Florida has many exotic and weird animals, from manatees to alligators, and even monkeys! Yep, we’ve got those too, and not just in Animal Kingdom. In Homosassa, Florida, free-roaming spider monkeys can be seen from a local restaurant & resort.
While some people choose to boat up to the island to get a view of the furry residents, Homosassa Riverside Resort is home to the aptly named Monkey Bar & Grill, where you can watch the colony of feral primates from the comfort of the deck. No paddling required!
Homosassa is a place where nature and humankind converge. The nearby Crystal River is home to manatees, where respectful adventurers can get up close and personal with them.
The Gulf Coast, teeming with beauty, is but a short drive away. And of course, the monkeys.
In the 1960s, Monkey Island was a small, undeveloped piece of land that was a hazard to boats. It was eventually dredged and adorned with more shrubbery and a small lighthouse, and the monkeys were moved there from a nearby wildlife attraction. The island is now sometimes referred to as Monkey Alcatraz.
Though they are fed twice a day, the monkeys have free run of the tiny island and are not allowed to be touched by tourists.
From a seat at the Monkey Bar & Grill, though, you’ll have a great view of the spider monkeys as they live their best island-paradise life down below.
Besides the restaurant, there is the full Homosassa Riverside Resort that offers suites and hotel rooms, a waterfront pool, and a chance to explore the surrounding area to your heart’s content.
If you're looking for more Florida wildlife encounters, check out the adorable live-cams at this big cat rescue, or this list of the best places to whale watch in Florida.
Homosassa Riverside Resort
When: Open daily
Address: 5297 S Cherokee Way Homosassa, FL
Why You Need To Go: Dig into some tasty seafood and watch these adorable monkeys play around on their private island!