Day three in Indian Shores, Florida was so full of moments for our family and I am so excited to share it with you all.
By day three we felt like we really had a good grasp of what we wanted out of the vacation and found ourselves looking for the right moments. I think we did a great job filling the time with memories. Looking at the pictures, I reminded just how much we really did do. Indian Shores is a popular road trip destination for Floridians, but also a big tourist area. Since we are within hours, we can drive easily but even in Florida you can use Silver Airways and fly in to save time on the drive and have more time to really enjoy the area. I think either way you can't go wrong, but making sure you have as much time as possible here is a good idea, no matter how you get here or how old you are!
We started the day on the balcony watching the sunrise. There was no place I'd rather be than sharing this quiet, peaceful start to the day with my family. Even the kids quietly enjoyed the sunrise and sound of the waves. An advantage of a condo is the savings on meals such as breakfast. We were able to slowly wake up without alarms and eat as we awoke, and us adults leisurely enjoying our morning coffees. As we relaxed, we discussed the day and decided on Tarpon Springs. This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn some money if you click on one. Read the full disclaimer here.
Located 45 minutes north of St. Petersburg and found along the shore of the Gulf, this is a great place to stretch your legs and have some active fun together as a family. Tarpon Springs was named for the fish found in abundance in nearby waters. It is also is known as the "sponge capital of the world".
Tarpon Springs' is charming with its brick streets that visitors stroll the boulevard seeing galleries, antique stores, specialty shops and Greek eateries. Its downtown center is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, dating from the late 1800s. The boats of Greek sponge divers, which was once a booming industry, line the other side of the road.
We started walking the boulevard and walking in the shops. Many were tourist items, some handmade soaps, etc. There were definitely things for everyone. The plan was to walk the left and come back up the water side.
We walked through the courtyard of shops and I was definitely leading the way to Mama's Greek Cuisine. It was lunchtime and Mama's has been a favorite of mine for years. Mama's is authentic Greek cuisine and features Live Greek Music and Entertainment; sometimes even Belly Dancing! Greek food is the big thing here so take a little walk down the main street and check out all the choices before deciding on one! There are also a few Greek bakeries so save room for dessert!
Flaming Cheese is amazing and was a good show for the kids.
We also heard so much about ouzo that we thought we'd give it a shot (see what I did there ?). the waitress kindly warned us it was strong. It definitely was. You really need to like the taste of licorice for this. While I actually really dislike licorice, this was mild enough that I wasn't too put off by the licorice.
After lunch, it was time to check something off our family travel wishlist, visiting Tarpon Springs Aquarium! Don't let its outside size fool you. At first glance of the outside is misleading and I thought that it was small and that it wouldn't take long for us to go through it, but I was wrong. The employees are very knowledgeable. We felt we were already pretty knowledgeable but we learned a lot more from them. And they were great with kids. They also seem to genuinely care about the animals and their habitat. We had extensive one-on-one conversations with them.
The kids were so enthralled - I think this stop may just be the highlight of their vacation. As far as educational opportunities go, this one ranks high in my book. From the touch pool at the entrance to the shark to alligator feeding to feeding the stingray and sharks, they loved it all. Next time, we will start here as you can leave and re-enter all day with one admission. Kids also get in free to the bounce house next door with paid aquarium admission. Unfortunately, we missed this because we ended our tour after 5 and all of that closes up at 5.
This was such a great time for us all.
They were in awe. It is one thing to see this as a photo in a textbook, but to see it all firsthand and be able to touch made their day.
There are also tanks and you can just sit and really take it all in. They also do shows but we were too late in the day. It's another reason for us to go back!
They loved the shark tank even though they couldn't touch here. For one dollar, they could feed them and they loved that.
Right next to the theater is the gift shop… another recommended stop. Normally I do not buy souvenirs but they were so reasonable that I couldn't resist getting them the shark (just 3.95!).
Before we left, we took a few more moments to enjoy the sharks. I compiled a video of the Tarpon Springs moments and their enjoyment of it. If there is one thing you do in Tarpon, experience this. Both young and old will get enjoyment.
We could have stopped our day right here and still been thrilled, but we headed back to the condo to rest and have dinner. We made homemade fajitas and enjoyed our sunset views.
This amazing view…