A Spring-Fed Treasure
An original Florida fishing town, few place can match the feeling of the gulf coast better than Homosassa, Florida. Manatees, paddlers, and boaters cruise these waters heading up to the world-famous Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. The centerpiece of this incredible Park which features rescued and rehabilitated native Florida wildlife is deep beautiful Homosassa Spring–a second magnitude spring that attracts manatees, fish of all kinds, and people. Descend underwater without ever getting wet in the Fishbowl Observatory. Or take a manatee tour to Blue Waters just outside the park and swim with a manatee. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.
Wild manatees use Homosassa Spring as a warm water shelter from November 15 to March 31. The rest of the year, the Park’s rehabilitated manatees swim in the spring. If you want to see a manatee, guaranteed, this is the place. Florida panthers, black bears, red wolves, alligators and a parade of flamingos make this one of Florida’s most incredible wildlife experiences!
But Homosassa is so much more than manatees. This is an amphibious community and people here live and play on the water. Nowhere do you get this vibe better than on the Old Homosassa waterfront. Three heralded resorts, The Homosassa Riverside Resort, MacRae’s of Homosassa and The Seagrass Waterfront and Resort provide excellent food, lodging and adventure right at river’s edge. Homosassa is one of Florida’s top sport fishing destinations. It’s also a working commercial fishing port on the Gulf of Mexico. You can get fresh seafood right off the boat at Shelley’s Seafood and Fish Market and the Cedar Key Fish and Oyster Company, home of one of Florida’s most famous hole-in-the-wall seafood joints: The Freezer Tiki Bar.
Homosassa features many incredible food choices plus a local enclave of talented artists and artisans whose galleries line Yulee Drive as you come into town. The biggest festival of the year is the Homosassa Arts, Crafts & Seafood Festival held every November.
Not to be missed is famous Monkey Island, just offshore from the Riverside Resort’s Monkey Bar and Yardarm Lounge. The island is home to a troupe of very active spider monkeys.
And when it comes to boating and paddling, there may be no better place than Homosassa. The nearby Halls River zig-zags through marsh and estuary with many incredible fishing spots along the way. Not to mention an abundance of wildlife that call this ecosystem home.
When it comes to natural beauty, few places rival the Chassahowitzka River, Florida’s River Wild. Located a few miles south of Homosassa, this river system is tucked away in the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge. Because of this 31,000 forested refuge, few houses are located on the river, allowing guests to experience the clear water and gentle current the same way for hundreds of years. The river is fed by multiple spring systems, including the pristine Seven Sisters, a cluster of springs where swimmers can pass through short underwater tunnels carved in limestone by the force of the spring.