The picturesque Greek enclave Tarpon Springs is easily one of the best day-trips from Clearwater Beach, and it quite literally transports you to Greece without even having to set a foot on a plane!
Grab breakfast and take the trolley to Tarpon Springs (9:30 – 11am)
Depending on how late it got last night, grab an easy breakfast in Clearwater Beach (why not revisit one of your faves so far?) Aim to be done by 11 to catch the Jolley Trolley Coastal Route direction Tarpon Springs. Sit back and enjoy the ride, you are in no hurry today. You might also get some local anecdotes from your driver along the way. Get off at Dodecanese Blvd and you have arrived!
Explore Tarpon Springs (11:30 – 2:30 pm)
Utterly charming, Tarpon Springs, or the Sponge Capital of the World as it is also known as, is steeped in history and is one of those places you can blissfully saunter around for hours just to take in the atmosphere. The air is salty and filled with gyros, fried smelts and baklava.
Stroll along the waterfront, pick up some unique Greek and Florida memorabilia, handmade soaps, spices and teas then familiarize yourself with natural sponges over at Spongeorama Sponge Factory/Museum. Watch the sponge divers unload their catch of the day, and don’t leave without picking up at least a few for yourself from the Sponge Docks. Or better yet, join a 45-minute sponge boat tour to see the divers at work up close.
For the more culturally inclined, the renowned Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art is a great choice, whereas over at the Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum you can discover more about Tarpon Springs’ blue and white history. And for the original arcade kids at heart, you could visit the Replay Museum (advance bookings required), home of the world’s biggest pinball machine and relive your childhood with games like Street Fighter or Ms. Pacman.
Enjoy a Greek Lunch on the docks (2:30 – 4pm)
Tarpon Springs prides itself on some of the best Greek food and baked goods outside of Greece and you can’t really go wrong with any of the restaurants along the docks, including authentic Mykonos, local favorite Mama’s Greek Cuisine and the iconic (albeit slightly touristy) Hellas. It’s vibrant and kitschy and oh-so Greek (cue My Big Fat Greek Wedding…). Tuck into lamb prepared anyway, broiled octopus and top it off with Tiramisu Martini or Baklava Coffee. Opa!
Take a Beverage Pit-Stop (4:15 – 6pm)
Jump on the trolley back south on Pinellas Ave. Time for a beverage pit-stop of your choice. Two Frogs Brewing Company and Tarpon Springs Castle Winery are conveniently located just a block apart! When you’re done, jump back on the trolley, in direction Clearwater Downtown.
Catch the ferry to Clearwater Beach Marina (6:30pm)
*Booking in advance is required to secure your spot Check schedule HERE
Dodge the traffic by jumping on the ferry from Downtown to Clearwater Beach Marina! It takes about 10 minutes and offers beautiful vistas with great chances of sighting some dolphins.
Freshen up and order pizza delivery (7 – 9pm)
Head back to your accommodation to drop off your sponge and soap purchases and freshen up for the evening. Time to change up this week’s steady seafood-intake with some Italian for a change. Andiamo!
There are pizza places aplenty to choose from in CWB, depending on your school of crust, and most of them deliver as well. Perfect on a day like today when you feel like taking your time to get ready, and dine in on your balcony. We like the thin crust over at Roundabout Pizza!
Shephards for the night (9 – end)
Check their calendar and reserve a table
Enjoy the rest of your night at Shephards Tiki Beach Bar with cool cocktails, tunes and a lively atmosphere.