Tarpon Springs, Home of the Sponge Docks
Wednesday, February 6, 2013 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Dating back to the early 1900's when sponges were discovered in the local waters, Tarpon Springs experienced an influx of immigrants from the Dodecanese Islands of Greece who settled here to work in their native industry of sponge diving. As the industry grew, so did the Greek community, bringing its wonderful ethnic flavor, customs and charm with them. Today, the guests will have the opportunity to explore the history of Tarpon Springs. One of the highlights of the tour will include the HOW TO SHOP FOR A SPONGE SEMINAR and which will take place during the ride to Tarpon Springs and will include everything they will need to know in order to select and care for that perfect sponge to bring home from Tarpon Springs.
The tour will begin at the TARPON SPRINGS CULTURAL CENTER which was built in 1915 as the original city hall and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. View their current exhibit as well as a National Geographic film done on Tarpon Springs, its sponging industry and Greek community.
Next stop is the ST. NICHOLAS GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH, an ornate replica of a famous Greek Cathedral in Turkey is adorned with tons of high quality Grecian marble. The interiors are lit by beautiful ornate chandeliers, and the bishop's throne is carved out of solid marble. The church is a beautiful, traditional, cultural visit full of Greek tradition and religious icons.
Following the Church, the guests will relax aboard the coach for a drive by tour of the VICTORIAN HOMES ALONG SPRING BAYOU where they will enjoy a brief narrative by the guide of this scenic waterfront Area where many of Tarpon's founding fathers built their beautiful turn of the century homes.
Next is a quick drive by of the SPONGE DOCKS, which will allow the guide the opportunity to point out shops, restaurants and attractions for your free time down at the docks. Guests will have free time to have lunch on their own and shop at the Sponge Docks. Over 100 shops to choose from offering goods and merchandise from all over the world, sponge and curio shops, abundant Greek cuisine and bakeries and even some Amish style fudge. For the non-shoppers, several attractions are located in the area.
Price: $58.00 per person based on a minimum of 20 participants
Includes: Deluxe Round Trip Transportation, Uniformed Tour Guide, Cultural Center Admission, Narrative Tour of Tarpon Springs, Exclusive Sponge Seminar, Free time to explore Sponge Docks and lunch on their own, Bottled Waters, 7% Sales tax, liability insurance, driver gratuities and the complete coordination by Eventions of Florida of Florida
Strolling in Ybor with Spanish Lunch
Thursday, February 7, 2013 9:30 am - 2:00 pm
Discover the colorful diversity of this National Landmark neighborhood with its Italian, Spanish and Cuban heritage, many of whom traditions have not changed even after over 100 years in this country. This walking tour reveals a special mix of architecture in wrought iron balconies, vibrant Spanish tile, classical facades, historic cigar factories, charming "Shot-gun" style cottages and a museum.
Lunch will be served at THE COLUMBIA RESTAURANT, which was established in 1905. This magnificent building with its hand painted Spanish tiles, center sky-lit room and beautiful statues is a must on your trip to Ybor City. It is as much a part of Ybor's history as the cigar industry itself. Enjoy traditional Spanish cuisine while absorbing the ambiance of this landmark restaurant. Prior to lunch, your guests will take a BEHIND THE SCENES TOUR OF THE COLUMBIA RESTAURANT. Their personal guide will escort the guests through this one city block size facility exploring it’s nearly 100 years of history, tradition and culture. Tour will include the numerous private dining rooms, the Cigar Bar, the sky light patio room and Columbia’s many wine rooms. After lunch the guests will enjoy free time to shop in Columbia’s own cigar and gift shop where you can purchase cigars and gifts imported from Spain.
Price: $78.00 per person based on a minimum of 20 participants
Includes: Deluxe Round Trip Transportation, Uniformed Tour Guide, Narrative Walking tour of Ybor City, Admission and Docent Tour of the Ybor City State Museum and Casitas, Exclusive Behind the Scenes Tour and Spanish Lunch including Iced Tea and Coffee at the Columbia Restaurant, Bottled Waters, 7% Sales Tax, liability insurance, driver gratuities and the complete coordination by Eventions of Florida of Florida
Florida Aquarium & Dolphin Eco Cruise
Friday, February 8, 2013 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
The Florida Aquarium combines education and fun for guests of all ages in this one-of-a-kind facility. Your group will be introduced to more than 20,000 fascinating aquatic animals and plants that call Florida home and even some unique species from exotic lands…all in air-conditioned comfort. You will explore the wondrous journey of water from its quiet underground source out to the deep, dark realms of the open sea.
After exploring the Aquarium, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy a 90-minute journey through the bay aboard the Bay Spirit II. This 72 foot powered passenger catamaran will journey out into the bay to see dolphins, numerous species of birds and fish, manatees and more! Along the way guests will also learn about one of the busiest ports in the Southern United States and how the bay plays a critical role in the lives of residents and visitors alike. Nothing compliments your indoor Aquarium experience more than encountering Florida’s incredible wildlife in its natural setting on the Dolphin Eco-Tour.
Price: $68.00 per person based on a minimum of 20 participants
Includes: Deluxe Round Trip Transportation, Uniformed Tour Guide, Admission to Aquarium, 90 minute Eco-Cruise, 7% Sales Tax, liability insurance, driver gratuities and the complete coordination by Eventions of Florida of Florida