Although most folks visit Homosassa for its springs, the city is an excellent getaway to Florida’s West Coast beaches, too.
The selection here isn’t as plentiful as at Tampa or Destin, but it’s certainly diverse. You have a choice of classic beaches with palm trees and volleyball nets, as well as quiet spots filled with mangroves and wildlife.
Swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking are very popular here. And many anglers try their luck surfcasting, too.
Whether you’re staying in Homosassa or just passing by, it’s worth checking out these beaches. Some of them are hidden gems that you won’t find in guidebooks.
Beaches near Homosassa:
- Fort Island Beach
- Hunter Springs Park
- Alfred A McKethan Pine Island Park
- Bird Creek Beach
- Robert K. Rees Park Beach
- Anclote River Park
- Fred Howard Park
- Sunset Beach
- Anclote Key Preserve State Park
1. Fort Island Beach
- Distance from Homosassa: 18 miles (30 min)
- Activities: boating, fishing, picnicking, swimming
- Amenities: fishing pier, covered picnic tables, boat ramp, restrooms, bathrooms, boardwalk, pavilion, showers
Fort Island Beach is one of the most interesting places you might want to visit while in Homosassa. To begin with, this is a public beach with no parking or access fees, and the drive towards this shoreline is a scenic one.
Located on the edges of Crystal River, this is a 1,000-foot man-made beach with calm shallow waters that are pristine for swimming.
On a good day, you should be able to see manatees and dolphins swirling in the blue waters as well. There’s a pier that is ideal not just for fishing but for wildlife watching, too.
Some noteworthy sights around Fort Island Beach include the surrounding lush green vegetation, which is accessible by a boardwalk, and the river estuary teeming with wildlife.
The beach is also not far from Crystal River Preserve State Park – a place to check out later. Food vendors are mostly available during the season.
2. Hunter Springs Park
- Distance from Homosassa: 10 miles (20 min)
- Activities: kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, paddleboarding, picnicking
- Amenities: boardwalk, playground, showers, restrooms, parking lot, picnic chairs and tables, swings and slides, pavilions
Hunter Springs Park is one of Florida’s most quaint beaches with an easy-going vibe. This place has wonderful natural landscaping, a well-maintained lawn with a short boardwalk that guides you around.
There’s certainly a lot to do here, from swimming, canoeing, and adoring manatees to kayaking all the way to the Three Sister Springs.
However, taking boat rides and seeing the surrounding community is the real deal. Also, many fish swirl here, so you better pack a snorkel.
There are a few recreational facilities, including a small paid parking lot. So you can either arrive early to secure a spot or park a few blocks away and then walk to the park for an invigorating spring water experience.
3. Alfred A McKethan Pine Island Park
- Distance from Homosassa: 30 miles (40 min)
- Activities: swimming, picnicking, playing volleyball
- Amenities: kid’s playground, restrooms, grills, picnic pavilions, concessions, volleyball court
If you are looking for the perfect hideout for a holiday respite, you might want to check out Alfred A McKethan Pine Island Park. It has a uniquely alluring Florida appeal to it, with characteristic palm trees and golden sand.
Located on the edge of a peninsula, this park is close to other amazing coastal estuary preserves along the Gulf of Mexico, like the Historic Bayport Park, with its pier and coastal boardwalk.
Alfred A McKethan Pine Island Park is another kid-friendly choice on this list, with a playground and picnic areas.
Parking is limited, and when full, cars can only be allowed in if another leaves. So be sure to arrive early to avoid parking inconveniences.
4. Bird Creek Beach
- Distance from Homosassa: 27 miles (40 min)
- Activities: fishing, kayaking, sightseeing
- Amenities: porta potties, boat ramp, pavilion, grills, picnic tables
Bird Creek Beach is a small beach facing the Withlacoochee Bay in the seemingly quiet and dozy Yankeetown.
Borrowing the village’s extremely verdure climate, this beach is a sightseeing gem, especially if you want to have the most magical views of the Gulf of Mexico coastline.
There are many unique geographical experiences on this beach, from the swampy spots and huge trees to plenty of birds and wildlife.
It’s a glorious setting for avid photographers, aesthetes, and hiking enthusiasts. The water here is ideal for boating and kayaking rather than actually getting into it.
Bird Creek Beach is best explored while on a kayak. Ride the Withlacoochee River and find your way down into Bennett’s Creek area. While on this marvelous coastal adventure, you may encounter some dolphins and manatees.
5. Robert K. Rees Park Beach
- Distance from Homosassa: 46 miles (1 h)
- Activities: swimming, walking, sunset watching, snorkeling
- Amenities: picnic pavilion, picnic tables, boardwalk, restroom, showers, water fountains
Robert K. Rees Park Beach is a small, 45-acre beachfront sprawling the Gulf of Mexico. It is widely known for offering picnic and wildlife observation experiences.
Thanks to its lush-green surroundings, it is home to many bird species, like herons, egrets, seagulls, and pelicans.
The unique aspect of this beach is its one-of-a-kind boardwalk trail that leads to the lookout tower. While at the tower, you can view dolphins, cranes, and other sea creatures gracefully exploring the gulf. It’s a breathtaking spectacle, especially when gazing at the sunset.
Also, the beach has two zones stocked with grills and picnic tables. There are sliders, swings, and other playtime equipment right by the ocean. But unfortunately, there are no kayaks or paddle boards for rent.
Swimming is allowed at Robert K. Rees Park Beach. In fact, the water is shallow and thus ideal for both kids and adults. The changing facilities are modern, clean, and in good condition.
While outstanding in many ways, Robert K. Rees Park Beach doesn’t have fishing piers, sports facilities, or jet skis; it’s a nature getaway rather than a water playground. The parking spot is pretty limited, too, so go there early.
All in all, Robert K. Rees Park Beach is totally worth checking out if all you need is an outdoor picnic, crabbing, relaxing, and sea life viewing.
6. Anclote River Park
- Distance from Homosassa: 53 miles (1h 10min)
- Activities: boating, fishing, jet skiing, picnicking, paddleboarding
- Amenities: boat launch, picnic pavilion, lifeguard, bathroom, playground, picnic tables and benches, outdoor rinsing shower, changing rooms, boardwalk, charcoal grill
Although over an hour away, Anclote River Park is a popular spot offering plenty of recreational opportunities, paddleboarding, kayaking, boating, and of course, swimming.
This park boasts a whopping 300 feet beach stocked with picnic pavilions, designated fishing areas, a kid’s playground, and multiple other water amenities.
The boardwalk and trails here take you through the park if you want to get up close and personal with Mother Nature’s green woodlands, birds, and squirrels.
This is a child-friendly and safe coastland. The sands are soft, lifeguards are present, and the swimming area (at most 5 feet deep) is roped off to keep boaters away.
Anclote River Park is also a great place to just visit when you want some quiet reading time. The views of the surroundings, swimming dolphins, and the sunset are delightfully enchanting.
However, the evenings tend to be buggy, so be sure to carry bug repellant. Parking is free and ample.
7. Fred Howard Park
- Distance from Homosassa: 55 miles (1h 15min)
- Activities: swimming, kayaking, picnicking, fishing, and sunset viewing
- Amenities: boat launch, picnic pavilions, restrooms, playgrounds, picnic tables and benches, showers, rentals
Fred Howard Park is a public recreational facility located in Tarpon Springs. It has a 155-acre beach that attracts bustling crowds year after year.
It’s a perfect holiday escape spot with majestic palm trees and green surroundings that are home to eagles and ospreys. The shoreline is soft sand, so you can leave your shoes at home.
Fred Howard Park has many popular fishing spots. The vastness of the beach and the existing shades provide great conditions for relaxing or sunset viewing.
Some of the amenities available at the site include picnic shelters, two playgrounds, and canoe and kayak launching areas, as well as kayak and SUP rentals.
Bordering the shoreline is a scenic, 1-mile-long causeway, a biking trail, and a butterfly garden. The beach is accessible to the public for free, but you might need to pay for parking space.
Howard Park is still one of the nicest beaches around. It is so quiet and serene. There are few food stands and restaurants, so carry your own food and drinks when visiting this amazing spot.
8. Sunset Beach
- Distance from Homosassa: 55 miles (1h 15min)
- Activities: swimming, boating, sunset watching
- Amenities: boat ramp, boardwalk, shaded pavilion, showers
Peace. Serenity. Contentment. These are the feelings you are going to experience if you happen to visit Sunset Beach in Tarpon Springs.
As the name implies, this is one of the best spots to catch the sunset as it recedes below the ocean waters creating a strikingly magical contrast both in the water and the luminous sky.
This beach is pristine and very quiet, except during spring when the season starts.
The boat ramp for small craft and the sheltered waters of Sant Joseph Sound make it an ideal spot for kayaking, paddleboarding, and other watersports.
Sunset Beach doesn’t have ample parking. Nevertheless, it’s worth a visit.
9. Anclote Key Preserve State Park
- Distance from Homosassa: 52 miles (1h 10min)
- Activities: bird watching, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, camping
- Amenities: restrooms, primitive campgrounds
Located near Tarpon Springs, Anclote Key Preserve State Park has a gorgeous shore that you can explore in the much-famed Gulf of Mexico. The park is one of the hidden gems with a laid-back, 403-acre beach.
Unlike most beaches, this one comprises four amazing islands – Three Rooker Island, North Anclote Bar, Anclote Key, and South Anclote Bar. Basically, you’ll have quite a lot to explore.
If you are into birding, this beach should be at the top of your list. It has a whopping 43+ bird species to spot. That includes bald eagles, piping plovers, oystercatcher, and many more.
However, there is no lifeguard on duty, so be sure to look out for yourself, friends, and family members. Paddleboarding, snorkeling, and boating are also common activities on the island.
What’s more, there’s also a historic lighthouse on the island that dates back to 1887. Adjacent to it lies perfect camping spots, making for a primitive but unique camping experience.
Although Anclote Key Preserve State Park is free to the public, it’s a boat-in location that you can’t access by car. Several ferries run from Tarpon Springs, so getting here is an adventure, too.
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