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Sunday, June 30, 2019

How We Spent 24 Hours in Tarpon Springs, Florida


Located on Florida gulf coast, Tarpon Spring is a known for it’s world famous sponges and amazing Greek food.




Tarpon Springs has a heavy Greek influence as evident by its restaurants, markets, and bakeries. It also has highest percentage of Greek Americans in the United States.






The downtown area is where we spent the morning.  It is located waterfront to the Sponge Docks and is the main hub of the town. It is the best place to find sponges, grab some Greek food, do some shopping, or catch a boat tour. We recommend Hellas Restaurant and Bakery for some great food and pastries!





We came across a man making roses out of palm fronds for donations. We were so impressed and had to have a couple!





The Sponge Docks is the perfect place to sit and rest for a while. If you are there at the right time, you can see the boats as they return from their sponge gathering.



Address:

Dodecanese Blvd, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689





We spent the afternoon exploring the two beach areas.


.
Fred Howard Park Beach has a nice long wide beach with tons of parking. Beaches are also located along the causeway.  The area was very clean and quiet.




 There is a place to rent kayaks to the right as you are leaving the causeway towards the beach. 







Sunset Beach is another beach in Tarpon Spring. It is a popular place to watch the sunset. We arrived before sunset and people were already getting their chairs set up. It was also very clean.





If you have time or are staying for more than a day, St. Nicholas Boat Line has a sponge diving exhibition boat tour where you can learn about the history and harvest of sponges.



Adults $12, seniors (65+) $10, Students (ages 6 – 12) $5, 5 and under free 

Call for reservations:    (727) 942-6425

Address:

693 Dodecanese Blvd.
P.O. Box 382
Tarpon Springs, FL





Lodging

We stayed at the QUALITY INN & SUITES in New Port Richey. I am very picky about hotels and this one had the best reviews online. It was actually nice and clean, but they do have an outside bar that plays loud music until 10pm. I would recommend it if you were going to stay in the Tarpon Springs area for the night.

The hotel is 6 miles from the Sponge Docks.

Address:

5316 US-19, New Port Richey, FL 34652




Tarpon Springs is a great place to explore for both kids and adults. We have been there a couple of times and loved both trips!




Tarpon Springs is located 13 miles north of Clearwater, Fl and is about a two hour drive west from Orlando.

Happy Travels!

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Botanical Garden and Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary (Flamingo Gardens) Davie, Florida


Located in southern Florida, Flamingo Gardens is a 60-acre Botanical Garden and Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary. The gardens feature over 3000 species of rare & exotic, tropical, subtropical, and native plants and trees.






Established in 1927, Flamingo Gardens is one of the oldest botanical gardens in southern Florida.





The highlight of this tropical oasis is the beautiful pink flamingos, from which the gardens gets its name.





The non-native Cluster Fig is the largest tree in the Florida Champion Tree register.  It is 102 feet tall and a little over 54 feet in circumference.




The 1930s Wray Home Museum on the property was built by Floyd L. and Jane Wray as a weekend retreat. It is one of the oldest residences in Broward County. 





The half-acre aviary is home to over 250 wading birds from over 45 species and over 90 species of Florida native birds and animals. Most of the birds are permanently injured or non-releasable.






The Flamingo Gardens is 17 miles west of Fort Lauderdale and 30 miles north of the Miami International Airport.





Address:

3750 S Flamingo Rd, Davie, FL 33330

Hours:

Daily 9:30AM–5PM

Admission:

Adults (ages 12+)  $19.95
Children (ages 3-11)   $12.95
Children ages 2 and under are free.


Happy Travels!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Sunflower Trail and Festival Near Shreveport, Louisiana


Looking for something fun to do in the Shreveport area in June? The Sunflower Trail and Festival in Gilliam, Louisiana is the perfect activity! And guess what! It’s free!



The annual festival is held every June in the downtown area of the very small town of Gilliam. What looked to be about a hundred arts and craft booths are grouped in a shaded area behind an old general store. As we make our way through the crowds, I notice several booths with activities for children and can hear music from a band. We didn’t stay long due to the heat and what seemed like thousands of people. I would recommend going early to find a parking place.





The highlight of the festival is the sunflower trail. It runs along Highway 3049 from Gilliam to Shreveport.






 There are many fields of sunflowers along the way to stop and visit.




 The fields are perfect for taking cute photos! There is even a photography contest. As with the festival, go early to miss the crowds!




You can drive the Sunflower trail anytime in the month of June. Oh, and you can pick the flowers!




Gilliam is located about 20 miles north of the Shreveport/ Bossier City area and about 48 miles south of Texarkana, Texas.


Happy Travels!