10 Things to do in Citrus County FL – 2024 Ultimate Guide

Table of Contents

Welcome

Welcome to Citrus County, Florida, a hidden gem waiting to be explored by travel enthusiasts seeking a unique and unforgettable experience. Nestled along the Gulf Coast, Citrus County offers a plethora of exciting things to do in Citrus County FL for visitors of all ages. From crystal-clear springs perfect for snorkeling and kayaking to charming small towns brimming with local charm, this destination has something for everyone. Discover the natural beauty of the area, immerse yourself in the rich history, and indulge in delicious cuisine that will leave your taste buds wanting more. Join us on a journey through Citrus County and uncover the endless possibilities that await you in this picturesque corner of Florida.

Popular Experiences and Attractions

Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge:

Essential Information

– Address: 1502 SE Kings Bay Drive, Crystal River, FL 34429
– Opening Hours: Daily from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
– Fee: Free entry
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, bird watchers, wildlife enthusiasts

Overview

Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge is a haven for nature enthusiasts seeking a unique experience in Citrus County, FL. This protected sanctuary offers a glimpse into the diverse ecosystem of the Crystal River area, where visitors can observe an array of wildlife in their natural habitat. From the iconic West Indian manatees that frequent the crystal-clear waters to a variety of bird species that call the refuge home, this destination provides a rare opportunity to witness the beauty of Florida’s natural landscapes up close.

The refuge’s well-maintained trails and observation points offer visitors the chance to explore the area at their own pace, immersing themselves in the sights and sounds of the local flora and fauna. Whether you’re a seasoned bird watcher looking to spot some of the region’s most elusive species or simply a nature lover seeking a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge promises a memorable and educational experience for all who venture into its pristine surroundings.

Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park:

Essential Information

– Address: 4150 S Suncoast Blvd, Homosassa, FL 34446
– Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM daily
– Fee: $13 for adults, $5 for children (6-12), free for children under 6
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Families, nature enthusiasts, wildlife lovers

Overview

Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park is a captivating destination in Citrus County, Florida, offering visitors a unique opportunity to experience the beauty of Florida’s native wildlife up close. The park is home to a variety of indigenous species, including manatees, alligators, and birds, making it a must-see for nature enthusiasts and families alike.

As you wander through the park’s lush surroundings, you’ll have the chance to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitats, providing a rare glimpse into the diverse ecosystem of the region. The park’s educational programs and informative exhibits also offer valuable insights into the importance of conservation and environmental stewardship, making it an ideal destination for those looking to learn more about Florida’s rich natural heritage.

Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat into nature or a fun-filled day out with the family, Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the wonders of the natural world.

Three Sisters Springs:

Essential Information

– Address: 123 NW Hwy 19, Crystal River, FL 34428
– Opening Hours: 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM daily
– Fee: $15 per person
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts

Overview

Three Sisters Springs in Citrus County, Florida, is a must-see destination for nature enthusiasts seeking a unique experience in the Sunshine State. The crystal-clear waters of the springs provide a serene setting where visitors can witness the beauty of Florida’s native manatees in their natural habitat. The springs are a haven for wildlife, offering a glimpse into the diverse ecosystem of the area.

Surrounded by lush vegetation and towering trees, Three Sisters Springs is a peaceful retreat where visitors can connect with nature and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings. Whether you’re looking to observe the gentle giants of the sea or simply unwind in a picturesque setting, Three Sisters Springs offers a one-of-a-kind experience that showcases the natural beauty of Florida’s landscape. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this hidden gem and witness the magic of Three Sisters Springs for yourself.

Fort Island Gulf Beach:

Essential Information

– Address: 16000 W Fort Island Trail, Crystal River, FL 34429
– Opening Hours: Daily from 8:00 AM to 7:30 PM
– Fee: Free admission
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Families, beach lovers, nature enthusiasts

Overview

Fort Island Gulf Beach in Citrus County, FL, is a hidden gem along the Gulf Coast that offers a serene escape for visitors seeking a relaxing day by the water. With its pristine white sands and crystal-clear waters, this beach is a perfect spot for sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing. The gentle waves make it ideal for families with children looking to splash around in the shallow waters.

One of the highlights of Fort Island Gulf Beach is its stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico, providing a picturesque backdrop for a leisurely stroll along the shoreline. Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the abundance of wildlife in the area, including seabirds and dolphins that can often be spotted frolicking in the surf.

Whether you’re looking to unwind on the beach, enjoy a picnic with loved ones, or simply soak in the natural beauty of the Florida coast, Fort Island Gulf Beach is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Citrus County. Plan a visit to this tranquil beach and experience the beauty of the Gulf Coast in a peaceful setting.

Withlacoochee State Trail:

Essential Information

– Address: Withlacoochee State Trail, Citrus County, FL
– Opening Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: Half-day to Full-day
– Ideal for: Outdoor enthusiasts, cyclists, hikers

Overview

Withlacoochee State Trail in Citrus County, FL, is a must-see destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a day of adventure immersed in nature. This expansive trail offers a picturesque escape for cyclists and hikers alike, winding through lush landscapes and providing a glimpse into Florida’s natural beauty. The trail’s flat terrain makes it ideal for all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned athletes looking for a leisurely ride or a challenging trek. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful solo journey or a fun-filled day out with family and friends, Withlacoochee State Trail promises a refreshing retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. So, pack your gear, hit the trail, and discover the beauty of Citrus County’s outdoor paradise.

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park:

Essential Information

– Address: 4150 S Suncoast Blvd, Homosassa, FL 34446
– Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM daily
– Fee: $13 for adults, $5 for children aged 6-12
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Families, nature enthusiasts

Overview

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park in Citrus County, FL, is a must-see destination for those seeking a unique wildlife experience. The park offers a glimpse into the diverse flora and fauna of Florida, with a focus on native species conservation. Visitors can observe manatees, alligators, and a variety of bird species in their natural habitat. The park’s educational programs and wildlife presentations provide valuable insights into the importance of environmental preservation and wildlife protection. Whether you’re a family looking for a fun day out or a nature enthusiast seeking to learn more about Florida’s ecosystems, Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park offers a memorable and educational experience.

Crystal River Archaeological State Park:

Essential Information

– Address: 3400 N Museum Point, Crystal River, FL 34428
– Opening Hours: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm daily
– Fee: $3 per vehicle
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts and nature lovers

Overview

Crystal River Archaeological State Park in Citrus County, Florida, offers a fascinating glimpse into the rich history of the region. The park is home to pre-Columbian Native American burial mounds dating back over 1,000 years, providing a unique opportunity to explore the ancient past of the area. Visitors can wander through the well-preserved archaeological site, marveling at the intricate burial mounds and gaining insight into the customs and traditions of the indigenous people who once inhabited the land.

In addition to its historical significance, Crystal River Archaeological State Park also boasts stunning natural surroundings, with lush greenery and scenic views of the Crystal River. Nature lovers will appreciate the peaceful ambiance of the park, making it an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll or a picnic amidst the tranquil surroundings. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, a visit to Crystal River Archaeological State Park is a must for anyone exploring the Citrus County area.

Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge:

Essential Information

– Address: Citrus County, FL
– Opening Hours: Daily from sunrise to sunset
– Fee: Free entry
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, bird watchers, outdoor enthusiasts

Overview

Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge in Citrus County, FL, is a must-see destination for nature enthusiasts seeking a serene escape. This expansive refuge offers a diverse ecosystem teeming with wildlife, making it a paradise for bird watchers and outdoor adventurers alike. With its lush marshes, pristine waterways, and dense forests, the refuge provides a tranquil setting for visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of Florida’s natural landscape.

The refuge is home to a wide variety of bird species, including herons, egrets, and ospreys, making it a prime spot for bird watching enthusiasts. Visitors can also explore the refuge’s network of hiking trails, offering opportunities to observe native flora and fauna up close. Whether you’re looking to unwind in nature or embark on a wildlife viewing adventure, Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge promises a memorable experience for all who venture into its peaceful surroundings.

Crystal River Preserve State Park:

Essential Information

– Address: 3266 N Sailboat Ave, Crystal River, FL 34428
– Opening Hours: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm daily
– Fee: $3 per vehicle
– Visit Duration: 2-4 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, bird watchers, outdoor enthusiasts

Overview

Crystal River Preserve State Park in Citrus County, Florida, offers a unique opportunity to explore the unspoiled beauty of Florida’s natural landscapes. With its diverse ecosystems, including marshes, swamps, and coastal habitats, the park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Visitors can enjoy hiking along scenic trails, birdwatching, kayaking, and even spotting manatees in the crystal-clear waters of the river.

The park’s extensive network of trails provides a chance to immerse yourself in the tranquility of the surroundings while observing the native flora and fauna. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat or an outdoor adventure, Crystal River Preserve State Park offers a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Don’t miss the chance to experience the natural wonders of this hidden gem in the heart of Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins State Historic Site:

Essential Information

– Address: 3400 N Museum Point, Homosassa, FL 34461
– Opening Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
– Fee: $3 per vehicle
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts, nature lovers

Overview

Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins State Historic Site in Citrus County, Florida, offers a fascinating glimpse into the region’s past. The site, once a thriving sugar plantation in the mid-19th century, now stands as a testament to Florida’s rich history. Visitors can explore the remnants of the sugar mill, including the towering limestone chimney and the iron gears that once powered the machinery. The site’s tranquil surroundings also make it a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or a picnic amidst the lush greenery.

Stepping into the Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins is like stepping back in time, allowing visitors to connect with Florida’s agricultural heritage. History buffs will appreciate the informative signage that provides insights into the site’s significance, while nature lovers can enjoy the peaceful ambiance and spot local wildlife. Whether you’re seeking a dose of history or simply a serene escape from the hustle and bustle, a visit to the Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins State Historic Site is a must for anyone exploring Citrus County.

Food and Cuisine

Key Lime Pie

Why is it so special:

Key Lime Pie is a beloved dessert that originated in Florida, known for its tangy and refreshing flavor. Made with key lime juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk in a graham cracker crust, this pie offers a perfect balance of sweet and tart flavors. It is a must-try for anyone visiting Citrus County, as it captures the essence of the region’s tropical vibes.

Where to Try It:

For an authentic Key Lime Pie experience, head to the historic Peck’s Old Port Cove in Crystal River. This local gem serves up a delicious version of the pie that will leave you craving for more. If you prefer a more upscale setting, visit Vintage on 5th in Crystal River, where you can enjoy a gourmet twist on this classic dessert.

Stone Crab Claws

Why is it so special:

Stone Crab Claws are a delicacy in Citrus County, known for their sweet and succulent meat. These claws are harvested sustainably, with only one claw taken from each crab to ensure their survival. The meat is tender and flavorful, making it a popular choice among seafood enthusiasts.

Where to Try It:

For a true taste of Citrus County’s seafood scene, visit the Crackers Bar & Grill in Crystal River. They serve up fresh Stone Crab Claws that are sure to impress even the most discerning palate. Another great spot to indulge in this dish is the Seafood Seller & Cafe in Homosassa, where you can enjoy a laid-back dining experience with a side of delicious Stone Crab Claws.

Gator Tail Bites

Why is it so special:

Gator Tail Bites are a unique dish that showcases the local flavors of Citrus County. This dish features tender pieces of alligator tail meat that are breaded and fried to perfection. The meat is mild and slightly sweet, with a texture similar to chicken or fish, making it a great introduction to exotic meats.

Where to Try It:

To sample some of the best Gator Tail Bites in Citrus County, head to the West 82 Bar & Grill in Crystal River. This restaurant offers a fun and lively atmosphere where you can enjoy this local

Events and Festivals

Manatee Festival

The Manatee Festival in Citrus County FL is a celebration of the gentle sea cows that inhabit the local waters. Visitors can enjoy boat tours to see manatees in their natural habitat, educational exhibits about manatee conservation, and arts and crafts vendors selling unique souvenirs. This family-friendly event is held annually in January and is a great way to learn more about these fascinating creatures.

Scalloping Season

Scalloping season in Citrus County FL is a popular event for both locals and tourists. From July to September, visitors can head out on a scalloping adventure in the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico. This fun activity involves snorkeling for scallops and enjoying the beautiful underwater scenery. After a day of scalloping, many local restaurants will even cook up your fresh catch for a delicious meal.

Crystal River Stone Crab Jam

The Crystal River Stone Crab Jam is a lively street festival that takes place in downtown Crystal River. This event celebrates the opening of stone crab season in October and features live music, delicious seafood vendors, arts and crafts booths, and a classic car show. Visitors can sample fresh stone crab claws, dance to live music, and browse unique handmade goods from local artisans. The Stone Crab Jam is a must-visit event for foodies and music lovers alike.

Interesting Facts

– Citrus County, FL is home to the only natural warm spring in North America, known as the Crystal River. This spring maintains a constant temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, making it a popular spot for manatees during the winter months.
– The county is renowned for its abundant population of scallops, attracting visitors for recreational scalloping during the summer season. This activity allows individuals to snorkel and collect scallops in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
– Citrus County boasts a rich history in the phosphate mining industry, with significant deposits found in the region. The industry has played a crucial role in the county’s economy and development over the years.

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