No matter what type of activity you’re interested in, there’s something for everyone to explore and enjoy in and around New Port Richey. From participating in Chasco Fiesta, a local signature event celebrating native culture since 1947, to exploring the lush and untouched marshes of Werner Boyce Salt Springs State Park, this vibrant city offers plenty of opportunities to create life-long memories.
New Port Richey is a vibrant city of approximately 26,000 proud residents nestled along Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast, just north of Tampa and Tampa Bay. This charming destination offers something for everyone, from its easy access to stunning beaches to the vast array of cultural, historical, and artistic attractions found in the nearby Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area. With its relaxed atmosphere, temperate climate, and wide selection of restaurants and accommodations, it’s no wonder New Port Richey is an increasingly popular vacation spot. Here are 15 great things to do in and around this exciting city.
Celebrating Florida’s Native American History
Chasco Fiesta is a shining example of the area’s cultural and entertainment offerings, having been a beloved event for almost three-quarters of a century. It began in 1947 as a Native American-focused celebration along the picturesque Pithlachascotee River. With parades, pow-wows, live music, and a wide variety of art and crafts, Chasco Fiesta has something for everyone – it’s like a state or county fair, but with a unique focus on Florida’s indigenous culture. April marks the time for this much-anticipated event, making it an absolute must-visit for anyone interested in learning more about the Sunshine State’s Native American history.
Paddleboard and Kayak Rentals
Situated alongside US Highway 19 in Port Richey, Werner Boyce Salt Springs State Park is an impressive and beautiful natural environment. It offers a wealth of untouched marshes, mangrove forests, beaches, and lagoons, making it the perfect location for bird watchers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Visitors may take advantage of paddleboard and kayak rentals, as well as ranger stations, restrooms, and covered picnic areas. Those looking to make a day of it can bring their food and drinks to enjoy the park’s serenity and charm.
Swimming, Sunbathing, and Boardwalk Strolls
Green Key Beach, located on the Robert K. Rees Memorial Park, is New Port Richey’s sole public beach and a splendid destination for those looking to get away from it all. With 40 acres of glorious scenery overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, boardwalk strolls, picnicking, and surf-fishing without breaking the bank. Big Storm Brewing Company is another popular draw, offering craft beers and strong coffee to be enjoyed in one of their three taprooms. Since its inception, this unique Florida business has quickly earned a loyal following, with a variety of beers always on tap.
For those looking to explore the great outdoors, Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park offers a multitude of recreational activities. Hikers, bikers, and rollerbladers can traverse the park’s 8,000 acres with its numerous multi-use trails. Camping is also available for those wanting to spend the night in the wilderness, with rustic campsites located throughout the park. Whether you’re looking for a day trip or an overnight stay, Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park has something for everyone!
Exploring the Treasures of Lyon’s Head Antique Mall and Brasher Park in Port Richey
Lyon’s Head Antique Mall is a proud destination for antique aficionados, collectors, and treasure seekers. Established in 1993, this expansive business spans tens of thousands of square feet and includes arts and crafts, collectibles, porcelain, china, books, and records. Whether you’re looking for that one-of-a-kind item or just enjoy browsing, Lyon’s Head Antique Mall is the perfect place to find something special. Open daily, there is always time to swing by and explore the plethora of treasures waiting to be discovered.
Brasher Park in Port Richey is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts. Despite its small size, this park is popular amongst kayakers and paddle boarders looking to take in the area’s scenic waterways. Rentals are available for those without their equipment, making it easy to explore the region. With wildlife in the area, it is important to stay aware of your surroundings, especially when visiting with little ones.
Exploring the Sponge Docks and Dolphin Watching
Tarpon Springs, the ‘Sponge Capital of the World’, is renowned for its rich and fascinating history. For over a century, it was home to a large Greek community and sponge harvesting industry. Though that industry has since diminished, visitors can still explore the vibrant Sponge Docks and see fishermen bringing in their fresh catches – all at no cost! With its Greek influence, there are also several traditional restaurants nearby that offer delicious old-world cuisine in a relaxed setting. Additionally, New Port Richey and Tarpon Springs are great places to go dolphin watching on tour boats operated by knowledgeable locals, who provide unique insight into the area’s wildlife and history.
State-of-the-Art Amenities and Affordable Admission Fees
The Tarpon Springs Aquarium is a family-owned and operated business that proudly stands on Dodecanese Boulevard. This incredible establishment has recently relocated to an even larger facility, boasting state-of-the-art amenities for its ever-growing collection of marine wildlife. With an incredibly affordable admission fee, visitors can expect to be dazzled by the variety of species in the aquarium’s care – from sharks and eels to giant gators and grouper. Not only does the aquarium provide ample opportunities to view these creatures in their natural habitat, but also offers exciting hands-on activities for all ages.
Enjoy All that Busch Gardens Tampa Has to Offer
Busch Gardens Tampa is an iconic destination that welcomes tourists from all over the world. It boasts a unique combination of a zoo, amusement park, and live entertainment venue, providing activities that suit all ages and interests. Visitors can explore the renowned Serengeti Safari Park adventure tours or stay for the night at one of the lodging and dining options available. Even during peak times during summer when schools are out, visitors can still enjoy the attractions without the crowds by visiting in the off-season.
Native American History
The Tampa Bay History Center is an impressive and enriching destination, offering a comprehensive exploration of the region’s past. With exhibits ranging from pre-European discovery to modern-day presentations, this center has something for everyone. Immerse yourself in Native American history or explore kid-friendly activities – the possibilities are endless! Plus, when you need sustenance, there’s a café and gift shop onsite. A visit to the Tampa Bay History Center promises hours of entertainment and education.
New Port Richey is a truly special corner of the Sunshine State – with its charming atmosphere, temperate climate, and diverse cultural offerings, it offers something for everyone! From the annual Chasco Fiesta to the untamed beauty of Werner Boyce Salt Springs State Park, visitors can explore its wide variety of attractions while taking advantage of all the city has to offer. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventure or cultural immersion, come experience New Port Richey and appreciate what makes this area so extraordinary.