Known as the “Sponge Capital of the World,” Tarpon Springs is an area where Greek immigrants settled during the early 1900’s and built a thriving industry harvesting and selling the natural sponges that are abundant in the waters. Just an hour south of the GlenLakes community, Tarpon Springs continues to be the world’s largest natural sponge producer supplying 70% of the natural sponges. Charming restaurants and shops, whitewashed buildings, Greek food, culture and traditions are on display and make for a great day trip.

The Sponge Docks– For most visitors, the heart of Tarpon Springs resides at the famous Sponge Docks. The historic Sponge Exchange is the location where the sponges were once bought and sold in a huge marketplace, and is now a plaza with restaurants and shops.

St. Nicholas Sponge Diving Trip– Board a sponge boat known as the St. Nicholas and cruise down the Anclote River. You’ll be amazed as the diver dons 172 pounds of traditional diving gear including a helmet, breast plate, boots and body weights, plunging over the side of the boat connected to an air hose while gathering sponges.

Anclote Key Boat Trip– Consider the Sponge-O-Rama cruise on a pontoon boat to the nearby Anclote Key Preserve State Park, one of Florida’s most stunning barrier islands. Wade in the shallow water to find beautiful shells and notice the wide diversity of bird species.

Greek Village– Wood frame homes of the original Greek immigrant sponge divers are interspersed with commercial buildings and sponge packinghouses where sponges were processed by cleaning, trimming, sorting, bleaching, drying and packing.

Mama’s Restaurant– A local favorite featuring pickled octopus, lamb shank in tomato sauce, smarides (pan fried fish smelts), and spanokopita (spinach pie).

Mykonos Restaurant- Known for traditional and classic Greek food. Try the chargrilled kalamaria (calamari), psari tis oras (charbroiled or pan fried whole fish of the day) and don’t miss the classic Gyro.

Drawing visitors for decades with its Mediterranean village charm, Tarpon Springs is an authentic place with a fascinating history that still holds true today. The Tarpon Springs High School is home to the “spongers” and Jimmy’s Pizza specializes in a spinach and feta pie. Lucky for residents of GlenLakes, Tarpon Springs is an easy day trip. GlenLakes homes are designed for easy living and gracious entertaining. Nestled in the heart of the community is the newest neighborhood of estate home sites. Located between the 10th, 11th and 12th fairways and sparkling Cypress Lake, each estate home site offers outstanding views and plenty of room for a beautiful home. For more information on living the Florida lifestyle at GlenLakes, click here.

Your furry friend becomes a part of the family so it matters if they like their home too. For man’s best friend, living in Hernando County definitely has it perks. Residents of GlenLakes have easy access to the county’s first dog park so they can join in games of keep away, catch and tummy rubs. Here’s what all the woof is about:

Rotary Centennial Dog Park is located in the heart of Spring Hill and has three acres dedicated exclusively to your barking buddy. It offers three separate fenced areas – one for small dogs, one for large dogs and the third for guide, therapy or very shy dogs. The park also offers running water in bowls on the ground so your pup can cool off on warm Florida days.

Bringing your pooch to a dog park can have many benefits. Socialization, exercise, and mental stimulation help keep a pet healthy and happy. Giving your dog the opportunity to exercise and play off-leash in a controlled environment often helps with behavioral issues and excessive barking. It is also a great place for you to meet others that share your common interest and for Fido to meet new doggie friends.

The park is open everyday from sunrise to sunset and it is enclosed so your pup can be off-leash without worry. Because the dog park hours are not restrictive, you can come on your schedule. The best part? It’s free! With the GlenLakes community just a short drive away from the Rotary Centennial Dog Park, you and your pup can be there in no time. For those privileged pooches living in GlenLakes, life is surrounded by nature preserves, miles of trails and the communities love for dogs. To find out more about a home in GlenLakes for you and your pup, click here.

The Nature Coast is known as a popular eco-vacation destination north of Tampa, extending to the Big Bend area of Florida. Eight counties in all, the area remains one of the more pristine parts of the State where Mother Nature’s bounty flourishes. With sunny skies and the ability to have a year-long active lifestyle, snowbirds finding their way to Florida are enjoying the great outdoors. There is a treasure trove of ways to enjoy the pristine setting for nature lovers; here is a sampling of how you can enjoy your days:

Toes In The Water
We are taking beaches, although this might seem like no-brainer choice, when you consider the breadth and variety of beaches that ring the state of Florida you’ll see that there are many wonderful beach options to choose from. With Pine Island only a short drive away from GlenLakes, you can feel like you are at the end of the world in less than 15 minutes.

Look to the Skies
The Nature Coast State Trail is officially designated as part of Florida’s Statewide Greenways and Trails System. With so many species not regularly found anywhere else in North America, South Florida is a premier spot to watch your feathered friends. The combination of coastline and wetlands make for fertile bird habitat. Surrounded by the state-protected nature preserve, residents of GlenLakes enjoy trailhead access from within their local community, giving an entirely new perspective to taking an evening walk.

Scale it Down, or Not…
The Gulf is rich with fish of all types, and there are excellent fishing guides nearby to help you snag the big one. The area is world-famous for inshore and offshore fishing. Part of Florida’s Big Bend, you can catch the elusive redfish right at Cedar Key. Whether it is with a charter or just off shore, you are bound to enjoy the fishing, and catching, all around GlenLakes.

Paddle Away
Florida’s beaches might get the glory, but its crystal clear spring-fed rivers are equally stunning. Canoe or kayak and take in the natural world from the unique vantage point of the water. Among the newer outdoor activities you can enjoy in Florida, paddle boarding let’s you lightly surf the waves in a tranquil, relaxed way. With GlenLakes adjacent to Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge, the Chassahowitzka River is mere moments away. The river is a marriage of springs and tidal influx from the Gulf of Mexico just 6 miles south of the headsprings. Approximately 3 miles in length makes an average trip on the Chass anywhere from 6 to 12 miles round-trip. However the combination of exploring the many side creeks and springs can lengthen or shorten your adventure.

Rolling Hills, Majestic Oaks – Hit the Course!
Playing a round at GlenLakes is also an eco adventure. 18 memorable holes wind through beautiful stands of oak and pine and the wildlife are definitely at home on the course. Be prepared to take a few pictures during your round, as you’ll be in awe of the natural surroundings. If you want to step outside of GlenLakes, you are in luck. With a wide range of course types to choose from, with dozens of public and private golf courses within a 20-mile radius.

When you live at GlenLakes, all of these easy-access activities are at your fingertips. For more information on homebuying in Hernando County click here.

On the other side of the glass, the mermaids, with their glimmering tails and flowing hair swim through the cool, blue water. They perform with grace, moving effortlessly. The Weeki Wachee Florida mermaid show started in 1947. Former U.S. Navy sailor Newton Perry came a year earlier to the springs where he experimented with breathing through an air hose supplied by an air compressor while under water. He soon perfected “hose breathing” and built an under water theater in the spring.

Perry scouted girls with strong swimming skills and trained them to perform underwater, including dancing, eating and drinking, and avoiding the occasional alligator. Girls came from around the world to audition. Today the show wows more than 250,000 visitors each year, a popular choice for the residents of nearby GlenLakes with visiting grandchildren and family members.

Although Weeki Wachee has long been known as the home of the mermaids, this pristine natural area on the Florida Gulf Coast has become home to many nature lovers who have discovered the beautiful natural surroundings. Crystal clear springs draw visitors from around the globe for kayaking, hiking and swimming with the gentle manatee.

The Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge surrounds the gated golf community of GlenLakes, providing immediate access to secluded trails that lead to pristine beaches that are protected in perpetuity. Bird watching, boating and a variety of eco-tours create an enviable address for homeowners seeking a slice of Florida paradise that will remain in its natural state.

These mesmerizing maidens perform their take on Disney films in a 30-minute show three times a day.. An obvious choice and fan favorite is the “The Little Mermaid.” It had such a successful run that is has returned this year. Another favorite was “Pocahontas Meets The Little Mermaid.” After every show, families line up to pose with the mystical ladies.

There’s no need to be a “poor unfortunate soul” for missing out on the famous Weeki Wachee mermaids. Better yet, make the move to GlenLakes, and you might just become friends with a world-famous mermaid.

For more information on entertainment in the GlenLakes’ area click here to preview the interactive map.