The question and answer sequence below is taken from the Net’s “Ask Your Neighbor” page (/category/ask-your-neighbor/). I thought this good advice would be of even more value here on the Net’s “Western Florida” Cruising News Section.
I join with Captain Kendrick in recommending a cruise up Anclote River to Tarpon Springs. This is a delightful port of call, with an embarrassment of riches when it comes to good places to dine ashore.
Subject: Tarpon Springs and environs
Cruising News: We’re planning a cruise north from Punta Gorda as far as Tarpon Springs, if it’s worth the extra miles from Clearwater. Can anyone shed light on TS as a destination? We’re a 38′ Carver drawing 3.5′. Thanks for any input!
A visit to Tarpon Springs is definitely recommended. We recently cruised from Cape Coral to Tarpon Springs in a 41 foot express cruiser with a draft similar to yours. Tarpon Springs is less than 20 nautical miles from Clearwater Beach with no navigational challenges along the way. We stayed at the Tarpon Springs City Marina for two nights. The marina is located on Dodecanese Boulevard near the US 19A Bridge over the Anclote River. This is the Sponge Dock area lined with shops, restaurants, bakeries, tours, etc. We ate at Rusty Bellies and were very satisfied. A two day visit was about right for us. More information about Tarpon Springs City Marina is available in the Cruiser’s Net Marinas section.
We have stopped in Tarpon Springs when we were in the area in 2007 and again in 2009 both times we stayed at the city marina which is not a fancy place but right on the main drag so close to many shops and restaurants the folks at the marina and in town are very nice. We both love Greek food so that is a big draw for us.
We will be stopping there again on our cruise south in the spring of 2010. There is nice scenery along the river on the way in.