Whenever I suggest to Jeanette that we should buy a place in Florida for our winter vacation, she says that it would tie us down too much and she would feel obligated to have to come to the same place each year. Well, obligated or not, we have been returning to Tarpon Springs Florida each year for the last dozen years!
Tarpon Springs is the epicenter of old Florida living which goes back to before 1800 when the rich people used to come to the Spring Bayou to escape the colder weather and do a little fishing. The oldest street in Tarpon Springs is North Grosse Avenue where we stay. Forget about high rises, apartment buildings, and wall to wall people madly dashing around. Instead, think of the warm sun, beautiful tall live oak trees all covered with Spanish moss, and homes which suggest that their owners are less concerned with spending all day Saturday working in the yard and more concerned about relaxing out back with a nice glass of iced tea.
The yard in the beautiful green house at the corner of North Grosses Avenue and Orange Street received an award for having a yard which is typical of old Florida. The outside of the home is decorated with all kinds of antique signs and past advertising memorabilia.
Just down Grosse Street is Ashley’s B&B. Barbara and her husband Larry came to Florida to start a new life. She loves to collect antiques and the property that they bought at 313 North Grosse Street is furnished with some of her antiques. This circa 1895 home was lovingly restored by her and her husband after it had been used as a boarding house for many years.
What is there to do in Tarpon Springs? The same things that attracted the wealthy before 1900: the warm winter sun, the fishing in the spring Bayou and on the Anclote River, boating on the Gulf, and of course, a nice cold Greek beer.