The city of Crystal River, Florida with its stunningly clear spring fed river and abundance of wildlife is a nature lover’s dream travel destination. Every year thousands of manatees flock to the warm clear springs in Crystal River during the colder winter months. Watching and even swimming with manatees in their wild habitat is a unique sightseeing experience that should not be missed on any trip to Florida.
The city of Crystal River has a variety of privately run manatee tour companies that will not only take you to the springs where the manatees are located, they will also provide you with all of the equipment necessary for snorkeling with these gentle giants. If you are looking for a more private encounter with a manatee, there are also plenty of locally owned boat rental companies that will rent you a boat or kayak that will allow you to explore Crystal River at your own pace. This article lists the best places to see manatees in Crystal River, Florida.
During the summer months the springs of Crystal River keep the water cool allowing tourists and locals alike the chance to outwit Florida’s notoriously hot summer sun. Summer is the perfect season for jet skiing, scuba diving, or just relaxing on an inner tube on the river.
A great place to snorkel and swim in the river without having to rent a boat is Hunter’s Springs. This small park has picnic and bathroom facilities and of course, easy access to two fresh water springs. That are close enough to land for snorkeling and exploring.
Fort Island Trail beach is the only public salt water beach in Crystal River, Florida. This beach has bathroom and picnic facilities as well as a boardwalk that winds in between a small salt water marsh forest out to a fishing pier. This beach has the best sunset views in Crystal River, Florida.
Crystal River, Florida is also home to many excellent seafood restaurants. Charlie’s Fish House on US Highway 19 has been a local favorite for many years because of their fresh and delicious seafood selections. Right next door to Charlie’s Fish House is Cracker’s Bar and Grill, this other local favorite has a waterfront tiki bar and plenty of food for seafood and land lubbers alike. Both restaurants have a beautiful waterfront view.
Crystal River also has a plenty of shopping opportunities, besides the mall there is a cute downtown area with plenty of locally owned shops. The Manatee gift shop is a most shop store for every visitor to Crystal River, Florida.
Crystal River is also home to the Plantation Inn Golf Resort and, which is almost as famous for its golf course as it is for it’s waterfront location. This resort is located on Fort Island Trail. If you are looking for a better waterfront view, the Port Hotel And Marina has the best view or the Crystal River, though the rooms are not as updated as the Plantation Inn’s rooms. Both hotels have tiki bars, restaurants, and marinas with boat rentals.
The next time you head to Florida, make sure to include Crystal River on your list of must see places. Crystal River is the perfect travel destination for anyone who wants to enjoy the real Florida.
Important Addresses and Phone Numbers:
Plantation Inn Golf Resort and Spa, 9301 W Fort Island TRL, Crystal River, FL 34429. Phone: 352-795-4211
The Port Hotel And Marina, SE 1610 Paradise Circle, Crystal River, FL 34429. Phone: 352-795-3111
Charlie’s Fish House, 224 NW Us Highway 19, Crystal River, FL 34428. Phone: (352) 795-3949
Cracker’s Bar and Grill, 502 NW 6th St Crystal River, FL 34428. Phone: (352) 795-3999