Homosassa Springs and Old Homosassa, Florida
If you’re in the metro Tampa/St. Petersburg or even Orlando area you don’t have a lot of options to discover really old Florida. The best trip back to a simpler time is a road trip up to Homosassa. This town is relatively small and somewhat historic. There are opportunities to experience nature and opportunities to experience something you won’t quite find in a big town. It is a great experience and an easy one to have.
We stayed at the Homosassa River RV Resort and found it to be a wonderful place with a pool and the basics but its real attraction is the location near Homosassa and the Homosassa State Park. We didn’t go to the state park but will on another trip. This time we wanted to soak up the authentic local feel.
We stopped by The Freezer Bar – an old ice plant where fishermen would place their catches on ice. There is no website but here’s information from Yelp. They are so out of the way they don’t even have a website or probably monitor social media. A great experience though it takes a bit to figure out the system of ordering drinks, ordering food, paying for it all and then some. I don’t want to spoil that fun – its a great local place and the food is very good albeit confusing where to order from. Go get some beer and then study what people do. It is a great people watching place too. It is at a marina and they’ve got seafood and outdoor seating – bring cash or use their ATM. Great place.
We also had breakfast at the Starting Gate Restaurant. This was a treasure of a find and a local dive that has the best damn breakfast you can imagine. I live for finding these sorts of places and they do exist. I had the eggs benedict and I’ve had it all over the place and this was just slightly different and absolutely wonderful! And the story of the restaurant is great too! It is in an old filling station (gas/petrol station).
Another place we visited was the Monkey Bar – I had a fantastic shrimp cocktail there and the drinks are great. There’s indoor and outdoor seating and you overlook Monkey Island. The island is very near the restaurant and there are indeed monkeys you can watch while you eat and drink.
Located near the Monkey Bar, you’ll find Riversport Kayaks, on the property. Also located here is the Homosassa Riverside Resort if you’re looking for a hotel room. All considered, if you do not have an RV, this is an excellent choice for accommodation. The people at Riversport couldn’t have been better. They were friendly and professional and got us in our kayaks quickly and easily and told us the best routes. We paddled to the head springs and you pass an area before the No Wake Zone where boats are creating a wake so it is best to stick closer to the shore on this section.
There were a lot of boats at the head springs and people swimming. There wasn’t a place to put the kayak so we didn’t get out of them and go swimming. We were able to pull up to a concrete base of a small bridge and could get out there but there is nothing at the head springs to really allow you to leave your kayak and do any exploring or swimming that we were able to find out.