Tarpon Springs : Florida


What It Is Like to Retire in Tarpon Springs

Tarpon Springs is a small and interesting town on Florida's west coast, just north of Clearwater.  Back in the day it was a capital for sponge gathering with 180 boats dedicated to that industry; many of its early settlers were Greek sponge divers. You can still see that legacy today in the presence of many Greek names on the streets. At the harbor you can take a ride on a sponge diving boat tour, or better yet, eat at one of the many Greek restaurants there. The 2012 population was just under 24,000 and growing. The city has 2 areas - there is the main downtown with its reclaimed railroad depot and interesting shops and restaurants, and then there is the waterfront area with fishing boats and Greek restaurants. We included Tarpon Springs in our review of "Funky Florida Retirement Towns - Part 2".  The city is obviously popular with retirees, since the median resident age is 48 (8 years higher than FL average).


Where to Retire in Tarpon Springs and Home Prices

There are many active adult and 55+ communities here and in surrounding towns.  Zillow reports the median home value was $318,470 in mid-2021. Homes on the water will be much more expensive.


What Is Special about Tarpon Springs

Its heritage as a sponge fishing center and the legacy of its Greek residents makes it a more interesting place than many of its neighbors. There is a main downtown and a bustling waterfront area.  There are some good Greek restaurants, and the annual Epiphany Celebration of the Greek Orthodox Church attracts pilgrims from around the nation. The price of real estate is a bargain.  Many barrier islands off the coast are accessible and enjoyed by many, including Anclote Key Preserve State Park.


What Is Not Special about Tarpon Springs

Although the population is growing there are some parts of downtown that are decidedly rundown.


Who Will Like Retirement in Tarpon Springs

People who want to live on the west coast of Florida near the water might like it in Tarpon Springs. It is quiet here but the old sponge fishing industry makes it interesting. Close to Tampa and St. Pete for excitement. Average age is 48.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism, snow birds, and retirees drive the economy.


Climate and Physical Environment

Tarpon Springs is located mid-way down the west coast of Florida, east and a bit north of Tampa.  The median Jan temp is about 61 and the median July temp is in the low 80s. Expect summer thunderboomers and the possibility of a hurricane. It is not as warm as southern Florida and can get brief cold snaps.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The proximity to Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and Tampa gives residents many cultural outlets.  Many come here for the excellent Greek restaurants, such as Mykonos profiled in a Washington Post profile of Tarpon Springs. Tarpon Springs is known for elaborate religious ceremonies hosted by the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, part of the Greek Orthodox Church, including the January 6 Epiphany, celebration that includes youths diving for a cross and the blessing of the waters and the boats.



The crime rate is just a few points lower than the national index.


Medical Facilities

Florida Hospital North Pinellas is here, and many more are in the surrounding cities.



Tampa has a major airport.


Valuable Links

City of Tarpon Springs.


What people are saying about Tarpon Springs

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