Hotels in Tarpon Springs, FL. Our locations offer friendly service, warm hospitality and a variety of amenities. Plus, when staying at one of our Tarpon Springs hotels, you’re also just a short drive from the cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg—so take a road trip and discover more of central Florida! Book your stay today.