Crystal River, Florida

Known for its river that bears the same name and the manatees that make the river their home much of the year, Crystal River, Florida is a peaceful town on the Florida Nature Coast. Tampa is located just about 90 miles to the southeast. Natural and recreation areas found around the river and the coast, and the area has resorts and lovely golf courses as well as a good variety of restaurants. Crystal River frequently receives visitors who enjoy a quiet coastal resort, who are interested in fishing and who want to see or even swim with the manatees.

Crystal River FloridaA small city, the area on which the town stands covers less than 7 miles and the population is approximately 4,000. Still, some people of note have called Crystal River their home such as the baseball players Mike Hampton who went to high school in the town and Ted Williams who lived in the town before he died.

Then before recorded history, indigenous people came to the natural springs of Crystal River. Mounds of past civilizations are found along the river and at what now is the State Archaeological Site, where the public can see what has been found of ancient peoples. Evidences point to cultures dating as far back as 500 BC.

Today, the river is one of Crystal River's most popular attractions. Fed by up to 50 area springs, this winding stream flows for six miles before emptying into Kings Bay that opens into the Gulf of Mexico. Florida native wildlife lives along and in the river like otter, birds and deer as well as alligators, crocodiles and numerous fish. Then, the West Indian Manatee is a large sea creature. Up to around 400 manatees make Crystal River their winter home because they prefer the warmer springs, river and bay to the cooler temperatures of the Gulf of Mexico. In this region, the public can legally get close to these gentle giants in their natural habitat.

Besides wildlife watching and fishing, Crystal River has much to offer visitors. The climate is subtropical with temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit from March to November. Naturally, the water is a good way to cool off. Kayaking, hiking and golfing are other outdoor activities. Naber Kids Doll Factory is fun to tour. Of course, having a relaxing day on the beach and a barbecue are also excellent for enjoying the best of Crystal River.


Florida’s Sun Coast

Florida’s Sun Coast lies on the Gulf of Mexico where there are countless things to see and do. Do you like to visit historical places? Are you looking for entertainment or a good beach? You can find all of this and more on the Sun Coast.

For a fun time visit Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay. The biggest inverted roller coaster in the world calls that amusement park home. The Florida and Clearwater Marine Aquariums will give you fascinating insights into the eco-systems in the area. The Lowry Park Zoo features eight different habitats with animals from around the world. With advance notice, they will accommodate folks with special needs.
Clearwater Beach, Sun Coast Florida
People who live on the Sun Coast claim that the sun shines 361 days a year there. If you do hit one of those rainy days, the Tampa Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) has something for everyone. Numerous exhibits allow for hands on exploration. In nearby St. Petersburg you can visit the Florida International Museum that hosts treasures from around the world. If you have time, you might like to visit the Salvador Dali Museum and browse the large collection of Dali’s paintings.

The Sarasota beaches are exceptional but once you’ve had your daily dose of vitamin D there are many other things to keep you entertained. The Sarasota Classic Car Museum is home to over 100 vintage and classic automobiles. If you are a gamer, Livingston’s Amusement Center has a variety of ways for you to indulge yourself. The video and arcade games are kept updated, and they have pool tables and go-karts. Circus enthusiasts may enjoy an afternoon at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus located near Sarasota. Do you need some quiet time alone? Consider a visit to the St. Boniface Labyrinth where you can walk and meditate.


If you are heading further north along the coast, plan to spend some quality time at Tarpon Springs. This village was settled by Greek sponge divers. Visit the free sponge diving museum, and take a ride one of the boats. Stroll around this charming town and then head for a restaurant where you can sample Greek food and sweets. Twenty-five miles further north you can see the famed mermaids at Weeki Wachee, and play at the Buccaneer Bay Water Park.

Florida’s Sun Coast has something for everyone. Come and see. Accommodations of all kinds are available.



Anna Marie Island, Florida

Ana Marie Island, Florida is an idyllic barrier island, and it is situated along the Gulf of Mexico and the mouth of Tampa Bay along Florida's west coast. If you are looking for old Florida charm where you can walk barefoot along white sandy beaches boarded by the turquoise waters of the gulf, then Anna Marie Island is the place for you. White sand beaches all are scattered across the seven-mile-long Ana Marie Island, basking in temperate weather that is capable of giving every skin tone a perfect tan. Annually, the average temperature here is 74.8 degrees during the day and 70 degrees during the night.

City Pier and Gulf of Mexico, Anna Marie Island, FloridaThus, every day is a terrific day to go fishing or swimming with sea turtles at either the Coquina Beach, Manatee Beach, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, Cortez Beach or the Anna Marie Beach. What is more, every moment is terrific for dining at the fancy restaurants here. They all, for the most part, have a diverse menu of mouth-watering entrees from French to German, British, Italian, Oriental, Spanish and Southern Florida seafood.

For centuries, Ana Marie Island has lured in hundreds of tourists, not just because of its beaches and dining scene but because of its illustrious landmarks and long history:

Originally, Ana Marie Island could only be reached by boat, and it was the land where a number of Indian tribes resided and hunted, namely the Timucuan tribe. In the early 1500's, Ponce De Leon came upon this land and attempted to colonize it, but he was kept from doing so by the Indians, who shot and killed him in 1521.

Moving from Connecticut, George Emerson Bean made this island his home, becoming the first permanent resident in May 1894. Mr. Bean settled on the northern end of the island, which is now called Bean Point, and began to build sidewalks, houses, streets and a water system. Most of his handy work makes up the city of Anna Marie, which has a populace of approximately 1,814. This city also has a wide variety of wildlife and fair-priced homes and vacation rentals.

Industrial wise, Charles Martin Roser was one of the pioneers who developed this island. His competence, combined with his high-profile status, was enough to turn this island into what it is today: A historic paradise that has a treasure trove of wonderful sites–Ana Marie Island Historical Museum, Bean Point, the Rose Memorial Community Church and many more.


Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida. is one of Florida's fastest growing cities. It is located on the Gulf of Mexico in Hillsborough County. Tampa is well-known for its sunny weather and beautiful beaches. It is also well-known as a popular vacation destination that attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists each year.

Tamps residents can trace their city's modern history to 1824 when the United States Army established Fort Brooke at the mouth of the Hillsborough River. The town's first growth spurt occurred in the 1880s when cigar manufacturers used Tampa's first railroad links to expand the city's economy. Many relics that highlight Tampa's early growth and development can be found in museums located near Tampa's Channel District.
Skyline Tampa Florida
Tampa is now a vibrant city that is home to nearly 336,000 people. These people live in diverse neighborhoods that are located near many popular tourist attractions. For example, many people live near Lowry Park Zoo and Busch Gardens. Moreover, many sports fans live near Raymond James Stadium where the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers battle NFC South opponents each year.

Tampa's public transportation system features five streetcar routes and over 30 bus routes. It is operated by the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority. Many visitors use Tampa's public transportation system to travel to destinations including the Tampa Bay Hotel, the Florida State Fairgrounds and the Tampa Convention Center.

Tampa has a warm and humid climate that is known to produce many thunderstorms during the summer. This climate does not stop visitors from visiting local landmarks such as the Sulphur Springs Water Tower, Ybor City District and Babe Zaharias Golf Course.

Tampa's economy is highly diversified. Its main components include real estate services, tourism, shipping services, retail and financial services. Another major component is the contribution made by MacDill Air Force Base. Visitors may visit museums located in downtown Tampa that celebrate the contributions made by Tampa's economic leaders.

Tampa's main transportation hubs include the Port of Tampa, I-4, I-75, I-275 and I-375. Other transportation hubs include Tampa International Airport and the Gandy Bridge. Visitors may use these transportation hubs to visit museums, stores and landmarks located across the city.