Tarpon Springs

March Activities and Events at the Villages of Citrus Hills

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While March Madness is most commonly meant to describe the wild action of the annual NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, it is also a fitting description for everything happening around the Villages of Citrus Hills this month. The folks at the Activity Center are really pulling out all of the stops to keep us all moving as we officially head into Spring 2019.  

Whether you’re looking for fun social events, exciting learning opportunities, competitive sporting competitions, or delicious dinner specials, you can find all of that and more around our community this month. Let's jump in and take a closer look as some of the events you are going to want to mark on your calendar.  

Social Events

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A favorite local rock band, Rocky and the Rollers, will be performing in the Hampton Room for the Sock Hop on Tuesday, March 5. This dance party will feature a cash bar, and themed dress is encouraged but not required, so don't hesitate to break out those leather jackets and poodle skirts.

 One social event that will be taking place outside of the community this month will be the Deep Sea Fishing Excursion to Tarpon Springs on Sunday, March 10. This trip will take members out on a massive 85-foot cruiser for some of the best fishing in the world.  

You won't want to miss the Dinner Show with Marc Black the following week on Tuesday, March 12. Learn the history of music with the award-winning musician who toured with the Doors, Van Morrison and more. The dinner will include Caprese-Stuffed Chicken and Roast Pork Loin Dijonnaise.  

All of our local trivia junkies will be back in action for Tasty Trivia Tuesday on Tuesday, March 19. This month's theme is "movies," and the dinner will feature London Broil with Mushroom Sauce and Baked Haddock.  

Art & Education 

Steven Davis will be the speaker for this month's Florida-Friendly Landscaping Seminar on Thursday, March 14 at 1 pm. Steven is the Florida-Friendly Landscaping Coordinator for the Citrus County Department of Water Resources, and he will be leading a discussion on how to incorporate Florida-friendly landscaping practices into your yard.  

Doc Talk will also be back this month with a lecture from Dr. Gerilyn E. Cross in the Activity Center Auditorium on Wednesday, March 27 at 6 pm. Dr. Cross will be presenting a wide range of information concerning hormone health and how it relates to different types of diseases.  

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Local crafters will have their creations on display at the Spring Farmers' Market & Craft Fair on Sunday, March 31 from 10 am to 2 pm in the Activity Center Parking Lot.

This is one of the can't-miss attractions each and every year. Gourmet foods, craft and live entertainment by Mark Welzel. 

Golf & Tennis 

This month's golf calendar is going to start out with a fun one when the Four-Leaf Clover Open gets going on The Meadows course at 8:30 am on Saturday, March 2. Everyone involved will get to play their round and enjoy lunch afterwards.  

Things will get much more competitive on March 6 and 7 when the 2019 Skyview Ladies' Club Championship tees off. This two-day stroke play event will be flighted by handicaps and is open to all female Skyview Golf Members.  

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The Citrus Hills courses will be hosting their own competitive event later in the month with the Citrus Hills Couples Championship on March 14 and 15. This will be a 36-hole better hall tournament open to all Citrus Hills gold and social members.  

The Skyview Tennis Center is also going to be busy this month, and that will start with their Free Beginner's Tennis Clinic on Tuesday, March 12 at 11 am. Then there will be a Spring Break Tennis Social on Sunday, March 24 that will include mixed doubles from 1 pm to 3 pm followed by lunch and beverages.  

Dinner Specials

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Skyview Restaurant is pulling out all the stops with their dinner specials this month. You can enjoy an Asian Night Buffet on Tuesday, March 5, Lobsterfest on Saturday, March 9, an American Wine Dinner on Monday, March 11, and Foods of the Forgotten Coast on Thursday March 14.  

There will also be a St. Patrick's Day Dinner at Skyview Restaurant on Sunday, March 17 that will feature Slow-Cooked Corned Beef and Cabbage, Baked Cod, Irish Bangers and Mash, and Stout Braised Lamb Shanks.

The Grille will also be going all out for St. Patricks Day with specials like Irish Stew, Black and Tan Pork, Corned Beef & Cabbage, Scallop Pie, Roasted Lamb Shanks, and Lamb Shepherd's Pie.

BellaVita

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And if you happen to find any quiet time for yourself during this busy month, you should also plan on heading down to BellaVita Spa. They will be running a 24 Karat Gold Revitalizer Facial and a Wrapping-Up Winter Massage Special this month.

With so much to do this month, you’ll have to pick and choose which events are the ones that deserve a spot on your calendar. Good luck deciding, and have fun at whichever activities you choose to attend!

Day Trip To Tarpon Springs

The historic town of Tarpon Springs is located about an hour south of the Villages of Citrus Hills right on the Gulf Coast, just north of Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater.  

The town represents an interesting combination of rich history and modern culture with a dash of Greek heritage. If you are passionate about history, shopping for antiques, or excellent Greek food, Tarpon Springs will make an excellent day trip for you and your family. 

History of Tarpon Springs 

Tarpon Springs received its name when some of the first visitors to the town observed a number of Tarpon jumping out of the water out in the Gulf of Mexico.

As you can probably guess, the Tarpon Fishing here is excellent. But that wasn’t originally the most popular sea item in Tarpon Springs. 

Tarpon Springs is also known as “The Sponge Capital of the World” because its 51-mile coast was once filled with sponges. In the early 1900s, many Greek sponge divers made their way to Tarpon Springs to harvest these sponges, which led to Tarpon Springs having the largest Greek population in all of Florida. 

In 1947, just about all of the sponge fields around Tarpon Springs were destroyed, so most of the sponge industry was then converted to fishing and shrimping. However, “The Sponge Capital of the World” lives on in spirit with attractions like the Sponge Docks and Spongeorama.  

The first stop for any history buffs visiting Tarpon Springs should be the Tarpon Springs Area Historical Society’s Welcome Center and Museum. Other great historic sites include the Tarpon Springs Historic District, the Safford House, Old Tarpon Springs City Hall, and the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral.  

Tarpon Springs Attractions 

One of the most popular attractions in Tarpon Springs is known as The Sponge Docks. This wharf area is filled with boats, but has also become populated with great shopping and restaurants.  

You can stroll the docks, tour sponge boats, visit dozens of small shops, and find great authentic Greek cuisine, all in one central location. The Tarpon Springs Aquarium is also located right next to The Sponge Docks. 

Another popular attraction in Tarpon Springs is the Tarpon Springs Cultural Center. This former high school turned theater plays host to a wide variety of community theater and music events throughout the year. There is a lot of information about upcoming shows on their website, where you can find the perfect event to schedule your trip around. 

Wine drinkers will absolutely want to plan on stopping at the Tarpon Springs Castle Winery. This beautiful facility offers daily tours, information on how their handcrafted wines are produced, and plenty of tasting opportunities.

Dining in Tarpon Springs  

With its rich Greek heritage, Tarpon Springs is known for having some of the best Greek restaurants in Florida. If you are a fan of Greek cuisine, you will have more than your fair share of options in Tarpon Springs.

The most popular Greek restaurant is probably Hellas Restaurant and Bakery, but you will also find outstanding Greek food at Mykonos, Mr. Souvlaki, and The Original Mama Maria’s Greek Cuisine.  

While Greek food is obviously a staple in Tarpon Springs, there are plenty of other options as well. Rusty Bellies at the end of The Sponge Docks is known for serving great seafood, and the Tarpon Tavern has some outstanding pub-style cuisine. You might also want to try the Caribbean food at the Jerk Center and the pizza at Plum Tomato. 

The ideal day trip to Tarpon Springs would contain a little bit of history in the morning, followed by pizza or pub food for lunch. After that, you could plan an afternoon of shopping at The Sponge Docks, followed by a Greek dinner and a show at the Tarpon Spring Cultural Center.  

Even if you can’t find a show that sparks your interest, there is still plenty to do here, which is what makes Tarpon Springs a great place to spend the day!