Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge (Hernando)
Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge
Bays & Inlets
Kings & Crystal bays
Rivers & Paddling Trails
Chassahowitzka, Crystal, Hall's, Homosassa, Salt Withlacoochee rivers, Blue Run Trail, Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, Gulf Intracoastal Waterway
Welcome to Citrus County, a charming destination on Florida’s coast where residents and tourists can embark on a delightful journey through festivals, museums, parks, and natural preserves.
One of the exciting events in the county is the annual Floral City Strawberry Festival, which celebrates the region's strawberry harvest. Visitors can indulge in fresh strawberries, arts and crafts exhibits, live entertainment, and a warm community atmosphere. The family-friendly festival is a must-visit for those seeking a taste of local culture and delectable treats. Every year Citrus County, “the Manatee Capital of the World,” holds The Florida Manatee Festival. This festival is an annual event held every January in downtown Crystal River. This event boasts two days of live entertainment, discounted opportunities for guided manatee boat tours, and children’s activities. With over a hundred vendors and delicious food, you can stretch your vacation so you can enjoy our slice of paradise on the nature coast.
The Coastal Heritage Museum in Crystal River is a treasure trove of the county’s past. Housed in a historic building, the museum features exhibits on the area’s maritime heritage, pioneer history, and the famous "Barge Canal.” It offers a fascinating insight into the rich heritage of the county and its connection to the sea. There is also the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum, which provides a captivating trip through time by displaying exhibits that dive into the area's past, cultures, and heritage. Visitors can involve themselves in the tales that built Citrus County, from relics and images to interactive exhibits, for people who enjoy cultural discovery and historical insights.
For a unique encounter with manatees, head to Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park a natural refuge where visitors can observe these gentle giants up close in their natural habitats. The Park also houses various other Florida wildlife species, making it an educational and inspiring experience. For Florida history, you can head to Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic Park. This site was part of a sugar plantation that was operated with the labor of enslaved people during the 1800s. Visitors can learn about the plantation and get an exciting view of the artifacts that were left behind from the sugar plantation.
Citrus County is home to two aquatic preserves. The St. Martin Marsh Aquatic Preserve is an ecologically diverse sanctuary that encompasses vast wetlands, coastal marshes, and tidal creeks, providing a thriving habitat for an array of native plants and wildlife. The preserve serves as a critical refuge for numerous bird species. St. Martins Marsh Preserve offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, inviting visitors to appreciate and protect the delicate balance of nature along its coast. Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve is the second-largest aquatic preserve in Florida, providing a sanctuary for an abundance of marine life, including seagrass beds, salt marshes, and pristine estuaries. Its crystal-clear waters harbor a diverse array of species, from manatees and dolphins to an array of fish and birdlife. The Nature Coast Preserve also plays a vital role in protecting delicate ecosystems, promoting water quality, and supporting the region's fishing and tourism industries.
Looking for a place to relax and swim one of Crystal River's finest attractions is Hunter Springs Park, often known as Hunter Springs Beach or Hunter Springs. Every day from 8:00 a.m. to sunset, the park is accessible to the public. On those sweltering summer days, Hunter Springs is the ideal spot to cool down, picnic, go kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding, and there is even a brand-new playground for kids.
Another highlight is the Withlacoochee State Trail, a picturesque trail that spans nearly 47 miles, passing through scenic landscapes, small towns, and lush forests. Perfect for biking, hiking, and leisurely strolls, this trail provides a relaxing outdoor escape for visitors seeking to delight in nature. Also, the Crystal River Preserve State Park encompasses over 27,000 acres of pristine coastal habitats. It’s an ideal destination for hiking, birdwatching, and exploring the estuaries along the Crystal River.
Citrus County welcomes visitors with its vibrant festivals, rich history, and breathtaking natural wonders. Whether you’re exploring the local culture at festivals, delving into the past at museums, or enjoying the great outdoors at parks and preserves, Citrus County offers an unforgettable experience that celebrates the best of Florida’s nature coast.
November 14, 2023 - 5:10pm
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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.