Crystal River, Florida

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Jul 20 ~ Jul 26
One of the few places in the world where you can swim with manatees, Crystal River provides a ton of Central Florida fun in the great outdoors!

Crystal River, Florida, Visitors Guide

Crystal River, Florida, is a naturally gorgeous Central Florida city, that will have you feel as if you’ve been transported to a stunningly scenic subtropical paradise! A retreat from the hustle and bustle of nearby Orlando and Tampa, Crystal River is the perfect place to relax and reconnect with nature. From snorkeling the springs to searching for scallops, there’s an outdoor adventure that’s sure to soothe the soul! Not only that, with waterfront dining, eclectic shopping, and fantastic annual events, there’s something for everyone in Crystal River, FL.

Water activities are the name of the game when in Crystal River. The city’s close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, Kings Bay, and Crystal River Springs, the second largest group of springs in Florida, makes this scenic city the perfect place for watersports like boating,[kayaking](https://www.tripshock.com/attractions/Crystal-River/Kayak-Tours/ "kayaking"), paddleboarding, and swimming. The most amazing aquatic adventure to be had, however, is snorkeling with manatees! This beautiful area of Florida has the [world's largest natural winter refuge for manatees](https://www.tripshock.com/Swim-with-the-Manatees-in-Crystal-River/details/3805/ "world's largest natural winter refuge for manatees") and is the only place in the country where you can legally swim with them. As you can see, there are a ton of wonderful and whimsical adventures to be had in Crystal River, that are sure to create incredible memories that will last a lifetime!

Geography

Crystal River is a city on the west coast of Florida. It’s about 66 miles north of Tampa, 78 miles from Orlando, and a little over 100 miles from Jacksonville. U.S. Route 19 and U.S. Route 98 highways run through this city.

Neighborhoods

Downtown Crytal River is the place to go for fun, food, and entertainment. The neighborhood is situated on the waterfront, just blocks from many restaurants, specialty shops, and vibrant bars.
Floral City is an area that locals refer to as “Old Florida.” It has an atmosphere of the turn of the 20th century, featuring iron fences, horse-drawn carriages, and blooming azaleas. You'll feel like you stepped back in time.
The Homosassa area is known as “the original Florida fishing town” and is a haven for boaters, paddlers, and anglers. It's also a place where wildlife watchers can easily spot manatees, Florida panthers, alligators, and more.

Top Places to Visit

Three Sisters Springs

Three Sisters Springs is a trio of gorgeous natural springs located on the eastern end of Kings Bay. The springs are home to endangered manatees, which you can view along with other wildlife on the boardwalk or nature trails.

Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge

Accessible by boat, the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge protects 20 barrier islands and offers a wide range of recreational activities such as boating, wildlife viewing, and fishing on the manmade lake.

Hunter Springs Park

Hunter Springs Park is a beautiful park that offers you plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as canoeing, paddleboarding, and kayaking on the Crystal River.

Climate

Crystal Springs has summers that are hot, long, and rainy, while the winters are cool, short, and partly cloudy. It’s best to visit from March to May and from October to December for warm-weather activities.

What is Crystal River known for

Three Sisters Springs, Manatee Encounters, Florida Manatee Festival, Kings Bay, Watersports, Snorkeling, Scalloping, Fort Island Gulf Beach, Citrus Avenue, Crystal River Archaeological State Park, Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Crystal River, Florida family-friendly?

Yes! Crystal River is family-friendly. Warm temperatures, sun-drenched beaches, and beautiful springs make it a real treat for families of all ages.

2. What is Crystal River known for?

Crystal River is a top fishing destination, attracting visitors from all over the world.

3. Does Crystal River have beaches?

Crystal River is home to two pristine beaches–Fort Island Gulf Beach and Pine Island Beach Park—both ideal for swimming, sunbathing, or relaxing by the water.

4. What do locals do in Crystal River?

The locals of Crystal River enjoy the same activities as tourists. Fishing, swimming with manatees, and kayaking are some of the popular activities that locals enjoy.

5. Are manatees in Crystal River?

Yes. From November through April, Crystal River is one of the best places in Florida to observe manatees. Manatees can be spotted in the waterways all year long.

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