Art and History Museums in Tarpon Springs

The St. Pete/Clearwater area is world-reknown for its museums and cultural happenings, but you may not know about the hidden-gem Art and History museums in Tarpon Springs, just north of Clearwater. Tarpon Springs' story rides the ups and downs of the sponge industry and the 1920s land boom, where Greek immigrants, Victorian-era vacationers and 20th-century artists found inspiration--so you can bet there’s a collection of museums filled with unique works and artifacts.

History and culture buffs will appreciate the intimate settings of the Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum, the Safford House Museum, and the Tarpon Springs Cultural Center, all located in the historic district of Tarpon Springs, where you'll find exhibitions about the history of the area mixed in with theater and film performances. Just outside of the city center you'll find the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, which features a rotating exhibit of early 20th-Century Expressionist paintings, folk art and sculpture by Henry Moore.

1 Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art

20th-Century art lovers should head to Tarpon Springs for the museum gem that is The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art. The museum's extensive collection features works by Expressionists Abraham Rattner and Allen Leepa, plus their contemporaries and friends. Depending on the rotation, you might see the Surrealist works of Rattner, Leepa’s large-scale abstracts, plus works by Chagall and Henry Miller.

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2 Tarpon Springs Historical Museum

Start at the Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum for a primer on the city’s history and ecology. You'll learn about the area’s Greek heritage, from wedding traditions to sponge-diving, with the help of an interactive kiosk, educational panels and historic pieces donated by the community. The Ecology Wing has plenty to teach about Tarpon Springs’ waterways, wildlife and arbors, and Christopher Still’s murals will steal your attention. But for the ultimate visual, just walk outside. The Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum sits inside Craig Park, overlooking Spring Bayou for which the city is named.

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3 Safford House Museum

For a glimpse into Florida in the Victorian era, take a tour of the Safford House Museum. Owned by Anson P.K. Safford, one of Tarpon Springs’ original settlers, the quaint veranda swing, period furnishings and memorabilia will make you feel like you've stepped back in time.

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4 Tarpon Springs Cultural Center

Built in 1915 as Tarpon Springs’ first City Hall, the Tarpon Springs Cultural Center's beautiful exterior, featuring a period clock tower, isn't the only thing you should check out. Inside you'll find the Gulf Coast Folklife Center, plus art and sculpture exhibits. The Center also hosts music and theater performances--past shows include the staging of Alice in Wonderland and the Pulitzer-prize winning play Doubt.

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1Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art

City: Tarpon Springs
Category: Museums

Address
600 Klosterman Rd.
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689

Phone: 727-712-5762

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2Tarpon Springs Historical Museum

City: Tarpon Springs
Category: Museums

Address
160 E. Tarpon Ave.
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689

Phone: 727-943-4624

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3Safford House Museum

City: Tarpon Springs
Category: Museums

Address
23 Parkin Court
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689

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4Tarpon Springs Cultural Center

City: Tarpon Springs
Category: Museums

Address
101 S. Pinellas Ave.
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689

Phone: 727-942-5605

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