TARPON SPRINGS – SPONGE DOCKS & DOWNTOWN BRUNCH 6K

Join Go! Running Tours for our first ever tour of Tarpon Springs! Kicking off in downtown, we will weave in and out of downtown and around the sponge docks, discovering all of the hidden gems in this quaint town and ending with brunch at Tarpon Tavern.

TARPON SPRINGS - SPONGE DOCKS & DOWNTOWN BRUNCH 6K
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TARPON SPRINGS - SPONGE DOCKS & DOWNTOWN BRUNCH 6K

Runner on the ground - LAURA

“Look at that tarpon spring!” Mary called out! And the rest is history…

Kicking off in the heart of downtown, this tour is jam packed with all things Tarpon Springs! And as always ends with optional brunch for runners to get those calories back in after a fun 4 mile jog and maybe even to soak up a little of the ouzo that may pop up along the way. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Runners will meet up at Craig Park near the history center to get the party started. Your guide will give you an intro on what to expect over the next two hours of exploration, which ties in perfectly with starting in Craig Park – where this heavily Greek influenced town, also known as the Venice of the U.S., received its name. As your guide tells you all about Tarpon and its earlier days and how the sponge industry, tourism, the orange belt railway and so on created this bustling gem along the water. With some of the best examples of Victorian homes in Florida from the very wealthy northerners who came down to escape the harsh winters, dare we say that it battles with Bayshore in Tampa and Coffeepot Bayou in St. Pete as an excellent place to run along the water. The Safford house will be our first stop from here to showcase that architecture.

From here runners will follow the water as their guide takes them into what most people think about when they think Tarpon Springs – the sponge docks! It’s a little like going back in time seeing this admittedly dying industry before our very eyes. Greek restaurants with tasty treats line the street as ships sail out for divers to get to work throughout the day. There was a time when this was a much larger industry, but between hurricanes wiping out sponges and simply the industry being fairly backbreaking for little pay, the town is turning more towards tourism as a focus. But there’s no denying the sponge industry and you’ll see everything from sponge diving boats to sponge diving equipment and the men and women who are at the heart of this life, as your guide takes you on deep dive (pun intended) into all things sponge diving. Sponge diving is also the reason for the strong Greek culture here – nearly 7% of residents still speak Greek in their homes.

As we make our way away from the water (which is difficult in a town surrounded by 3 bayous) we will head up towards the Pinellas Trail and ultimately into downtown where runners will learn more about the downtown area, city hall, the orange belt railway and its impact on the area, along with stopping by a few key locations in downtown. We will also be sure to have a history lesson on Ouzo and a little tasting, as mentioned, around this time, as well. Tarpon Springs very own distillery was the first in the US to offically produce Ouzo under current regulations/requirements, so it would be a shame to miss out for those who enjoy a mid-run sip!

As the run winds down, we will wrap up at Tarpon Tavern (which is a short walk from the start of the run, so we suggest parking in the middle of the two locations). Brunch is optional, but it always makes for a fun way to recap and your tour guide always hangs around for brunch and questions if anyone wants to pick her brain on anything Tarpon that we didn’t cover on the run. Can’t wait to see everyone there!

OPA!

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Facts about the tours

6 km

Group tour

Easy

12:30 Minutes/Mile (does not include stops)

English

12:00PM EST

Price

โ‚ฌ27.50/person

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