Crystal River, Florida

According to, Crystal River is an ideal place for a day trip on a Florida tour or fly drive Florida . Due to its location on Florida’s ‘Nature Coast’, this town has a pleasant temperature of 22 °C all year round. The real draw of this area, however, is the manatee. That may sound a bit boring, but it is absolutely not! These so-called ‘manatees’ (Dutch: manatee, family of the manatee) migrate from the Gulf of Mexico to the freshwater sources on the west coast of Florida during the winter months . The area is also suitable for snorkeling, boat trips, fishing and swimming with the manatees. So if you like nature and tranquility, Crystal River is a nice trip that you should definitely take!

Top 5 sights in Crystal River

There are several organizations in the region that offer snorkeling trips with the manatees. But if you prefer not to enter the water, you can also view them from a boat. There are also several state parks in the area where you can enjoy walking and cycling, but you can also learn about the history of the former residents of Florida. Below you can read about the most famous sights of Crystal River.

1. Swimming with manatees

The absolute highlight of Crystal River: swimming with manatees. There are many organizations in the region that offer tours in the springs. Manatees live year round in Three Sisters Springs. You can enter this area on your own initiative with a kayak for a small price, but you can also choose to do a snorkeling tour. You will then go in search of the manatees with a guide in a wetsuit. The manatees are generally very friendly and sometimes swim up to you. If you prefer not to snorkel, you can also view manatees, rays and turtles from a boat. In winter you will spot the most manatees; in the summer the chance of seeing them decreases considerably. Keep this in mind!

2. Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Do you still want to see a manatee up close, but preferably without snorkeling? Then you should visit Homosassa State Park. In the so-called ‘Fish Bowl’ you can admire the manatees behind glass, but at the same time under water. Because the manatees are not shy, they often swim to the glass. You can also book a boat trip if you want. You can also spot various wildlife, including foxes, river otters and alligators, via Wildlife Walk, a boardwalk through the park. Bird lovers can indulge themselves in this park. On Pepper Creek Birding Trail you can discover all kinds of different species of exotic birds.

3. Crystal River Preserve State Park

The Crystal River Preserve State Park is one of the area’s gems. In this park you will find small islands, pristine forests and clear lakes. Because of this unspoilt nature, the park is very popular among (nature) photographers and that is not surprising: the surroundings are beautiful. In this park you can go cycling and canoeing, but there is also eleven kilometers of hiking trails that can be discovered on foot. Boat trips (possibly at sunset!) are also organized. In Mullet Hole you can fish well, but be aware that you need a permit in some places.

4. Crystal River Archaeological State Park

At Crystal River Archeological State Park, you can learn about Florida’s history while enjoying nature at the same time. This area used to be a kind of ‘pilgrimage site’ for Native Americans. Every year 7,000 Native Americans come here to visit this important place. You can also learn more about it yourself in the museum in the park. But if you’ve come for the action, you’re in the right place too. You can join a boat trip or go fishing. During your walk you will probably encounter all kinds of different exotic birds.

5. Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park

Want to experience the real South and learn about Florida history at the same time? Then visit Yulee Sugar Mills State Park. This park used to be a sugar plantation owned by David Levy Yulee and about 1,000 slaves worked here. The remains of the plantation can still be seen here. There is still a limestone chimney, a sugar cane press and a sugar mill. The mill was used to supply the Civil War troops with sugar products. You can also hike and picnic in the park. Dogs are also allowed in the park, provided they are kept on a lead.

Frequently Asked Questions about Crystal River

What are the top attractions in Crystal River?

Crystal River is best known for swimming with the manatees. You can snorkel with them, but if you prefer to stay dry, you can also watch them from a boat.

What are the best outdoor activities in Crystal River?

In addition to swimming with the manatees, there are plenty of state parks nearby where you can hike, bird watch and kayak to your heart’s content.

What are the most popular activities for kids in Crystal River?

Swimming with the manatees is also ideal for children. But you can also go kayaking with children in one of the parks.

What are the best day trips from Crystal River?

You can take a trip to one of the parks, where you can easily spend a whole day. And of course you can book a boat or snorkeling trip with various organizations.

Crystal River, Florida