Are your family and friends looking for a fun, outdoor-oriented adventure this summer? Then look no further than 10 Best Things to do in Crystal River, Florida!
Located along the beautiful Gulf of Mexico in Citrus County, the central-west part of the state is bursting with exciting activities perfect for all kinds of adventurers.
From the unique wildlife that inhabits these crystal clear waters to shopping or relaxing at Hunter Springs Park, there’s something special for everyone to enjoy.
Of course, if you’re up for an unforgettable experience, Crystal River is most famously known as the manatee capital of the world. Witness hundreds of these friendly mammals from kayaks and snorkels or even jump in and swim with them if you dare!
Don’t forget to take some amazing vacation photos; people won’t believe what a great time your family or friends had until they see it for themselves! So come on over to Crystal River this summer – its stunning beauty and epically awesome activities will guarantee you an unforgettable visit that you’ll be talking about year round!
Best Things to do in Crystal River
1. Swim With Manatees
With three different spots – Three Sister springs, King’s Bay, and Hunters Spring Park – you will be able to have the unique experience of swimming up close to these gentle giants.
Whether you go on a tour or venture out on your own, you’ll never forget the feel of serenely gliding alongside these fascinating creatures.
Whether you’re more comfortable taking in the sights from atop of a kayak or hearing their song as you swim side-by-side, this is one memory that will last a lifetime. So pack the swimsuits, snorkels, and flippers for an unforgettable family getaway!
And don’t forget a waterproof camera so you can document this incredible experience to share with all your friends and family back home.
So join us at Crystal River for our wonderful Swim With Manatees experience – it’s sure to bring joy and happiness that’ll stay with everyone long after you head back home. We can’t wait to make lasting memories with you!
2. Three Sisters Springs
Who said that getting out of the house has to be boring? Come join us at Three Sisters Springs and show your family and friends the beauty that this Floridian wildlife refuge has to offer.
Take a walk along one of the boardwalks or trails and chat with your loved ones with a gorgeous backdrop. But if you’re looking for something more adventurous, then we have just the thing!
Our clear bottom kayaks let you see everything that’s going on in King’s Bay—including the majestic Florida manatees.
That’s right: you can get up close and personal with these gentle sea giants from the comfort of your own boat! Just make sure to look over the rules for swimmers and boaters before you set out for an extra safe ride!
Three Sisters Springs won’t let you down—the perfect place for creating memories with your family and friends!
3. Hunter Springs Park
Escape to Hunter Springs Park, a slice of paradise right in the heart of Florida. With pristine white sand beaches, gorgeous turquoise waters and manatees to spot throughout the year, this magical park is sure to be a hit with budding adventurers from far and wide.
Bring your swimsuits and explore the crystal clear waters by swimming offshore or need speed? Take a kayak out for an exhilarating ride across peaceful waves.
Don’t fancy swimming? Many marvels can be seen just from wandering along the boardwalk – spotting birds or meeting friendly locals who flock here for its famed wildlife watching.
If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy lunch or dinner with family or friends take advantage of the picnic spots and share stories while watching the sun set into the horizon.
Don’t forget that even if it’s a little chilly outside, Hunter Springs Park will still have plenty of wild creatures basking in its warmer waters – manatees! Whatever season you visit, there’s always something new to discover at Hunter Springs Park!
4. Fort Island Gulf Beach
Fort Island Gulf Beach is the ultimate family fun day out! Located just 20 minutes’ drive away from downtown Crystal River, you’ll find this perfect piece of paradise.
Put on your sunnies and feel the sun on your shoulders as you stroll along its sandy beach – why not swing by and throw a Frisbee around or take some time to build a sandcastle?
If you’d like to get out of the sun for a bit, there is an incredibly lush grassy picnic area in the shade – with plenty of room for everyone it’s the perfect spot for lunch together.
If you’re up for some fishing, then make sure to bring along your tackle box and cast off at the picturesque pier! You’ll love making memories collecting treasures from the riverbanks or simply taking pleasure in watching nature go by.
For those looking for something more adventurous, rent a boat and explore the captivating waterside wildlife of both The Gulf of Mexico and Crystal River. So hop in the car today and head over to Fort Island Gulf Beach – where days can be spent creating lifetime family memories that will last forever!
5. Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge
Welcome to Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge – the only refuge in the US built exclusively for manatees! Our inviting visitors center in King’s Bay is the perfect place to start your journey and learn more about these gentle sea cows.
Then take a boat ride over to Three Sisters Springs, where you can walk on boardwalks, wander trails and observe some of nature’s most magnificent creatures.
But that’s not all – this refuge is home to an incredible array of wildlife! Spot eagles soaring above and wood storks soaring along the marshy seascapes, or bring your binoculars and get a close look at some of the birds that inhabit this unique habitat.
With such a wonderful variety of creatures, there’s sure to be something for everyone here – whether you take a boat ride or go for a dip with the friendly manatees!
So come join us at Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge for an unforgettable experience! Bring your friends and family to explore this wondrous place and discover why it’s become so celebrated around the world.
6. Heritage Village
The Heritage Village, 21-acre open-air living history museum in Largo, Florida, features 30 historic structures nestled in a pine and palmetto forest. Some nearing the century mark, the village contains a school, church, warehouse, firehouse, railroad depot, general store and a pleasant mix of historic homes. This 1915 store originally stood on the southeast corner of 6th Avenue and 5th Street South in St.Petersburg where it served as a grocery and meat market. The vintage 1930s Ford woody adds a fitting touch of nostalgia to this scene.
Heritage Village in the downtown of Crystal River is an absolute must-visit! It’s the perfect place to getaway and stroll among all the beautiful shops.
Whether you’re looking for unique gifts, some snacks, or even a delicious meal, Heritage Village has everything you need. Plus, it’s a great place to treat your family and friends with some quality time in this beautiful environment.
Did you know that Heritage Village started back in the early 1800s with the first building, called The Heritage House? This sure looks quite different now compared to what it used to be like centuries ago.
You can still look around and feel that warmth many locals love so much about it. No wonder there are many Instagram worthy spots here – it’s just breathtaking!
Discover why everyone is so crazy about Heritage Village – come over and experience its charm yourself!
7. Go Scalloping
Do you want to create a summer holiday that’s as unique and memorable as Crystal River itself? If so, Go Scalloping is the perfect way to show your family and friends a fantastic time!
Every July through September, you can join us for an exciting scalloping adventure in the heart of nature.
With our experienced local tour guide leading the way two to three miles off shore, you’ll be able to collect all the delicious scallops that call this part of Florida their home.
And after all the fun of combing through the waters, you can head over to one of the local restaurants and get your freshly caught scallops cooked just the way you like them – even better when enjoyed with good company!
Join us today at Go Scalloping and experience a happy, unforgettable summer adventure with your family and friends!
8. Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
Looking for a place to get away with your family and friends? Look no further than the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge!
This incredible slice of nature is sure to take your breath away, as you explore all this stunning natural habitat has to offer.
This refuge is a dream come true for adventurous types. Not only does it have many habitats existing within its borders, it’s also full of wildlife eager to show you around. Expect to see manatees, aquatic species and even native species in abundance!
The possibilities are endless at this unique spot. You can access the park land via Salt Marsh Trail off Mason Creek Road, where there are plenty of beautiful hiking trails to explore and a two story tower from which you can watch wildlife.
Or if you prefer aquatic adventures, why not take a kayak tour around the refuge – there’s lots to discover when you get out onto the water!
So whether you’re bringing your family for an amazing natural experience, or pooling together friends for some outdoor fun – Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge has something for everyone, making sure that every visit is happy and unforgettable.
9. Crystal River Archaeological State Park
If you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure this season, look no further than Crystal River Archaeological State Park!
Located in Florida, this ancient area is brimming with potential for memories that will last a lifetime. This park isn’t just home to beautiful scenery, but it’s also rich with the past – Native American burial mounds, abandoned temples and platform mounds are just some of the historical attractions available.
It was even used as a ceremonial site by local indigenous communities. While here, you can stand atop one of the temple mounds and learn more about the powerful history that once resided on these very grounds.
When visiting Crystal River Archaeological State Park be sure to explore the renowned museum drenched in archaeological details and also take in stunning views of its wonderful coastal marshland.
Year round it serves as home to a diverse array of birds which make up part of the Great Florida Birding Trail – so keep your eyes peeled! Best of all, families and friends can join together for an unforgettable outing filled with exploration and discovery!
Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to expand your knowledge and have fun – head over to Crystal River Archaeological State Park today!
10. Coastal Heritage Museum
Are you ready to be transported back in time? Tourists and residents alike can explore the history of Citrus County by visiting the Coastal Heritage Museum, located inside the beautiful old City Hall in Crystal River.
Our cheerful museum offers countless artifacts to uncover and stories to learn all presented with vibrant colors and through interesting anecdotes that will keep your family engaged!
Inside, you’ll find unique furniture pieces, antiques, and photos that tell a captivating story. Plus, there’s an added bonus – our charming stone cottage exterior provides an instant sense of nostalgia as soon as you walk up to the front steps!
When visiting Crystal River, we know it’s easy to get lost in all the activities available – so take some time out for yourself, your family, or your friends at the Coastal Heritage Museum!
We guarantee you’ll learn something interesting about this beautiful city’s history that you never knew before.
11. Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park is the ideal day out for families and wildlife enthusiasts! Located just 15 minutes away from Crystal River, visitors can explore the park’s vast sanctuary filled with rescued animals living in their natural habitats.
Home to pink flamingos, swimming manatees, impressive panthers and cougars, otters, bright fish and freaky reptiles – there’s enough to keep everyone entertained for an entire afternoon. And of course, the one-and-only Lu, a hippopotamus who is the only non-native species at the park.
Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park isn’t like other zoos as none of the animals are kept behind bars or locked up in cages; rather they are here as part of a rehabilitation effort with the hopes that one day they will be able to return home.
By taking a leisurely stroll down a series of paved pathways you can get up close and personal with all kinds of amazing creatures – making it one unique experience that will ensure lasting memories!