Crystal River Florida Bucket Record: 22 Issues to Do

Positioned on Florida’s Nature Coast, Crystal River is an enthralling coastal metropolis generally known as the “Residence of the Manatee.” A whole bunch of manatees (and vacationers) come to the river’s plentiful springs to maintain heat, particularly in the course of the winter season.

Nevertheless, this fashionable vacationer vacation spot is not only in regards to the light giants. There are many outside actions, native sights and issues to do in Crystal River Florida. Swimming with manatees is among the hottest, however there’s additionally issues like discovering avenue artwork and visiting museums. 

So pack your baggage, seize your digicam, and prepare to dive into this aquatic wonderland and uncover why Crystal River is the right vacation spot for anybody on the lookout for some enjoyable within the solar.

The Best Things to do in Crystal River Florida (Manatees, Restaurants, Beaches & Hotels!)

The Greatest Issues to do in Crystal River Florida (Manatees, Eating places, Seashores & Lodges!)

1. Swim with Manatees

Swimming with manatees at Crystal River, Florida, is a uncommon and thrilling alternative to attach with nature and witness these stunning animals of their pure habitat. These light ‘sea cows’ inhabit the nice and cozy waters of Florida, and Crystal River is among the few locations the place you possibly can legally work together with them.

On a guided tour, you possibly can don a wetsuit and snorkel, and observe these majestic creatures up shut. Simply keep in mind to remain calm and respectful, as manatees are protected by legislation.

I did my swim with Hunter Springs Kayaks & Tours, the place I used to be accompanied by an in-water information the whole time to make sure that the foundations are noticed so that you just (and the manatees) can have a good time.


2. See the Mermaid Present at Mertailor

Mermaids could also be legendary, however their attract is plain – charming sailors and dreamers alike with their enchanting magnificence and mysterious underwater world. And at Mertailor’s Mermaid Aquarium Encounter, a couple of miles southeast of Crystal River, Florida, they won’t simply be a figment of playful creativeness.

The aquarium includes a one-of-a-kind present with real-life ‘mermaids,’ carrying life like and colourful mermaid fins as they elegantly glide via a big aquarium crammed with vibrant marine life.

Watch in awe as these sleek performers swim, twirl, and even work together with the viewers, blowing kisses and posing for pictures. 

Apart from the Mermaid Present, in addition they have completely different displays that includes macaws, tortoises, eels, rays, and a lot extra. Really a magical underwater expertise price visiting!

3. Go to the Crystal River State Archaeological Website

Uncover the secrets and techniques of historical Native American tradition by visiting the Crystal River State Archaeological Site, a mesmerizing vacation spot positioned on Crystal River’s northern banks.

This 61-acre expanse of lush greenery is brimming with awe-inspiring wonders, together with six spectacular mounds that had been constructed between 250 BC and 600 AD, in addition to a number of burial mounds and carved limestone slabs known as ‘stela.’

The museum on the website additionally incorporates a variety of artifacts, from intricately carved pottery to common instruments and different objects utilized by the individuals who left their mark on the land.

And as a part of the Nice Florida Birding Path, you can even enterprise out onto the character path that winds via the encircling forest and breathtaking panorama.

4. Make a Fast Cease to Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park

Do you know that Florida is the most important sugarcane producer in america? And what higher technique to be taught in regards to the state’s sugar business than at Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park, a must-visit landmark in Homosassa, Florida, positioned 10.4 miles (16.74 km) south of Crystal River.

Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park

Named after Florida’s first Senator, David Levy Yulee, the park boasts the ruins of a Nineteenth-century sugar mill that after used steam and revolutionary expertise to supply sugar for export. 

You’re in for a deal with as you discover the fascinating ruins of the Yulee Sugar Mill, which features a towering 40-foot chimney, stonework basis, and a nicely. Among the many ruins, iron gears and the rusted cane press nonetheless stand as a testomony to the mill’s once-thriving sugar manufacturing. Picnic pavilions, tables, and grills are additionally accessible in case you fancy happening a picnic after exploring.

Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park Florida

5. Take an Airboat Experience with Ozello Boats

Maintain on tight and prepare to expertise the thrilling experience of a lifetime with Ozello Boats! Taking an airboat tour with them means that you can discover the crystal-clear waters of Homosassa and Crystal River (Nature Coast) the place you possibly can spot quite a lot of wildlife, resembling alligators, manatees, and unique birds of their pure habitat.

Really feel the wind in your hair and the adrenaline pumping as you race via the marshes and mangroves of this stunning and distinctive ecosystem. With skilled and educated guides, you’re positive to have an unforgettable journey that you just’ll be speaking about for years to return.

6. Store at Heritage Village

Prepare to buy until you drop at The Shoppes of Heritage Village, a hidden gem positioned within the coronary heart of Downtown Crystal River! With over 13+ locally-owned outlets, this charming buying vacation spot provides a singular and various choice of merchandise you received’t discover wherever else. From handmade arts and presents at Glass Werx Studio to antiques and classic finds at The Basic Retailer, the Shoppes have one thing for everybody.

But it surely’s not simply the buying that makes this place particular – it’s the environment. The fantastically restored historic buildings and tree-lined walkways create an enthralling ambiance that’s each stress-free and welcoming. And with loads of eating and refreshment choices like BubbaQue’s and Tea Home 650, you possibly can take a break from buying and luxuriate in a scrumptious meal or refreshing beverage whereas taking within the sights and sounds of this distinctive buying expertise.

P.S. Try the Heritage Home Customer Centre alongside North Citrus Avenue for a strolling map of Heritage Village and any accessible coupons.

7. Pop Into the Coastal Heritage Museum

The Coastal Heritage Museum is an enchanting historic vacation spot in case you’re serious about studying about Florida’s wealthy historical past and distinctive cultural heritage. The museum is housed within the historic 1939 Crystal River Metropolis Corridor constructing, which has been fantastically restored and renovated to showcase the realm’s wealthy previous.

Coastal Heritage Museum

Inside, you possibly can discover quite a lot of displays that spotlight the historical past and tradition of the Crystal River space, together with a 1927 diorama of Citrus Avenue, an outdated holding cell, and a fish home facade. One other distinctive function of the museum is its assortment of vintage fishing gear, which supplies perception into the historical past and evolution of business fishing within the area.

8. Get Some Pics on the Historic Crystal River Prepare Depot

The Historic Crystal River Train Depot is an iconic landmark positioned at Crystal Road in Crystal River, Florida. The depot, which was inbuilt 1909, served as a hub for transportation and commerce within the area for a few years and is now a well-liked vacation spot for vacationers and historical past buffs alike.

Crystal River Train Depot Florida

The depot’s distinctive structure and design make it a well-liked spot for photographers seeking to seize its rustic character and historic significance. The constructing options traditional parts of turn-of-the-century prepare stations, resembling its easy, white wood aesthetic and traditional purple caboose.

9. Stroll the Boardwalk at Three Sisters Springs

Whether or not you’re a nature lover, wildlife fanatic, or just on the lookout for a peaceable escape from the hustle and bustle of on a regular basis life, strolling the Boardwalk on the 57-acre Three Sisters Spring is an expertise you received’t quickly overlook.

Positioned inside the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, the Boardwalk follows the banks of the three springs, that includes completely different viewing platforms the place you possibly can see the light manatees or the colourful hen species and different wildlife who name the place their residence.

10. See the Animals at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Seeing the animals at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park is a really distinctive expertise that mixes nature, training, and leisure. This 210-acre park is residence to all kinds of animals native to Florida, together with alligators, black bears, bobcats, and panthers, simply to call a couple of.

The park’s Fish Bowl Underwater Observatory provides you a uncommon glimpse into the world of freshwater fish, whereas wildlife encounter applications help you work together with among the park’s animals.

Along with its animal displays, the park additionally boasts stunning botanical gardens, strolling trails, and picnic areas, making it an amazing place so that you can spend a day with household and pals.

11. Examine Out the Road Artwork

Whereas Crystal River might not be as well-known for its avenue artwork scene as another cities, the realm does supply a singular and rising choice of murals and different city art work.

In recent times, native artists and neighborhood organizations have been working to convey extra avenue artwork to the realm, reworking in any other case clean partitions into colourful and attention-grabbing artworks. These murals usually depict scenes from the pure world, resembling manatees, pelicans, and different wildlife, reflecting the realm’s shut connection to the close by Gulf of Mexico.

Crystal River Street Art

Some notable works embody the 16-foot-high mural known as ‘The Kraken’ by William Mickey, painted on the aspect of the Salty Women Seaside Store, the 68-foot-wide, 14-foot-high mural at City Sq. in Downtown Crystal River, and ‘The Crystal Blue Manatees,’ a flooring mural contained in the Crystal Blue Lagoon Mattress & Breakfast, additionally in Downtown Crystal River.

Whether or not it’s on the skin or inside, there’s at all times a avenue artwork or two to shock you alongside the best way. What number of of them can you discover?

Crystal River Street Art Manatee

12. Kayak the Chassahowitzka River

Whether or not you’re an skilled kayaker or a novice, kayaking the Chassahowitzka River (or ‘The Chaz’) provides a one-of-a-kind journey that’s positive to depart you with lasting recollections. Positioned 14.8 miles (23.81 km) south of Crystal River, the river winds via the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge, residence to completely different wildlife, together with manatees, dolphins, and all kinds of hen species.

One of the crucial distinctive options of the Chaz are the numerous small springs that feed into the waterway. These springs, that are crystal clear and extremely pure, create a collection of swimming pools and channels which might be good for swimming and exploring. You may also paddle as much as the headsprings of those springs and take a refreshing dip within the cool, clear water. When you’re feeling a bit extra adventurous, you possibly can go on a dive and discover one of many underwater caves!

Yow will discover many kayak (and different boats) leases within the space, resembling at Chassahowitzka River Campground and 7 Sisters Springs. Alternatively, you can even convey your personal kayak with you.

Chassahowitzka River

13. Go Scalloping

Are you up for a bucket checklist expertise that mixes the fun of a treasure hunt with the thrill of snorkeling within the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico? Then don your swimwear and let’s go scalloping! Throughout scallop season, which runs from July to September, locals and vacationers alike flock to the realm to expertise the fun of catching these tasty mollusks.

To go scalloping in Crystal River, you sometimes must exit into the Gulf of Mexico. You may go there aboard your personal boat (saltwater fishing license required,) or by reserving an skilled information (who may take you to the most effective scalloping spots!). The scallops are often present in shallow waters between 4 and eight ft deep, particularly the place there are many eelgrass/seagrass.

Upon getting your bag of scallops, you possibly can clear them up and cook dinner them nonetheless you want. Or you can even name one in every of many participating restaurants prematurely, who’ll be comfortable to cook dinner up your bounty for you.


14. Discover Kings Bay

Nestled inside the Crystal River Nationwide Wildlife Refuge, Crystal River’s headwater of Kings Bay is a jewel of Florida’s Gulf Coast. Fed by over 70 springs which maintain its waters at a relentless 72 levels Fahrenheit, the realm is famend for its breathtaking pure magnificence and plentiful marine life, particularly its beloved inhabitants of light giants – the manatees.

Probably the greatest methods to discover Kings Bay and see the manatees is by taking a guided boat tour or renting a kayak. As you paddle alongside the crystal-clear waters of the bay, you’ll be capable of see these majestic creatures swimming gracefully beneath the floor, in addition to different wildlife like dolphins and sea turtles.

After all, there may be a lot to see up within the air and on land as there may be underneath the water, such because the Roseate spoonbill and white-tailed deer, inhabiting one in every of 20 small islands in and round Kings Bay.

15. See the Native Artwork at Franklin Anderson Gallery

The Franklin Anderson Gallery is a must-visit vacation spot for artwork lovers visiting Crystal River. Positioned within the coronary heart of the historic downtown space, this gallery showcases the works of among the space’s most proficient artists, in addition to nationwide and worldwide artists.

Though it’s small, the gallery includes a various assortment of artwork, together with work, sculptures, and combined media items, every with its personal distinctive model and story. You may view works starting from conventional landscapes to summary items, and every part in between. And did I point out which you could additionally purchase one-of-a-kind presents to take residence with you proper right here?

16. Watch Some Automotive Races at Citrus County Speedway and Monitor

If the sound of engines roaring and quick automobiles zipping by will get your adrenaline pumping, then this one’s for you! The Citrus County Speedway and Track at Inverness, 18.1 miles (29.13 km) east from Crystal River, is a hub for native and regional automotive racing, providing an thrilling expertise for guests of all ages. The monitor’s difficult structure, with tight turns and high-speed straights, is certain to get your adrenaline pumping.

However that’s not all – in addition they function a snack bar and merchandise sales space, and cozy seating areas for excellent views of the motion. Common occasions, resembling inventory automotive and modified racing, are hosted all year long, making it an exhilarating and thrilling vacation spot for automotive racing fans and guests alike.

17. See Monkey Island

Do you know that there’s a tiny island within the Homosassa River that’s residence to a household of spider monkeys? This man-made island, generally known as Monkey Island, was constructed to deal with the monkeys and stop them from inflicting mischief elsewhere.

The island options huts, ropes, bushes, and even a small reproduction of a lighthouse, all fastidiously maintained by the Florida Cracker Riverside Resort (previously Homosassa Riverside Resort). The monkeys obtain common feeding and check-ups from the resort to make sure their well being and well-being.

When you are not allowed to set foot on the island, there are many methods to stand up shut and private with the monkeys. The resort’s restaurant and close by dock present the right vantage factors to look at the monkeys as they go about their day, and you can even get a better look by taking a ship or kayak tour.

Monkey Island

18. Dangle Out at Hunter Springs Park

Hunter Springs Park is a superb vacation spot for anybody seeking to chill out and benefit from the pure fantastic thing about Crystal River. With its beautiful springs, sandy seashore, and vary of leisure alternatives, it’s a vacation spot that’s positive to depart a long-lasting impression on guests of all ages.

One of many essential sights of Hunter Springs Park is its crystal-clear waters, which give a refreshing and stress-free place to swim, snorkel, or just absorb the solar. The park additionally includes a small sandy seashore space, good for constructing sandcastles, having fun with a picnic together with your family and friends, or launching your kayak/canoe.

When you want to remain on dry land, Hunter Springs Park additionally provides a spread of leisure alternatives. The park includes a playground for kids, in addition to a number of picnic pavilions and grills so that you can get pleasure from a meal outdoor. The park’s trails present a scenic spot for a leisurely stroll or jog, and there are additionally bike racks accessible in case you want to discover on two wheels.

P.S. They cost a small charge for parking.

19. Escape from the Crystal River Room Escape

On the lookout for a special form of thrill to your Crystal River journey? This one’s for you!

The Crystal River Room Escape is an thrilling and difficult journey sport that checks your puzzle-solving abilities and creativity. Positioned at SE Mayo Drive, this escape room is a enjoyable and distinctive vacation spot for teams of pals, members of the family, or coworkers on the lookout for a memorable and thrilling expertise.

You may select from one in every of 4 completely different eventualities, from aliens to whodunnits to treasures to ‘happening reminiscence lane.’ With their difficult puzzles, partaking themes, and thrilling environment, will you and your group unravel the mysteries of the room earlier than time runs out?

P.S. As they’re open by appointment solely, make sure you e-book prematurely.

20. Golf on the Plantation on Crystal River

The Plantation on Crystal River is among the oldest resorts within the metropolis and  residence to some of the fantastically landscaped golf programs within the space. The resort’s 18-hole golf course is designed to problem gamers of all skills, with its rolling fairways, difficult water hazards, and strategic bunkers. The course is impeccably maintained, with lush inexperienced grass, beautiful views, and a serene environment that makes it a pleasure to play.

The Plantation on Crystal River pool

After a day on the hyperlinks, you possibly can chill out and unwind on the resort’s restaurant and bar, which provides scrumptious meals and refreshing drinks in an off-the-cuff and welcoming environment. If you wish to keep in a single day, the Plantation on Crystal River has comfy and spacious rooms to select from, together with cozy choices and splendid suites.

21. See a Present at The Valerie Theater (Inverness)

The Valerie Theatre in Inverness, Florida, is a restored historic theater constructed within the Nineteen Twenties that gives movie, music, and stay theater occasions. It options plush seating, state-of-the-art projection, sound tools, and beautiful acoustics.

The Theatre is understood for its dedication to preserving traditional movies from Hollywood’s golden age, the place you possibly can catch weekly screenings of beloved films like “Gone with the Wind” and “Casablanca.” In addition they host stay music concert events and theatrical productions that includes each native and nationwide expertise.

Valerie Theater

22. Spend the Afternoon on the Historic Floral Metropolis

Additionally affectionately generally known as ‘Outdated Florida’ by the locals, Floral Metropolis is an enthralling city positioned 24.4 miles (39.27 km) southeast of Crystal River. It’s best identified for its historic properties, abundance of wildflowers, and its as soon as booming phosphate mining historical past. Listed below are some locations you shouldn’t miss out right here:

Floral Metropolis Heritage Museum

The Floral City Heritage Museum is positioned in an outdated fireplace station and is residence to a formidable assortment of artifacts, pictures, and paperwork that showcase the city’s wealthy historical past. Don’t overlook to take a look at their Heritage Nation Retailer for one-of-a-kind objects like vintage tin indicators, wood dolls, and extra.

Duval Home

Discovered simply throughout the Museum, the Duval House is a two-story historic residence constructed within the late 1800s and is taken into account to be the oldest residential constructing in Citrus County nonetheless standing to this present day. It’s presently owned by the Duval Preservation Belief.

As the home has no mounted opening schedule, you could must contact the Belief President at 352-697-2999 for any particular group personal excursions.

Duval House

Fort Cooper State Park

Fort Cooper State Park is a good looking 700-acre state park is positioned only a quick drive south of Floral Metropolis and is a good place to benefit from the outdoor. You may hike via the park’s trails, fish, swim, or kayak in Lake Holathlikaha, or have a picnic in one of many park’s many scenic spots.

. . .

Whether or not you’re a historical past buff, nature lover, or just on the lookout for an enthralling vacation spot to go to, a day at Floral Metropolis is unquestionably well worth the journey.

23. The place to Keep

With so many actions to do, issues to see, and locations to go to, a day at Crystal River will certainly not be sufficient. Loads of resort lodging can be found across the metropolis, and right here is one we extremely advocate:

Plantation on Crystal River

When you’re dreaming of a spot the place you possibly can unwind and take pleasure in the great thing about nature, the Plantation on Crystal River is the right retreat for you. Think about waking up in one in every of their comfy rooms (they’ve 196!), surrounded by beautiful surroundings and the sound of light waves lapping on the shore. You’ll have loads of room to unfold out, whether or not you’re touring with household or pals, as most rooms will be joined collectively to create a house away from residence.

However that’s just the start of the enjoyable. Take a swing at their 18-hole championship golf course or strive your hand at water sports activities like kayaking and paddleboarding. When you’re within the temper for some pampering, take pleasure in a spa remedy or get pleasure from some wildlife viewing. And whenever you’re able to refuel, you received’t be upset – the resort provides mouthwatering meals and drinks which might be positive to please your style buds.

24. The place to Eat

What’s a go to to Crystal River with out having a style of its delectable dishes and grub to gas your physique? Let’s try among the greatest bites in and across the metropolis that may depart you wanting extra:

Wild Sassa (Homosassa): Wild Sassa is a seafood meals truck that gives a singular eating expertise that includes regionally sourced components and a menu that adjustments seasonally. Be sure you check out their tacos and wild shrimp quesadillas!

Waterfront Social (Crystal River): A classy waterfront bar and grill that gives quite a lot of meals and drinks, together with seafood, smash burgers, and craft cocktails, with stay music on the weekends.

Copp Brewery: A craft brewery in Crystal River that gives a rotating choice of beers on faucet, wines, and a scrumptious menu of ‘Prohibition’ plates & tacos, sandwiches, and different pub fare.

Wallace’s on the Greenhouse (Homosassa): Wallace’s at the Greenhouse is an enthralling restaurant that serves up recent seafood and traditional American dishes in a comfy and welcoming environment. 

West 82 Grill (Crystal River): This bar & grill restaurant is positioned on the Plantation on Crystal River and options seasonal and regionally sourced components, providing quite a lot of dishes that vary from seafood pasta to steak.

Vintage on 5th: A trendy bistro in downtown Crystal River that gives a menu of seafood, hand-cut steaks, and regional Southern dishes, together with an intensive wine checklist. Shrimp and grits, anybody?

Kane’s Cattle Co: An off-the-cuff steakhouse on the coronary heart of Crystal River that gives a singular eating expertise, that includes mouthwatering steaks and recent seafood, in a country but elegant setting.

Dan’s Clam Stand: A no-frills seafood shack in Crystal River that gives quite a lot of fried seafood dishes, together with clams, shrimp, and oysters, together with sandwiches and sides.

Crump’s Landing (Homosassa): A beloved seafood restaurant and bar, providing scrumptious native delicacies, waterfront eating, stay music, and a laid-back environment that’s good for stress-free with family and friends.

And that brings our checklist of the most effective issues to do in Crystal River, Florida to an in depth. Crystal River is a singular and thrilling vacation spot that gives an unforgettable expertise for vacationers of all ages. From swimming with manatees to exploring native sights, there’s something for everybody on this charming coastal metropolis.

So, whether or not you might be in search of a soothing trip or an adventure-filled journey, Crystal River is the right place to unwind, discover, and create lasting recollections. Don’t wait any longer, pack your baggage, and are available uncover the wonders of Crystal River for your self.

Greatest Ideas for Visiting Crystal River Florida

Find out how to Get to Crystal River Florida:  Tampa Worldwide Airport (TPA) is a significant hub and most airways will fly into it. You may simply test for the most effective fare offers at Skyscanner, which additionally has the choice to decide on ‘least expensive month’ because the departure to search out the bottom priced dates to fly to your vacation spot. There isn’t a direct connection from Tampa Worldwide Airport (TPA) to Crystal River. To get there, you possibly can mix utilizing buses and a taxi. You may take a taxi to Crystal River after taking the road 30 bus to North West Switch Middle Tampa, the road 812 bus to Sr. 580 + Summerdale, the road 19 bus to Huey Ave. & Tarpon Ave., and the road 19 bus to Sr. 52 & Us 19. For a extra direct journey, you can even drive or rent a city automotive.

Getting Round:  Driving in a brand new vacation spot generally is a little bit of a problem, however in case you select to lease a automotive, has nice offers. If you’re not renting a automotive, there are many different choices. Taxis, Lyft and Uber can be found all around the metropolis. For a extra funds pleasant choice, you possibly can take the general public bus.

Greatest Time to Go to Crystal River Florida: In keeping with NOAA (the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the most effective months to go to Crystal River for the climate are February 19 to Might 20 or October 1 to December 301. However you could go on an amazing journey at any time of the 12 months.

The place to Keep in Crystal River Florida: It’s greatest to remain close to town heart, public transportation or the realm that you can be spending probably the most time in. Holiday Inn Express Crystal River, an IHG Hotel, Best Western Crystal River Resort and The Plantation on Crystal River is a good selection in Crystal River. For one thing on the cheaper aspect, strive Hampton Inn Crystal River positioned in Crystal River. Or search some nice offers on motels of your selection at When you’re on the lookout for extra of a house environment (or are touring with a bunch of individuals), head over to Airbnb that has homes, residences and even only a room for lease in each worth vary. 

Greatest Excursions in Crystal River Florida: Yow will discover among the high excursions at Get Your Guide or Viator, and listed here are among the high ones. excursions:

Common Adapter: Your American plugged tools will want an adapter. I take advantage of the Celtic Universal Adapter, which has introduced me all over the world with no issues.

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