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Boat Tour to Anclote

A Boat Tour to Anclote Island

Before the days of Disney, Tarpon Springs Sponge docks was one of Florida’s largest tourist destinations. This Greek cluster of shops may seem tired, but it is truly a hidden gem in Florida’s heart. People from all over the US come to visit the small Greek community found in Tarpon Springs. Visiting the Greek isles should be on everyone’s bucket list. If walking down the strip of restaurants and souvenir shops isn’t for you, then luckily, there are tickets to visit one of Florida’s most remote state parks: Anclote Key State Park.

Located just three miles off the shore, this state park is made up of four small islands. Covered in white sand and crystal blue waters, this park is breathtaking. This island is home to an 1887 lighthouse that houses a single park ranger. Odyssey Cruises runs tours from the sponge docks to the park and offers various other shorter tours. The boat tour is an excellent opportunity to hear a little bit about Tarpon Springs history, get a great view of the Gulf, and even have the opportunity to spot some dolphins.

During this tour, you’ll also get a brief opportunity to explore the island. During the shortstop, guests are allowed to walk around the white beaches and dip their toes in the water. The only thing the tour does not include is a visit to the lighthouse. Twice a year, the operation gives guests a chance to tour the lighthouse, and even climb the 140 step spiral staircase to the top! Along the tour, get the chance to spot historic buildings and working fishing boats.

Our tour makes a few stops around the islands. Docking on a sandbar, guests have 30 minutes to walk around in the water, collect some cool shells, and even find a sand dollar or two. If you’re lucky enough to own a boat, Anclote Key State Park is open to the public. Enjoy lunch by the water at one of the hidden picnic pavilions, or catch some rays on the white sand shore. There’s even a camping site, where guests can spend the night on the island and wake up to a dazzling sunrise on the Gulf.

If you don’t own a boat, there are still a few ways to be able to visit the island and get to spend a little more time than allotted on the boat tour. It’s 3 miles of open water from the Sponge Docks to the island, so only the more experienced kayakers should take this venture. Jet skiing in the isle is also an excellent option for spending more free time at Anclote State park. However you decide to reach Anclote island, just know that you couldn’t be visiting a more serene and memorable location.



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Most Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Tarpon Springs

Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Tarpon Springs

Each year, thousands of people flock to Tarpon Springs to take in the historical downtown center and bask in the beautiful waters along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico. Tarpon Springs has incredible charm. It’s full of quaint restaurants, cultural activities, and historical sites. Water lovers can enjoy a variety of water-based activities like kayaking, sailing, and fishing. Before people visit Tarpon Springs, they often have a lot of questions about what to expect. Here we’ve organized the most frequently asked questions into the same place to give you a good foundation as you plan your trip.

How Far is Clearwater from Tarpon Springs?

Tarpon Springs is just over 13 miles from Clearwater, FL. Under normal traffic conditions, the drive will take you around half an hour (30 minutes). It’s definitely worth the drive to grab some incredible Greek food and walk the shops along the sponge docks as you take in a lovely sunset. Tampa Airport is approximately a 45 drive (about 25 miles) and the St Pete-Clearwater International Airport is approximately a 35-minute drive and about 20 miles.

Does Tarpon Springs Have a Beach?

Tarpon Springs is famous for its Sponge docks, and the nearest beach is Fred Howard Park which is just south of the Sponge Docks. The city was made famous due to the abundance of high-quality sponges, which drew Greek entrepreneurs from around the world to the city. Tarpon Springs is in a great location for folks who want amazing Greek food and culture with a beach in striking distance. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a stroll on a beach or a quick dip, Odyssey Cruises stops on Anclote Key during our Dolphin Adventure Island tour.

Is Tarpon Springs Safe?

There are some crime and other safety concerns when considering travel to a tourist destination. Tarpon Springs is no different. The city, though, relies heavily on visitors, so it goes to great lengths to keep things safe and pleasant. Keep an eye on your valuables and your stay should go on without a hitch.

What Is There to Do in Tarpon Springs?

Overall, Tarpon Springs is very safe and family-friendly. Tarpon Springs is famous for its sponge docks, wonderful Greek food and culture, and artisan shops. Odyssey Cruises provides several boat trips, whether a river cruise down the Anclote, a dolphin siting nature cruise to Anclote Key, or a sunset cruise each evening (and special selling trips 1-2 times each month). Dodecanese Boulevard, located along the riverfront, is lined with unique shops that sell natural sponges, homemade goods, soaps, and more. Visit the historic district to see some amazing Florida buildings. There is also a great aquarium.

What is Tarpon Springs Known For?

Above all, Tarpon Springs is known for its rich history of Greek culture. The area is full of world-class Greek restaurants and stories about how the Greek community made it work in Tarpon Springs by making the finest natural sponges in the world.

Tarpon Springs is an awesome place with a rich history. It’s ideal for a weekend getaway or a day trip if you’re close by. Come experience an incredible part of our country’s history in Tarpon Springs, Florida! Staycations and vacations alike, there is plenty to do when visiting Tarpon Springs Florida! Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Check out our reviews on trip advisor, just search for dolphin cruise!

Check out our F.A.Q.s for questions about our cruises. Click Here