Staring at the limestone wall surrounding Windley Key State Park in Islamorada, I can make out polyps of brain coral, tunnels dug by worms, and the filigree of sea fans– all while standing on dry …
Labor Day Weekend in Tarpon Springs
Here’s a novel suggestion for a Labor Day weekend getaway: take a three-day food, art and outdoors tour of Greece.
No, not the European islands, but the Florida town that’s most like Greece in America — Tarpon Springs, located on the Gulf Coast just north of St. Petersburg.
The heart of Florida’s Greece is the Sponge Docks — the picturesque, authentic working waterfront along Dodecanese Blvd. With many purveyors of tasty Greek cuisine and shops offering everything from real sponges (natural, not cellulose!) to fragrant soaps and casual clothing, it’s a fun place to visit all year long. But on Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2-4, the Sponge Docks will host an arts and crafts festival with free parking and free admission.
As many as 90 vendors will set up tents along the boulevard where you can peruse an enormous variety of handmade creations: jewelry, leather goods, artwork, pet accessories, wooden furniture, home decor, and even lobster taxidermy. Interspersed among the displays will be food booths with fair favorites such as kettle corn and funnel cakes. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 2-3 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 4.
While you are there, check out the selection of water tours on the Sponge Docks. A favorite is the St. Nicholas Boat Line’s sponge-diving demonstration featuring a diver wearing the same heavy helmet and suit hooked up to an air hose that was used back in the day. And you have a great chance of spotting wild dolphins on Odyssey Cruises.