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.


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