Nestled in heavy forest between US 19 and the Gulf of Mexico is a magical area of Citrus County: Old Homosassa.
Watered by several spring fed rivers, Citrus County residents enjoy the area’s great natural beauty, small town charm and myriad of outdoor activities.
Homosassa is the home of the Yulee Sugar Mill State Park, Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park, Monkey Island, and Old Homosassa. A delightful fishing village, Homosassa has been considered a sports lover’s paradise sine the early 1900s.
It was a destination for wealthy and prominent Americans such as Grover Cleveland, Thomas Edison, John Jacob Astor and Winslow Homer.
General resorts, B & Bs and RV parks make Old Homosassa a fun and easy weekend getaway for NatureCoasters™.
Not only are the land and sea beautiful and bountiful, the people are friendly and accomodating. There is great food, from pressed Cubans to fresh locally caught seafood, all-you-can-eat crab and Cajun delights at reasonable prices.
Several talented artists reside here, creating and selling their wares in quaint “cracker” homes converted to gift shops, studios and resort lobbies. Potters, glass artists, copper sculptors, painters and carvers seem to be drawn to this natural area with its abundance of native flora and fauna.
From June 25 to September 24, 2016, you can go “scalloping” with a charter and hunt for these tasty morsels with a snorkel mask and a bag for your bounty. The sea grass beds provide a home to Bay Scallops, a simple, delectable, aquatic bivalve. (We will provide a feature article on Scalloping in an upcoming issue, so stay tuned for the details!)
Fishing is plentiful on the Homosassa River, as are manatee sightings, kayaks, pontoons, and airboat rides.
Several big fishing tournaments are held in Homosassa throughout the year. This weekend, June 11-12, is the 32nd Annual Big Fish Cobia Fishing Tournament.
There is often live music on the weekends at several Old Homsassa locations, including MacRae’s Shed, the Monkey Bar at the Homosassa Riverside Resort, and Neon Leons.
Oh, and did I forget to mention the Wildlife Park?
For a small admission ($13) you will be treated to a boat ride down the river, see manatees and a vortex of thousands of native Florida fish, bobcats, panthers, alligators, snakes, river otters and birds, birds, birds – including American Bald Eagles.
The whole community seems to volunteer at the Wildlfie Park, which adds to the warm feeling I get every time I visit. You will too.
Homosassa’s community is a joy to visit, so plan to take a little trip off the beaten path of US 19 and enjoy this thriving enclave today.