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CRYSTAL RIVER HOMOSASSA INVERNESS FLORAL CITY

discovercrystalriverfl.com


Something New Is Coming to Cit rus County

2 Acres

of Indoor Enterntainment Opening 2020!

AXE THROWING

ROCK CLIMBING

ARCADE

JustAmuseMe.com Located in the Crystal River Mall


Our Specialty! Join us to swim with manatees for the experience of a lifetime! Tours Daily/Year Round

July to September Small group tours available or private tours for groups up to 14 on one boat!

More Friends, More Fun! Special Requests welcome. Group rates available! Call for special pricing.

The downtown visitor center in the heart of historic Crystal River Offering Manatee Swim Tours, Scallop Charters, Dolphin Watching Tours, Eco Boat Cruises, and Sunset Tours

Explorida offers something fun for everyone!

Manatee Gift Shop

Local Art

Local Honey

Handmade Gifts

W W W. E X P L O R I D A . C O M 1-352-423-3798

545 N. CITRUS AVENUE CRYSTAL RIVER, FL 34428

EXPLORIDA_ADVENTURES

EXPLORIDAADVENTURES


Discover Crystal River Florida on Instagram! Tag your posts with #DiscoverCR!

Discover Crystal River Florida Online? Follow us on Instagram: @DiscoverCrystalRiver Already here? Visit our Welcome Center: 915 N Suncoast Blvd., Crystal River, FL 34429


CONTENTS FEATURING 20

Guardian Guides When you swim with manatees it changes your life. No one knows that better than the people who swim with manatees every day.

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Magnificent Manatees

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It was considered a long-shot when native eel grass restoration began on Crystal River’s Kings Bay in 2015 but the project is yielding spectacular results.

352.794.5506

The Return Of The Native

7 C R Y S TA L R I V E R . H O M O S A S S A . I N V E R N E S S . F L O R A L C I T Y

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D I S C O V E R C R Y S TA L R I V E R F L . C O M

Manatees are mammals just like us but different too. Discover what characteristics make them perfectly adapted to living in water.


SECTIONS City Guide CITY GUIDE

10

Discover the Difference

CITRUS COUNTY VISITORS & CONVENTION BUREAU

Randy Oliver

MAP OF CITRUS COUNTY

14

Florida’s Citrus County

Accomodations 16

40 50

Water Adventures C AT C H YO U R O W N S C A L L O P S

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In Search Of Succulent Treasure FISHING GUIDE

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The Bond You Make

County Administrator

John Pricher

Miles Saunders

Director

Media & Content Manager

Terry Natwick

Veronica Kampschroer

Sales & Marketing Manager

Industry Relations Specialist

Rachel Ford

Nan Fisher

Visitor Services

EDITORIAL

Miles Saunders Managing Editor

____

ADVERTISING

Terry Natwick Sales Manager

____

A I R B O AT A D V E N T U R E S

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Path Of The Sun PA D D L E B OA R D S

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Life On The Level

Senior Secretary

____

CONTRIBUTORS

Veronica Kampschroer Ronnie Green Nancy Moreland

Carly Zervis Miles Saunders Dave Daubert

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Land Adventures 2020 OFFICIAL VISITORS GUIDE

PA R K S A N D P R E S E R V E S

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Gulf To Lakes S TAT E PA R K S

56

Wonders From The Wild LET’S GO FOR A HIKE

60

6 Trails To Travel C YC L I N G C I T R U S CO U N T Y

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Happy Trails

PHOTOGRAPHY

Ursula Casutt von Batemberg cvb-photography.com

Carol Grant

Manny Prades

oceangrant.com

Pryme Production

Matt Marriott

Shane Reynolds

Matt Marriott Photography

Color Earth Production

Jeremiah Johnson

Romona Robbins

Crystal River Photography

Romona Robbins Photography

Charli Moore wanderlusters.com

Miles Saunders Discover Crystal River Florida

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DESIGN/PRODUCTION

GOLF COURSES

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All Terrain Florida M OTO R C YC L I N G

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The Long And Winding Road

Food and Wine

8 D I S C O V E R C R Y S TA L R I V E R F L O R I D A

HOMOSASSA LIVE!

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76

Rhythm Of The River

108 5TH ST. LEESBURG, FL 34748 akersmediagroup.com 352.787.4112

Kendra Akers

DOWNTOWN INVERNESS

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Worth The Journey

Calendar of Events 84

Publisher

Doug Akers

James Combs

President

Staff Editor

Jason Fugate

Volkan Ulgen

Creative Director

Designer

Chris Gerbasi

Megan Mericle

Managing Editor

Designer

Theresa Campbell

Michael Gaulin

Staff Editor

Designer

Discover Crystal River Florida 2020. Published annually by the Citrus County Visitors and Convention Bureau, 915 N. Suncoast Blvd., Crystal River, FL 34429. All editorial contents copyright 2018 by the Citrus County Visitors and Convention Bureau. All rights reserved. Discover Crystal River Florida is a registered trademark of the Citrus County Visitors and Convention Bureau. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. For back issues or billing information, call 352.794.5506. Return postage must accompany all unsolicited manuscripts and artwork if they are to be returned. Manuscripts are welcomed, but no responsibility can be assumed for unsolicited materials. Publisher is not responsible for claims or contents of advertisements. The ideas and opinions contained in this publication do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of the Citrus County Visitors and Convention Bureau.


C I T Y

G U I D E

Discover the Difference Florida’s Citrus County is hardly undiscovered. It’s the Manatee Capital of the World after all. It is nonetheless, a part of Florida uniquely set apart.

Homosassa

2020 OFFICIAL VISITORS GUIDE

G U L F COA ST O R I G I N A L

The River defines all in Homosassa. From its headsprings at Blue Waters and Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park to Monkey Island, Hells Gate and the path to the open waters of the Gulf, every bend yields another experience of original Florida. Fishing boats, the smell of food and the sound of music are ever present in this watery land of tiki bars and the fresh bounty of the Gulf of Mexico.

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Homosassa River & Monkey Island

Lu the Hippo


Crystal River B AY S I D E B E A U T Y

Kings Bay is the defining feature of the City of Crystal River. The Bay’s seventy springs—including majestic Three Sisters Springs—make this the perfect oasis for the Florida manatee and people from all over the world. A small town of only 3500, it’s Florida without the hassle; a place where you can move about town just as easily on foot or by bike, paddleboard, or boat. The pace is easy; so is the fun.

Kings Bay

Floral City

Avenue of the Oaks

MEMORY IN MOTION

Floral City is both majestic and memorable. A classic Florida small town defined by the Avenue of the Oaks, its Nationally Registered Historic District is both walkable and bikeable from the Withlacoochee State Trail. With an eclectic mix of shops, classic American diners and the beloved Ferris Groves Classic Florida Fruit Stand, Floral City serves up fresh wonders old and new daily.

Ferris Groves Fruit Stand

Inverness LIFE ON THE LAKES

Inverness is called Florida’s Small Town Done Right. Small is a relative term, though, since it’s Citrus County’s largest city and has a reputation for thinking big. The new Depot District, set along the shores of scenic Tsala Apopka Chain of Lakes and the 46-mile-long Withlacoochee State Trail, makes Inverness the undisputed center of a cycling universe. Its historic downtown of shops, restaurants, pubs and coffeehouses are right off the trail on the city’s Bicycle Boulevard.

Depot District

Old Courthouse Square


2020 OFFICIAL VISITORS GUIDE

CITRUS

MUSTCOUNTY S EVENSTEE IN 2020 S !

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JANUARY 18 & 19 • 2020

$5 PER PERSON, 12 AND UNDER FREE FREE SHUTTLE FROM CRYSTAL RIVER MALL FREE THREE SISTERS SPRINGS TOURS FINE ART / CRAFT • LIVE ENTERTAINMENT MANATEE BOAT TOURS FOOD • BEER AND WINE GARDENS CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES & MORE!

For complete details visit:

www.GoManateeFest.com

MARCH 7 & 8 • 2020

$5 PER PERSON, 12 AND UNDER FREE FREE SHUTTLE FROM CITRUS CO. AUDITORIUM ARTS & CRAFTS • STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT • BEER AND WINE GARDEN PIE EATING CONTESTS • CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES STRAWBERRY PRINCESS PAGEANT & MORE!

For complete details visit:

CitrusCountyChamber.com

www.GoStrawberryFest.com


100%

Caju

n, Ba

A little bit of New Orleans right here in Crystal River!

by!

We serve authentic Cajun cuisine and seafood that is fresh from our boats. Full bar, awesome food and amazing desserts, where everything is made with love!

Seafood Seller & Cafe

NB A C : ING

E

Awesome Restaurant & Full Liquor Bar Super Fresh Seafood Market Gluten-Free Menu Amazing Platters Gift Certificates Available

G N I T C I ADD

!

352-228-4936

Visit us on Facebook

www.seafoodsellerandcafe.net

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Located in Kings Bay Plaza 300 S.E. US Hwy. 19 Crystal River, FL 34429

.794.5506

Friday - Saturday: 11am - 10pm Sunday: 11am - 8pm • Monday: Closed

D I S C O V E R C R Y S TA L R I V E R F L . C O M

WA R NTuesday - Thursday: 11am - 9pm


D I S C O V E R C R Y S TA L R I V E R F L O R I D A

14 2020 OFFICIAL VISITORS GUIDE


FLORIDA’S CITRUS COUNTY Discover an intricate landscape of land and water filled with welcoming small towns and the wonder of natural Florida.

KEY

Bike

Camp

Horse

Swim

Bird

Fish

Manatee

Boat

Hike

Paddle

Great Florida Birding Trail

DRIVE TIMES TAMPA: 1 hour, 15 minutes ORLANDO: 1 hour, 45 minutes MIAMI: 5 hours

ORLANDO

TAMPA

MIAMI


Accommodations 5 Plantation on

CRYSTAL RIVER

Crystal River

9301 W Fort Island Trail Crystal River, FL 34429

(352) 795-4211 plantationoncrystalriver.com

B E D & B R E A K FA S T S :

6 Port Hotel & Marina

1 Crystal Blue Lagoon

1610 SE Paradise Circle Crystal River, FL 34429

244 NE 2nd Court Crystal River, FL 34429

(352) 795-3111 porthotelandmarina.com

(352) 220-1488 crystalbluelagoonbb.com

Quality Inn

(352) 447-5333 bigoaksriverresort.com

P R I VA T E R E N T A L S :

8 Sunshine Lodge

9161 E Devil’s Neck Rd Floral City, FL 34436

Encore Crystal Isles RV Resort

(352) 344-1025 sunshinelodgefl.com

11419 W Fort Island Trail Crystal River, FL 34429

RV CAMPGROUNDS:

Tents Allowed

(352) 563-1500 choicehotels.com/quality-inn

Gulf Coast RV Resort

(352) 726-2553

P R I VA T E R E N T A L S :

(352) 447-2900 gulfcoastrvfl.com

Trails End RV Park

Action Rental

Lake Rousseau RV & Fishing Resort

(407) 234-5587 rvparkfl.com

(352) 586-1813

(352) 795-7368 citruscountyhomerentals.com/ seasonal-short-term-listings

10811 N Coveview Ter Crystal River, FL 34428

Crystal River Motel

Century 21 Nature Coast

614 NW Hwy 19 Crystal River, FL 34428 (352) 795-3171 bestwestern.com

Crystal Manatee Suites 310 N Citrus Ave Crystal River, FL 34428

2020 OFFICIAL VISITORS GUIDE

14035 W River Rd Inglis, FL 34449

Moonrise Resort

4486 N Suncoast Blvd Crystal River, FL 34428

Best Western Crystal River Resort

1151 US Hwy 19 Crystal River, FL 34428

417 NE 2nd St Crystal River, FL 34429

825 NE Hwy 19 Crystal River, FL 34429

(352) 794-6185

Days Inn

(352) 795-0021 c21naturecoast.com/vacation-rentals.php

(352) 795-2111 visitcrystalriver.com

Coldwell Banker Next Generation Realty

2380 NW US Hwy 19 Crystal River, FL 34428

531 N Citrus Ave Crystal River, FL 34428

Econo Lodge

(352) 794-6100 coldwellbankernextgeneration. com/property-type/rentals

2575 NW US Hwy 19 Crystal River, FL 34428 (352) 795-9447 econolodge.com

Ensing Properties

36-49 NE 4th St Crystal River, FL 34429

2 Hampton Inn

1103 N Suncoast Blvd Crystal River, FL 34429

(352) 795-1795 ensingproperties.com

(352) 564-6464 crystalriver.hamptoninn.com

4 Kings Bay Lodge

B E D & B R E A K FA S T S :

10173 N Suncoast Blvd Crystal River, FL 34428

Chassahowitzka Hotel

(352) 447-5820 naturecoastlandingsrvresort.com

8551 W Miss Maggie Dr Homosassa, FL 34448 (877) 807-7783 chazhotel.com

Quail Roost RV Campground

Chaz Lodge

9835 N Citrus Ave Crystal River, FL 34428

Accessible by water only Homosassa, FL 34448

(352) 563-0404 quailroostrvpark.com

(813) 310-2521 chazlodge.com

7 Rock Crusher

Canyon RV Park

237 S Rock Crusher Rd Crystal River, FL 34429 (352) 564-9350 rockcrusherrvpark.com

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(352) 795-2850 kingsbaylodge.com

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5 2

HOMOSASSA

Nature Coast Landings

3

506 NW 1st Ave Crystal River, FL 34428

12900 E Trails End Rd Floral City, FL 34436

(352) 795-6336 lakerousseaurvpark.com

(352) 795-0782 plantationrentals.com

(352) 563-1111 hiexpress.com/crystalriverfl

moonriseresort.com

Tents Allowed

1250 N Country Club Dr Crystal River, FL 34429

1203 NE 5th St Crystal River, FL 34429

8801 E Moonrise Ln Floral City, FL 34436

13790 W Foss Grove Path Inglis, FL 34449

Plantation Rentals

3 Holiday Inn Express D I S C O V E R C R Y S TA L R I V E R F L O R I D A

Big Oaks River Resort

(352) 795-3774 rvonthego.com/crystal-isle.html

HOTELS / MOTELS:

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FLORAL CITY

RV CAMPGROUNDS:


HOTELS / MOTELS:

Bella Oasis Hotel

4076 S Suncoast Blvd Homosassa, FL 34446 (352) 628-4311 bellaoasis.com

Bell Villa

TradeWinds Homosassa Marine Resort 4849 S Amstel Dr Homosassa, FL 34448

(352) 287-1326 tradewinds-homosassa.com

Camp ’N’ Water Outdoor Resort

Homosassa Riverside Resort

(352) 628-2000 campnwater.com

5297 S Cherokee Way Homosassa, FL 34448

11465 W Priest Ln Homosassa, FL 34448

MacRae’s of Homosassa

(352) 628-4441

Three Rivers Motel

4891 S Suncoast Blvd Homosassa, FL 34446 (352) 628-6629

P R I VAT E R E N TA L S :

6400 S Mason Creek Rd Homosassa, FL 34448

Chassahowitzka River Campground Tents Allowed

8600 W Miss Maggie Dr Homosasa, FL 34448 (352) 382-2200 chassahowitzkaflorida.com

Chassahowitzka River Lodge & Campground

All Citrus Rentals

8501 W Miss Maggie Dr Homosassa, FL 34448

(352) 503-2050 allcitrusrentals.com

Chassa Oaks RV Resort

Homosassa River Rentals

(352) 628-0900 chassaoaksrvresort.com

8375 S Suncoast Blvd Homosassa, FL 34446

5366 S Cherokee Way Homosassa, FL 34448

(352) 628-5600 homosassariverrentals.com

Last Resort

10738 W Halls River Rd Homosassa, FL 34448

(352) 628-7117 facebook.com/thelastresort

9 Seagrass

Waterfront Resort

10386 W Halls River Rd Homosassa, FL 34448 (352) 503-6808 seagrassresort.com

(352) 628-9544 naturesresortfla.com

B E D & B R E A K FA S T S :

(800) 442-2040 riversideresorts.com

(352) 628-2602 macraesofhomosassa.com

Tents Allowed

10359 Halls River Rd Homosassa, FL 34448

INVERNESS

Cedars Lake Mobile Home & RV Park

5300 S Cherokee Way Homosassa, FL 34448

Nature’s Resort RV Park

RV CAMPGROUNDS:

(352) 398-5328

3430 S Suncoast Blvd Homosassa, FL 34446

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Lake House Bed & Breakfast

8604 E Gospel Island Rd Inverness, FL 34450 (352) 344-3586 thelakehouse.biz

HOTELS / MOTELS:

Central Motel & Townhouses

721 US Hwy 41 S Inverness, FL 34450 (352) 726-4515 centralmotel.com

Florida Motel

1301 US Hwy 41 N Inverness, FL 34450 (352) 726-2631

(352) 382-2081

11000 S Suncoast Blvd Homosassa, FL 34446

Holiday Inn Express Inverness/Lecanto

903 E Gulf to Lake Hwy Lecanto, FL 34461

(352) 341-3515 hg.com/holidayinnexpress/ hotels/us/en/lecanto/ivffl/hoteldetail

Covered Wagon Campground

6049 S Suncoast Blvd Homosassa, FL 34446

(352) 628-4669 coveredwagoncampground.com

Quality Inn Conference Center at Citrus Hills 350 E Norvell Bryant Hwy Hernando, FL 34442

Homosassa River RV Resort

(352) 527-0015 choicehotels.com/florida/hernando/quality-inn-hotels/flc37

10200 W Fishbowl Dr Homosassa, FL 34448

P R I VA T E R E N T A L S :

Florida Villa Rentals 4794 E Van Ness Rd Hernando, FL 34442 (352) 726-8122 fl-villa.com

Greenbriar Rentals

1049 E Norvell Bryant Hwy Hernando, FL 34442

(352) 746-5921 greenbriarrental.com/seasonal.php

Lakeside Vacations 130 N Florida Ave Inverness, FL 34453 (352) 419-7901 lakesidevacations.net

Vacation Golf Homes PO Box 1236 Hernando, FL 34442

(352) 613-2644 floridavacationrentalvillas.com

Van Der Valk Golf Resort 1601 N Florida Ave Hernando, FL 34442 (352) 637-1140 valkusa.com

RV CAMPGROUNDS:

Lecanto Hills RV Park

4400 W Gulf to Lake Hwy Lecanto, FL 34461 (352) 746-4648 lecantohills.com

Riverside Lodge Cabins & RV Resort Tents Allowed

12561 E Gulf to Lake Hwy Inverness, FL 34450 (352) 726-2002 riversidelodgeresort.com

Sandy Oaks RV Resort 6760 N Lecanto Hwy Beverly Hills, FL 34465 (352) 465-7233 sandyoaksrvresort.com

Tents Allowed

(352) 628-2928 sunrvresorts.com/resorts/south/ florida/homosassa-river

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Black Diamond Rentals

2600 W Black Diamond Cir Lecanto, FL 34461 (352) 453-5454 blackdiamondranch.com/stay

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A magical place to start your Crystal River experience! Located on a natural spring, you can walk out your front door and swim with the manatees. Enjoy coffee on the rooftop terrace that provides dramatic panoramic views of Kings Bay, or snuggle up to the outdoor fire pit during the cool winter evenings.

1.352.220.1488 2020 OFFICIAL VISITORS GUIDE

crystalbluelagoonbb.com 244 N E 2nd Court Crystal River, Florida 34429

D I S C O V E R C R Y S TA L R I V E R F L O R I D A

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572 N. Citrus Avenue, Crystal River, FL 34428


Three Sisters Springs The official concessionaire for land access to the Three Sisters Springs unit of the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge. Enjoy a trolley tour to the boardwalk and view the worldrenowned Three Sisters Springs. Explore nature trails through a restored Florida wetland habitat. Look for migratory birds as they stop at the refuge on their cross-country journey. Observe wild manatees seeking refuge from cold water in the winter. FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.threesistersspringsvisitor.org 123 NW US 19 Crystal River, FL 34428 (behind City Hall) 352.586.1170

Downtown Crystal River is host to many events throughout the year including: FLORIDA MANATEE FESTIVAL ST. PATRICK’S DAY ON CITRUS AVE. EASTER EGG HUNT 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION CRYSTAL RIVER SCALLOP FEST CRYSTAL RIVER SCARECROW FEST STONE CRAB JAM CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING FESTIVAL CHRISTMAS PARADE

Follow the City on Facebook for dates and times on all these events and more City of Crystal River - Government Three Sisters Springs

@cityofcrystalriver @threesisterssprings

@CrystalRiver_FL

#crystalriver #threesisterssprings


W A T E R

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D I S C O V E R C R Y S TA L R I V E R F L . C O M

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C R Y S TA L R I V E R . H O M O S A S S A . I N V E R N E S S . F L O R A L C I T Y

N anges your life. h c t i , s atee n a ith m w than those who swim with them e r wim e t t s e very that b you s day w o n n e k . h e n o W STO No

E D S I U G

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W A T E R

Captain John Spann

G

etting to see and swim with manatees: It’s an experience people from all over the world come to have in Crystal River and Homosassa. “I’m so excited I could hardly sleep last night,” says Sarah Bence on a clear winter morning. She’s come here all the way from England and her

anticipation is palpable. For many this is considered once-ina-lifetime “bucket list” experience. But what would it be like if you did this every day? Out from the dim shadows of dawn comes a tall wetsuit-clad figure smiling from ear to ear. “I’ve been doing this going on nine years now,”

“I still enjoy it as much as the day I started.” —CAPTAIN JOHN SPANN

2020 OFFICIAL VISITORS GUIDE

Jeremiah Johnson

D I S C O V E R C R Y S TA L R I V E R F L O R I D A

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Captain Jessie Owens

“It just changes your life.” —CAPTAIN JESSIE OWENS

says Captain John Spann, a manatee guide, “and I still enjoy it as much as the day I started.” “It just changes your life,” says Captain Jessie Owens, “and to be able constantly to experience other people having that experience for the first time, it’s almost as if you get to experience it all over again.” “It’s amazing to see the looks on people’s faces

when we get back on the boat,” says guide Jeremiah Johnson. “We get people who cry all the time.”

The Guardians Manatee guides spend nearly every day in the water. Their job is an important one. There is a lot to keep an eye on: manatees, their swimmers and, in the winter Manatee Season (November 15


D I S C O V E R C R Y S TA L R I V E R F L O R I D A 2020 OFFICIAL VISITORS GUIDE

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5 G UA R D I AN P R IN C I P L E S

Vary times and locations of tours to allow manatees to rest undisturbed.

Provide all swimmers with a wetsuit and flotation device in order to observe manatees passively from a distance of at least one body length when conditions allow.

to March 31), sanctuary boundaries that designate places only manatees are allowed to go. If there is one thing captains and guides realize, it is their responsibility to the manatees themselves. “It’s hard not to be protective when you do this,” says Jeremiah. “This isn’t a petting zoo and most people understand that. These are wild animals.” “They get to choose how this interaction goes,” says Jessie. “By being nice and calm and quiet,” she adds, “it’s going to make it a better experience for you and the manatee.” “We promote passive observation,” says John Spann. “We get in the water. We float. We watch. Everything else is up to the manatee.”

Stewardship and Sustainability This unique experience of how to interact with Florida’s gentle giants has developed over many years here stretching back to the early 1970’s. A lot has changed over time.

G U I D E S

Have guides accompany guests during all tour segments with no more than 12 guests per guide.

Within the last five years, in-water guides have become standard for most dive shops. Last year, a new program, The Guardian Guides Manatee Stewardship Program was launched--a joint effort between the locally based Manatee Eco-Tourism Association (META) and Florida’s Save the Manatee Club. “It came about from the two groups—tourism and conservation--wanting to work together to promote sustainable ecotourism,” says Captain Mike Engiles, president of META. “We wanted to set a baseline of practices that would benefit all parties involved,” says John Spann, “especially the manatees.” “We know visitors are looking for a tool they can use in making sure they’re having a sustainable experience,” says Save the Manatee Club’s Katie Tripp. “We get calls all the time: who do you recommend?” The program introduces five key principles for tour operators (see insert) and

Prevent overcrowding by avoiding areas already in use by another tour group.

provides a certification program that tour companies can promote. Already, two companies have gone through the one-year certification process and it is expected more will do so in 2020. “I think it will be a benefit for the industry,” says Captain Mike Dunn, whose tour company has already received Guardian Guides certification. “The more people know about the manatees, the more we respect them, all the better.” “We wanted to show what we basically already knew,” says Captain John, “that guides want to do this the right way—the way that’s not only best for our customers but for the manatees themselves.”

Create stewardship by encouraging guests and operators to support manatee conservation, aquatic habitat protection and restoration efforts.


W A T E R

MAGNIF MANATEES EYES

2020 OFFICIAL VISITORS GUIDE

Manatees don’t see very well. In fact, they’re nearsighted. So, they perceive things in other ways.

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BREATH The manatees’ rate of air exchange with each breath is higher than any other mammal’s. In one breath manatees can exchange 90% of the air in their lungs. Humans only exchange about 10%. This allows them to come up for breath every 1 to 3 minutes. When sleeping: 15-20 minutes.

MOUTH Manatees have over 2000 highly sensitive hairs on their face. Think of the sensitivity of a cat’s whiskers only much greater. This allows them to find food and explore their environment.

SKIN Manatees usually detect the presence of other manatees or animals—including humans—by feel rather than sight. They have about 3000 body hairs to feel their surroundings and even detect changes in barometric pressure, a warning of approaching cold fronts.


FICENT ILLUSTRATED BY: MEGAN MERICLE

BONES

SIRENIANS The name for the order sirenia comes from the first written account of manatees: the log book of Columbus’ first voyage to the Americas in 1492-93. The crew refers to manatees as “sirens” or mermaids, adding “they are not so beautiful as painted.”

Manatees have solid bones. This allows them to sink to where food is by doing things like regulating the amount of air in their lungs. It also makes them vulnerable to catastrophic damage from boat strikes since their rigid bones don’t flex like our marrow-filled bones.

Stellar’s Sea Cow (extinct) NORTHERN PACIFIC OCEAN

OFFSPRING A female manatee has a gestation period of at least a year. Once her calf is born, it stays with her and nurses for up to two years. A newborn is about 3 feet long (1m) and weighs about 65 pounds (30kg). Shortly after a juvenile is weened, a female goes into heat and becomes pregnant again.

26 to 30 feet, 8,800 lbs Marine Mammal: Hunted to extinction 1741-1768.

West Indian Manatee

FLORIDA & THE CARIBBEAN BASIN

12 to 15 feet, 1500 lbs Aquatic Mammal: Fresh & Saltwater shorelines

West African Manatee

WESTERN COAST OF AFRICA

BODY Surprise! Manatees have very little body fat. They are highly sensitive to cold. When water temperatures drop below 65-68F (1920C), they experience cold stress and even hypothermia. To survive winter, manatees shelter in springs like those in Crystal River & Homosassa, which have a constant temperature of 72-74F (23C).

9 to 10 feet, 1,000 lbs Aquatic Mammal: Fresh & Saltwater shorelines

Dugong

INDIAN OCEAN & WESTERN PACIFIC OCEAN

8 to 10 feet, 650 lbs Marine Mammal: Salt water

Amazonian Manatee AMAZON RIVER, BRAZIL

6-7 feet, 900 lbs Aquatic Mammal: Fresh water


Photo: Courtesy Melanie Stemple

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Photo: Courtesy River Ventures

The river and Kings Bay have long been the home of manatees during the winter season when water offshore is too cold. But with the restoration of native freshwater eelgrass—one of a manatee’s favorite foods—many are now summer residents, too. “The cleaning and restoration work on the bay has been awesome,” says manatee guide John Spann. “A lot of us didn’t think it could work, but when that grass began expanding and covering ground where it hadn’t been restored, it really changed our minds” Seeing manatees feeding and gliding over thick meadows of eel grass in Hunter Springs Cove, Spann and other guides have become believers: “This is going to work,” he says emphatically. The credit goes to two local nonprofit groups, Save Crystal River and the Kings Bay Restoration Project which, with financial backing from the State of Florida, Citrus County and the City of Crystal River, began removing invasive algae from the bay and its canals and spring vents in 2015. As the bay floor was cleared, native eelgrass— raised by Duke Energy at its Crystal River Aquaculture Plant—was planted by divers. Since then, this saltwater tolerant variety has spread like underwater wildfire. “The native eelgrass can grow and thrive once we get sandy bottom exposed,” says Dr. Michelle Sivilich, Save Crystal River’s Executive Director. “The grass is starting to spread on its own and the manatees are here year-round now. We have a much larger resident population because there’s food for them year-round for the first time in decades.”

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rystal River is crystal-clear again.

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STORY: CARLY ZERVIS

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Some thought it was a longshot but native eel grass restoration in Kings Bay is now yielding spectacular results in Crystal River.

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The Return of the

A restored eel grass meadow in Hunter Springs Cove.


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VAN DER VALK VACATION RENTALS

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15%off “DCR”

INFO@VALKUSA.COM WWW.VALKUSA.COM 352-637-1140 1601 NORTH FLORIDA AVENUE HERNANDO, FL 34442

NEXT TO THE WITHLACOOCHEE TRAIL

The Homosassa Guides Association has helped visitors and locals alike enjoy the area’s acclaimed angling for over half a century. Some of our members are fourth-generation guides, with a love of this business literally in their blood. All are proven professionals, accomplished angling experts with the know-how to navigate these rock-filled waters to celebrated fishing spots.

Reserve your charter today!

HomosassaGuidesAssociation.com


Who are the Salty Girls behind Salty Girls Beach Shop?

DeAnna Boyer and Dione Moxley

1 Northwest US Hwy 19, Crystal River, FL 34428 On the corner of Citrus Ave. and US Hwy 19 in the heart of downtown Crystal River. For more information, visit saltygirlsbeachshop.com

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introduce themselves. They have several local artist creations from candles, jewelry, soaps, and clothing. With the shop still in its infancy, they are always looking to add more and looking for feedback as to what the community wants, and needs are. You can find just about anything here year-round from swimwear, apparel, gifts, décor, or just a beach towel. Salty Girls Beach Shop has dedicated themselves to promoting Crystal River, FL, on as many of their products as possible. “We have everything we need here in Crystal River to make this a true vacation destination experience, and if everything comes to fruition Salty Girls Beach Shop will be at the cornerstone of it all, said DeAnna.”

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the building and the city needed to revive this historic location. It wasn’t until she met William Mickey that it all clicked. DeAnna had wanted to put a mural on the building for some time and with the blessing of the building owner and the City of Crystal River the Salty Girls Beach Shop Kraken was released and came alive. DeAnna then faced hurdle number three, with the digital age upon us and to launch this idea, she was going to need help. DeAnna wanted someone with energy, a vision and above all an understanding of what she wanted to build. She wanted someone with a good understanding of marketing and at the end of the day could provide skills that she didn’t have. That is when she found her salty partner Dione Moxley. DeAnna and Dione spent countless hours working and brainstorming to build this shop in under 30 days. “I’d like to say we did it ourselves, but we called on friends to help us paint, build, clean, and create. We had family come in from out of state. We were shameless in our attempt to meet our opening deadline. We couldn’t have done it if not for the support of a lot of people in this community, said DeAnna.” These Salty Girls hope everyone will come in to say hello and

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eAnna Boyer, a native to Florida and a resident of Crystal River since 1968 is the innovator of what is now known as Salty Girls Beach Shop. The Shop is in what was originally the Bank of Crystal River back in 1907. It was in 2003 that DeAnna took over the building, she has housed several businesses since then with the newest arriving this year. DeAnna had wanted to do something different for a long time and after speaking with several friends and paying attention to what the city was lacking as far as places for tourist to shop for basic beach and water essentials along with providing the local community with a place to purchase modestly priced swimwear the store's concept was born. DeAnna’s second task was how to take a plain gray building and make it inviting. DeAnna began sitting down and speaking to artists about her vision and what she thought

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PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE


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In Search of Succulent

Treas Set on the edge of one of North America’s most important ecological wonders, Crystal River and Homosassa are the epicenter of summer scalloping on Florida’s Big Bend. STORY: NANCY MORELAND PHOTOS: ANTHONY ALTMAN & SHANE REYNOLDS

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t’s 7:30am and quiet on the Kings Bay docks as I board a boat bound for the Gulf of Mexico. With the July sun inching skyward, there’s no time to waste. I join a multigenerational group eager to partake in Crystal River and Homosassa’s favorite summertime ritual. It’s the first day of scalloping season. There’s a sense of festive anticipation. As Captain Anthony Altman motors us upriver, a stream of vessels follow behind. Relishing a brisk breeze, I wonder what lies ahead. I’ve heard scalloping compared to an underwater Easter egg hunt. For a few hours, I’ll focus on foraging for wild food in some of Florida’s cleanest waters.

Connecting the Dots Florida’s Big Bend region is uniquely blessed with 400,000 acres of seagrass meadows—among the largest in North America. “Seagrass is incredibly important to a healthy marine environment,” says Holly Binns, director of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ seagrass and marine


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...they once appeared off both Florida coasts. Today, they’re limited to a handful of Gulf Coast counties... life conservation work in the Southeastern United States. In fact, seagrass beds are among the most important and productive ecosystems in the world. That’s what led Pew to launch a five-year initiative supporting education about and conservation of the seagrass beds of the Big Bend. “Seagrass connects the economic and ecologic dots,” says the Pews’ Tom Wheatley. He points out that scalloping, recreational and commercial fishing and even manatees all

depend on seagrass. Take scallops for instance: they once appeared off both Florida coasts. Today, they’re limited to a handful of Gulf Coast counties where scallop populations have rebounded.

Snorkeling for Dinner “Okay, folks, we’ll drop anchor here,” Captain Anthony shouts. “Stay within 100 yards of the boat. A prize for whoever finds the first scallop!” We spring into action, grabbing our gear before entering the glistening

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Apalachicola Bay

shallows. Squeals from the pint-size explorers reverberate over and under the waves. Gradually, everyone eases into hunter-gatherer mode. My eyes adjust quickly in the clear waters. Regulating my breath, I tread earnestly against the current, scanning the khaki-colored seagrass. “I found one!” “I found three!” Voices trill over the waves as we bag our first bivalves. Finally, I, too, spot a dun-colored scallop in the undulating grasses. It’s not flashy, compared to flamboyant seashell

souvenirs. The true treasure emerges later, when the pearly flesh is sautéed to perfection. After a few hours in the Gulf, it’s time to leave. Cruising back to the docks, we settle into a calming rhythm: wind, waves, motor humming at the stern. Children gaze contently at the horizon. Sensing our now drowsy state, Captain Anthony issues a wake-up call. “Who wants to wash off the saltwater in Hunter Springs?” A turquoise oasis shimmers into view. Diving into the effervescent 72 degree springs, we frolic for a few minutes. As we climb back on the boat, a manatee approaches, as if beckoning us back in. Tempting as it is, it’s time for lunch. After all, nothing whets your appetite like a day on the water, especially when the crown jewels of Crystal River await your plate.


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Homosassa

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Anclote Key

Tampa Bay

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SIT BACK AND ENJOY: It’s a long standing tradition in Citrus County: More than fifteen restaurants in Homosassa and Crystal River offer Cook Your Catch. Bring your cleaned scallops and then let the pros make it a meal for you. Find a complete list at discovercrystalriverfl .com

Crystal River

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SKIP THE WORK: Not up for the after-work of cleaning scallops? Experienced “Shuckers” are stationed at local docks to shuck the shells and clean your catch. Remember to have a cooler handy to put cleaned scallops on ice.

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GO WITH A PRO: Guided scallop charters are easy and fun. Your Coast Guard certified captain provides everything you, your family and friends need including the boat, gear and fishing license. Find a guide at discovercrystalriverfl .com

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Tips for Scalloping


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Fishing is often about more than just fishing. It’s the people you meet and…

The Bond You Make 2020 OFFICIAL VISITORS GUIDE

STORY: RONNIE GREEN

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Photo Courtesy A Fishing Story with Ronnie Green

’ve loved fishing all my life. My Dad taught me and my brothers how to fish when I was just 5 years old and I’ve been at it ever since.

Along the way, I began to notice something. I heard the most amazing stories while fishing. Not those exaggerated ones about “I caught a fish this big” though, believe me, I’ve heard my share of those. What I heard instead were stories about people’s lives— things that really matter to them. It’s as if in that unhurried


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time on open water, people open up too. My great-grandmother was the perfect example of stories told out on the water.

Broadcasting

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I eventually decided to do a television show—A Fishing Story with Ronnie Green—where we explore the lives of ordinary people and their extraordinary stories through the portal of fishing.

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Since then, I’ve been fishing all over the world but one of my favorite places in the world to fish is right here in Florida: Citrus County. The combination of exceptional fresh and saltwater fishing, the pristine untouched character of its waterways, and the unhurried pace of life keep me coming back. That, and the people I meet.

Tsala Apopka Lakes Last summer, I had the honor of meeting professional bass fisherman George Kapiton in Inverness. George took us on an airboat tour through the Tsala Apopka Chain of Lakes to experience the protected swamps and marshland that inland Florida is so wellknown for. We fished Lake Henderson with George and

learned the intricacies of bass fishing from a pro. Bass fishing is different than saltwater fishing. Avid bass fisherman don’t typically use live bait; their preference is artificial lures. Today, bass have become the most sought-after fish in North America.

The Flats From freshwater, we then switched to Citrus County’s saltwater


—RONNIE GREEN

Ronnie Green (left) and George Kapiton.

A Fishing Story with Ronnie Green appears on the Discovery Channel and World Fishing Network.

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side. I joined Captain Mario Castello and a Florida icon—the Costal Conservation Association’s Leiza Fitzgerald—for a day of fishing on the saltwater flats off of Crystal River and Homosassa. On this trip we were targeting redfish. When you fish for redfish, it requires stealth, changing tactics, and understanding the incoming and outgoing tide. The rocky bottom makes the fishing here some of the best along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Now, I could tell you about this massive redfish I caught while we were out there but, truth be told, it was an ordinary day. That’s fishing. But fishing with George and Leiza and Mario was time well spent and that’s what I’ll always remember.

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Ronnie and George photo courtesy A Fishing Story with Ronnie Green; remaining photos: Color Earth Productions

I’ve been fishing all over the world but one of my favorite places in the world to fish is right here in Florida: Citrus County.


Main photo: Captain Gary Bartell Jr.; bottom left and right inset photos: Miles Saunders; bottom center inset photo: Jeremiah Johnson

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PAT H OF THE

Withlacoochee River

Tsala Apopka Lakes


The River

“If there’s water, an airboat can get through it.” —CAPTAIN GARY BARTELL, JR.

The Ozello Keys

The Lakes

The Gulf

Take the majestic Tsala Apopka—it’s a 23-mile labyrinth of lakes on Citrus County’s eastern edge. On one side, it is fed by the Withlacoochee River. On the other, its shoreline is hugged by the cities of Inverness, Floral City, and Hernando. During the day, pontoon pleasure seekers drift by estates tucked jewel-like into the green velvet of its tree-lined banks. At night, the lake’s wild side emerges. Owl cries

In the Ozello Keys, modern Florida fades from memory. Aboriginal shell mounds and weathered shanties dot the scenery as you cruise the coastal rivers. “If there’s water, an airboat can get through it,” says Captain Gary Bartell, Jr. “They draw next to nothing, which protects everything under the boat.” I soon understand what he means. Snaking through mangroves, we arrive at St. Martins Reef and hover over coral and sea sponges in knee-deep water. It’s wild Florida wide open and in all its breathtaking splendor. “Getting out on an airboat puts things in perspective,” says George Kapiton. “You forget about your phone and everything you have to do.” Call it a recipe for instant relaxation. Just add water.

Homosassa River

Discover more airboat adventures online at discovercrystalriverfl.com.

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Weaving a serpentine path through the Withlacoochee River’s tea-stained waters, another realm appears. “There are no houses for 24 miles along one stretch,” says Captain Doug Riggs of his daily route. At the water’s edge, cypresses stand like ancient sentries, their gray moss beards reflected in the river.

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And that’s just skimming the surface of Citrus County’s incredible aquatic adventures. With three lakes, seven rivers, dozens of springs and the Gulf, it’s a glistening water world that, even by Florida standards, is like few others.

and gator bellows dominate the darkness. “The only light comes from stars and fireflies,” says Captain George Kapiton. “It’s like a scene from Avatar.”

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STORY: NANCY MORELAND

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liding over Lake Tsala Apopka in an airboat, the first thing you notice is the sky. Cumulus clouds billow against the brilliant blue backdrop. Come nightfall, they disappear, unveiling a starry dome. At daybreak on the Gulf of Mexico, sunshine blends with rain, rewarding you with a rainbow.

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Airboat rides provide a breathtaking voyage into hidden shallow-water wonder worlds.


D I S C O V E R C R Y S TA L R I V E R F L O R I D A 2020 OFFICIAL VISITORS GUIDE

Main photo and first two inset photos: Miles Saunders; third inset photo: James Bobo

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Paddles were once for canoes. Boards were once for surfing. Not anymore! STORY: CARLY ZERVIS


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he popularity of stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP, has exploded and shows no sign of slowing down, perhaps due to its versatility. Boarders aren’t just paddling but racing, surfing, whitewater paddling, and even doing paddleboard yoga.

“You get more mobility on a paddleboard,” says SUP guide Chris Doucette. “Most people who come out are novices,

but you can do great yoga on a paddleboard, and it’s a great core workout. I’ve never had anyone try my paddleboard and say they hated it.”

The View from Above Well-suited to the various shallow-water environments ripe for exploration here, paddleboards offer adventurers a higher and more physically

active point of view than kayaks or canoes. From birdwatching in a salt marsh to diving off for a swim in the springs, the board suits the purpose. “The biggest thing is being able to see better— it’s a great vantage point,” Chris says. “You can turn and stop super easily, too—way easier than in a kayak.” The paddler’s additional elevation also means that manatees— Crystal River and Homosassa’s most famous residents—are easier to spot from a distance, enhancing both the delights of the excursion and the animals’ safety.

Sights for All Seasons Launching from anywhere in the Crystal River

area provides easy access to several springs, as well as bayside restaurants and parks. The Homosassa River offers similar stops, and both host dolphins and manatees. Citrus County also has inland options, particularly the Tsala Apopka Chain of Lakes in Inverness and Floral City and Lake Hernando just a short ride north. The Potts Preserve Wildlife Management Area has many tiny islands to provide a break from paddling. “It’s like walking, gliding, on water,” Chris said. “It’s pretty cool.” And if you don’t stick your tolasana the first time, don’t worry—falling off is part of the fun! Find your SUP and kayak adventure at discovercrystalriverfl.com.

Yoga at Hunter Springs Chassahowitzka River

Inset photo: James Bobo; Yoga photo: Charli Moore

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We cater to our RV vacationers with the biggest and best RV park in all of Citrus County! nt waterfro h f o t e e f 0 it Over 250 ate boat ramp w iv r ! p s a s and ulf acce direct G and flexible plans rnished able rates Our afford s, tents, and fully fu s. el V R od r m fo rk allow alets or pa A-frame ch

Full Hookups and Concrete Pads 30 or 50 Amp Electrical // Water // Sewage // Cable TV // Wifi Daily // Weekly // Monthly // Annually

On Site Rental Equipment Pontoons // Kayaks // Canoes // Paddle Boards // Golf Carts

We now have 400 sites along with the addition of pull through sites Planned activities all year // Tiki bar open 7 days a week // Huge waterslide & bounce pad

352.628.9544 / 800.301.7880 10359 West Halls River Road, Homosassa

www.NaturesResortFla.com

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Waterfront and Fully wooded sites available

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Camp Sites and Rental Units Available

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Crew, The Bar

Welcome to Crystal River! Heritage-side or Bay-side, Downtown Crystal River has something for everyone STORY: LISA BENSON / PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

elcome to Crystal River,” says Josh Wooten, with a warmly infectious smile. He is the President of The Citrus County Chamber of Commerce. Inquiring how I arrived here, I respond, “I got drunk and bought a bar.” My response is the honest to God’s truth. I, like so many hundreds of thousands each year, am an accidental tourist who ended up falling in love and staying.

Crystal River, population 3,000, was recently named a Top Small Town in America by the Travel Channel. Nestled in Citrus County, the 33rd largest county in Florida, it’s a place with 145,000 amazing, understated, caring, socially and environmentally conscience residents. Each winter, the local population swells by 500 to 1000 slumbering, rolling, lovable sea cows--as does the tourist population. My “wildlife interactions,” though,

are of the human kind within our 18 square block Downtown which we lovingly refer to as “The Heritage Side” and “The Bay Side” based on which side of US Highway 19 you’re on. Our blossoming district includes thirty-seven unique and exclusive purveyors of products and services nestled within traditional Americanstyle historic Main Street buildings. Our visitors choose to come up from Tampa or Orlando to traverse


Downtown Crystal River

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With new and active offerings, Bayside is where all the action is.” Yep, Bayside kicked it up a notch or two over the past couple of years, so you might find a pub crawl tour or two getting into the action at night. Here when planning your transportation, we do it by land or by water. Paddles Outdoors offers designer bike tours including “stop and shop” and “sip and stroll” tours. On the water, our kayak tour operators each offer their flare for making the perfect outing. Just a few doors down from Highway 19 are Explorida, Manatee Paddle, Hunter Springs Kayaks, and Manatee Tour and Dive. “Being in Crystal River requires a certain type of responsibility, especially with the manatees” says Kim Altman, co-owner of Explorida. “We’re dedicated to operating in a sustainable manner.” “This place is the perfect workout,” says Sean P. Miller of Manatee Paddle, “and you see incredible wildlife like manatees, dolphin, tarpon and snapping

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CO L DW E L L B A N K E R N E X T G E N E R AT I O N R E A LT Y

turtles. “Half day trips are perfect for swimming and lunching bay or riverside,” he adds. Like a lot of visitors, you might start thinking, “maybe I should live here.” Shawn Miller, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Next Generation Realty was like that. “I am still exploring even after living here eighteen years,” he says. “This town has that ‘Old Florida Charm’, it is a great safe place to live and raise your kids.” “Life is too short,” says Teri Devitch, co-owner of Manatee Tour and Dive Shop. “Pack a pair of shorts, a tee shirt and tennis shoes, along with your business suit and include that much needed brain dumping road to paradise,” she recommends. “See Crystal River, take a kayak trip, eat a sandwich, grab a beer. Relax, and smell the wild flowers.”

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—SEAN MILLER,

Josh Wooten, President, Citrus County Chamber of Commerce, with Laura Anstead, Officer, Citrus County Sheriff’s Office

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an actual main street, rather than the commercialized versions provided by our neighbors in Ybor City and Disney World. “We frequently get groups of five to eight women from Central Florida gathering, enjoying lunch, and giggling their way through our boutiques.” explains Sharon Cullen and Sally Austin, shopkeepers at the Heritage House, located within Heritage Village. “This side of Citrus is expansive with numerous shop choices, including All About Nature, The Cotton Club, Tea House 650, Cattle Dog Roasters, and GlassWerx Studio.” DeAnna Boyer, operator at Salty Girls located in the historic northwest corner of Citrus Ave and Highway 19--the one with the mural of an Octopus dismantling the building--explains the allure. “It’s paradise and for me,” she says, “It’s the community,” she adds. There are so many lovely hotel and motel choices in our region. For those wanting the immersive experience, we offer plenty of vacation rentals along the river fronts in Citrus County. If you are looking for the real flavor of the old south, spend the week or the season at Kings Bay Lodge. This adorable, retro waterfront kitchenette-style motel offers unique apartment-like suites each uniquely decorated. The natural spring-fed swimming pool is a hit with the guests, and a periodic errant manatee or two. How much better is life when you can leave your quaint cottage and drive your golf cart right to the front door of fine dining and drinking choices like Kane’s Cattle Company Steakhouse, St. Johns Tavern, Vintage on Fifth, Amy’s on the Avenue and Crew, the Bar? Chase Palmes, owner of St. John’s Tavern shares insight into the changes on Citrus Ave. “I wanted to open in downtown Crystal River.

“This town has that ‘Old Florida Charm’, it is a great safe place to live and raise your kids.”


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There’s a little something for everyone and every taste here with original style and unique character. Whoever said exploration ends on the river or trail?

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RESTAURANTS 1.

Amy’s On The Avenue 539 N. Citrus Ave 352.563.2697

2. Bubba Que’s 631 N Citrus Ave 352.795.7227 3. Crew The Bar 564 N Citrus Ave 214.212.9497 4. Kane’s Cattle

Company

504 N Citrus Ave 352.697.3054 5. St. John’s Tavern 572 N Citrus Ave 352.634.1321 6. Tea House 650 N Citrus Ave 352.564.1500 7. Vintage on 5th 114 NE 5th St 352.220.0097

ADVENTURES 8. Coastal Heritage

Museum

532 N Citrus Ave 352.341.6428 9. Explorida 545 N Citrus Ave 352.423.3798 10. Hunter Springs Kayak 36 NE 4th St. 352.228.4715 11. Manatee Paddle 544 N Citrus Ave 352.564.0901

SHOPPING 12. All About Nature 707 N Citrus Ave 352.563.1425 13. Anchored Souls 37 NW Hwy 19 352.601.1910 14. Coastal Art Gallery 652 N Citrus Ave 352.228.8800

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15. Cotton Club 626 N Citrus Ave 352.563.2582 16. Franklin Anderson

Gallery

659 N Citrus Ave 352.697.2702 17. GlassWerx 619 N Citrus Ave 352.586.8546 18. Hammer and Stain 611 N Citrus Ave 352.566.3077 19. Heritage House 657 N Citrus Ave 352.564.1400 20. Karma Cottage 652A N. Citrus Ave 352.566.0300 21. Military Outlet 550 N Citrus Ave 352.795.2330 22. Salty Girl 1 NW Hwy 19 352.795.1346

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23. Southern Babe Boutique 707 N Citrus Ave 352.794.3566 24. Southern Events &

Boutique

560 N Citrus Ave 352.228.1643 25. The General Store 639 N Citrus Ave 352.564.0311

SERVICES 26. Coldwell Banker 531 N Citrus Ave 352.794.6100 27. MezMerEyes 707 N Citrus Ave 352.795.2020 28. Southern Roots Salon 707 N Citrus Ave 352.601.6373

LODGING 29. Kings Bay Lodge 506 NW 1st Ave. 352.795.2850


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Fort Island Trail Beach Pier


ICON KEY Great Florida Birding Trail Access

Boat

Hike

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Bike

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Horse

Picnic

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Swim

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Crystal River Archaeological State Park 3400 N. Museum Point, Crystal River

To learn more about this 61-acre National Historic Landmark, see story on page 57, Wonders from the Wild Feature

Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center: 865 N. Suncoast Blvd., Crystal River

Established in 1983, this refuge (part of a national refuge complex that spans Florida’s Gulf Coast) was created for the sole purpose of protecting the then-endangered West Indian manatee. The Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge is home to

Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge


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the world’s largest number of wintering manatees in a natural habitat.

Fort Island Gulf Beach 16000 W. Fort Island Trail, Crystal River

Looking for a place to spend the day basking in the sun, sand, and surf? Maybe you are hoping to end your evening by stopping to watch one of Florida’s famous sunsets? If those are your goals, this family-friendly beach on the Gulf of Mexico is the place for you.

Hunter Springs Park 104 NE 1st Avenue, Crystal River

No matter the time of year, things are always bustling at Hunter Springs Park. A popular launch

the waters of Hunters Cove. The sandy beach and spring-fed waters make this park a family favorite. It is even possible to spot a manatee!

Inglis Dam & Island Recreation Area 1905 W. Riverwood Drive, Crystal River

To learn more about this unique section of the Cross Florida Greenway, see story on page 60, Six Trails to Travel Feature

Kings Bay Park

Fort Island Trail Park

268 NW 3rd Street, Crystal River

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Located just down the road from the gulf beach, this hidden gem of a park offers picnic, and fishing opportunities—just off the beaten path. Spend a few minutes on your way to the Gulf of Mexico, or pack a lunch and spend the day taking it all in.

OUR TOWN: Three Tales of Local Lore

point for locals and visitors alike, paddlers are often seen exploring

Kings Bay Park, located in the heart of Downtown Crystal River, is a hotspot for local festivals throughout the year. When there are no parties being held, the park transforms from a rockin’ musical venue back into a peaceful piece of paradise, located on shore of the Kings Bay.

Old Courthouse Heritage Museum

Floral City Heritage Museum & Country Store

1 Courthouse Square, Inverness

8394 E Orange Avenue, Floral City

The Old Courthouse Heritage Museum is housed within the historic 1912 Citrus County Courthouse. Eclectic in its architecture, the museum collection is eclectic as well presenting a walk through Florida and local history from orange groves to Elvis.

Floral City was once one of the most important city's in Florida during a Phosphate mining boom that lasted from the late 19th century to the outbreak of the Great War in Europe in 1914. The museum eloquently tells the story of this remarkable community and its people.

Old Courthouse Heritage Museum

Coastal Heritage Museum 532 N Citrus Avenue, Crystal River

Water was the pathway to wealth in the early statehood period in Florida and Crystal River was placed in a perfect spot—a sheltered bay on the Gulf of Mexico. This museum chronicles the rise of today's vibrant waterfront community with a compelling cast of characters including Babe Ruth.

The Crack photo: Melissa Mederos

2020 OFFICIAL VISITORS GUIDE

12073 W. Fort Island Trail, Crystal River


St. Martins Marsh Aquatic Preserve Accessible by water only. Launch from 401 N. Pirate Point, Ozello

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Churchhouse Hammock Trail 1.25 mi north of Citrus Avenue on US Highway 19

Coastal salt marshes, freshwater tributaries, and mangrove islands, span 23,000 acres of land and water in this incredibly unique preserve.

Crystal Cove Trail

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Seven Mile Loop Intersection of State Park Street & Sailboat Avenue, Crystal River

To learn more about this rugged hiking & biking trail, see story on page 61, Six Trails to Travel Feature

Just south of W. State Park Street on N. Sailboat Avenue, Crystal River

Dixie Shores Trails Mile Marker 2.5 (Dixie Shores Entrance), West Fort Island Trail, Crystal River

The best way to explore these environments is to take a boat or kayak. However, you can get a glimpse of some preserve lands by taking a walk on the Crystal River Preserve State Park trails.

Three Sisters Springs Visitor Center: 123 NW US Highway 19, Crystal River

Although Three Sisters Springs is part of the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, it is a destination all its own. In the winter, the warm spring waters are one of the most important sites for manatees in the entire state of Florida. To view manatees from land, there is nowhere better. Ride the City of Crystal River’s trolley right to the boardwalk, which surrounds the crystal clear springs. If the trolley experience is not for you, do not worry: the boardwalk and surrounding 57 acres of hiking trails and wetlands are also open to walkon access year-round.

Withlacoochee Bay Trail 10201 N. Suncoast Blvd., Crystal River

To learn more about this 5-mile, scenic paved trail, see story on page 60, Six Trails to Travel Feature

Eco-Walk Trail 5990 N. Tallahassee Road, Crystal River

To learn more about this diverse, 2-mile loop trail, see story on page 60, Six Trails to Travel Feature

Redfish Hole Mile Marker #4, West Fort Island Trail, Crystal River

To learn more about the Crystal River Preserve State Park, see story on page 57, Wonders from the Wild Feature/Sidebar

CHASSAHOWITZKA RIVER

The Crack Accessible by water only. Launch from 8600 W. Miss Maggie Drive, Homosassa

For those who enjoy the path less traveled, this trek is for you. A relatively short paddle down the wild and wonderful Chassahowitzka River will deliver you to a shallow passage (you may have to get out and pull your kayak or canoe a few feet) that leads to “The Crack.” It is said that the journey is just as important as the destination; in the case of this unspoiled paradise, the saying rings true.

PA R K

Seven Mile Loop

The Crack


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Pepper Creek Cruise at E.S. Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

2020 OFFICIAL VISITORS GUIDE

Accessible by water only. Launch from 8600 W. Miss Maggie Drive, Homosassa

If you are looking for an easy paddle with a beautiful payoff, look no further than Seven Sisters Springs. The paddle that leads you to the Seven Sisters’ crystal-clear waters takes a few minutes at most. Upon arrival, it is clear why locals and visitors alike cannot stay away from here; these springs must be seen to be believed.

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To learn more about these picturesque marshland trails, see story on page 61, Six Trails to Travel Feature

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

H OM OSASSA

Bluebird Springs Park A puppy playground is just one facet of this 5½-acre, dog-friendly park. The location is a favorite for dog-lovers and bird-watchers alike; the park is a part of the Great Florida Birding Trail. For those planning to bring their birding binoculars, early morning hours are said to be the peak time.

Rooks Loop Trail W Burnt Bridge Road, Homosassa

Just west of Westview Drive on South Mason Creek Road, Homosassa, 34448

4150 S Suncoast Boulevard, Homosassa Springs

8950 Bluebird Springs Lane, Homosassa

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Chassahowitzka Salt Marsh Trails

To learn more about this wildlife rehabilitation-focused state park, see story on page 56, Wonders from the Wild Feature / Sidebar

Pepper Creek Trail

Perfect for a casual hike, the 3-mile Rooks Loop Trail is well-marked and of manageable length. The trail is part of the Homosassa Tract of the Withlacoochee State Forest and offers hikers the opportunity to experience hardwood swamps, sandhill forests, and other native habitats.

Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park 2.5 mi west of US Highway 19 on Yulee Drive, Homosassa

These roadside ruins are all that remains of what one was a 5,100acre sugar plantation. Iron and

4150 S. Suncoast Blvd., Homosassa

Located on the border of the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park’s Pepper Creek, this ¾-mile paved trail winds around and through the many ecosystems of the park. Another birding hot-spot, this trail is often the location of park-sponsored birdwatching events.

Lu the Hippo at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

limestone artifacts can be viewed, along with interpretive signage explaining their historic uses. This small historical site is just the place to combine a family picnic with a lesson in American history.

Lu the Hippo photo: CvB Photography

Seven Sisters Springs


a variety of other habitats along the winding trails.

INVE RNESS / FLO RA L CI TY

Flying Eagle Preserve 11080 E. Moccasin Slough Road, Inverness

Whether riding your mountain bike or your favorite filly, Flying Eagle has approximately 16 miles of trails to explore. Hikers have up to 20 miles of trails to roam the preserve’s 10,950 acres of untouched uplands and wetlands, many of which offer lakeside views of the Tsala-Apopka Chain of Lakes.

Fort Cooper State Park 3100 Old Floral City Road, Inverness

Cooter Pond Park Cooter Pond Park

181 US Highway 41 S., Inverness

Cooter Pond Park, named after the freshwater turtles that can be spotted from its boardwalks, is a lakeside park located just a block from the Historic Courthouse Square. Turtles are not the only wildlife you will see: blue herons, red-shouldered hawks, and even alligators have all been spotted in the waters of Lake Henderson!

Liberty Park

Potts Preserve 2988 N. Hooty Point, Inverness

The 8,500 acres of Potts Preserve offer a number of trails to explore, ranging in length from 3 to 12.5 miles -- there is something here for everyone! Casual hikers and backpackers can explore pine flatwoods, cypress hammocks, and

208 N. Mill Avenue, Inverness

This lakeside park is also part of Downtown Inverness’ new Depot District. It is easily accessible by boat, bike, or a quick walk from the Historic Courthouse Square. The new design of the park includes volleyball courts, a vast picnic area, and expanded docking for on-the-water fun!

Whispering Pines Park

268 N. Apopka Avenue, Inverness

To learn more about historic state park, see stories on pages 57 & 61, Six Trails to Travel Feature & Wonders from the Wild Feature

Wallace Brooks Park

1700 Forest Drive, Inverness

Part of Downtown Inverness’ recently renovated Depot District, this family-friendly waterfront park has been updated to include a new playground, enhanced landscaping, and improved waterfront overlook. Located just off of the Withlacoochee State Trail, the park is also adjacent to the new Depot building and open air market. During event season, it is also the go-to venue for a variety of local festivals.

W I T H L ACO O C H E E

STAT E

To learn more about this 290-acre community park, see story on page 61, Six Trails to Travel Feature

Withlacoochee State Trail 322 N. Pine Avenue, Inverness

To learn more about this 46-mile multi-use path, see story on page 64, Happy Trails Feature

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Withlacoochee State Forest: Holder Mine

Withlacoochee State Forest: Tillis Hill

3049 E. Trail 10, Inverness

9231 S. Trail 13, Inverness

Withlacoochee State Forest: Mutual Mine

Withlacoochee State Forest: Two-Mile Prairie, Johnson Pond Trail, & Oxbow Loop Trail

4771 E. Trail 16, Inverness

7112 N. Lecanto Highway, Hernando

Mutual Mine

To learn more about the Withlacoochee State Forest, see story on page 61, Six Trails to Travel Feature


2020 OFFICIAL VISITORS GUIDE

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Call it the Citrus Triangle: Three amazing Florida State Parks in three Citrus County cities that show off a full range of the natural splendor of the Sunshine State. STORY: CARLY ZERVIS

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park – Homosassa “Every animal here has their own story,” says Kate Spratt of Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. “Some were injured, some were orphaned, but none can survive in the wild on their own,” Kate explains. The park’s residents are Native Florida animals and include bobcats, otters, owls and other animals rarely seen in the wild, such as highly endangered Florida panthers. Others, like Florida manatees are more common but rarely seen as close as they are here. The park’s Fishbowl Observatory is suspended above the headspring of the Homosassa River and allows incredible underwater views of not only the manatees but hundreds of fish circling in formation. “You can see manatees year-round. We currently have three resident manatees living here full-time and they get fed right around the underwater observatory,” says Kate. “Ariel likes to squish her

Meet Maximus The wildlife care team at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park has incredible success returning injured and orphaned bear cubs back to the wild. Maximus, born in February 2019, is one of the few who couldn’t go back. Orphaned while still requiring twentyfour-hour care, he imprinted on his human caretakers— making him unafraid of people--and cannot be returned to the wild. “Maximus is fortunate, as are we, for him to live out his days here at the park as a wildlife ambassador,” says Kate Spratt.


Heritage Eco Boat Tour

Crystal River Preserve State Park – Crystal River Spring & Boat: Miles Saunders; Cub: Joe Dube; Aerial: Crystal River Photography; Fort Cooper: CVB Photography

“It’s not your typical state park,” says Marla Chancey of the Crystal River Preserve State Park. “This is more of an outdoor enthusiast’s experience because it’s such a long stretch of nature,” she says. “You experience the preserve at different points,” Marla says. Those points stretch from Power Line Road in the north to the edge of Homosassa on the south, encompassing 28,000 acres of wilderness. “The first-time visitor is going to hit the trailheads —they’re going to do the Seven Mile Loop, the Crystal Cove walk, and Churchouse Hammock,” says Marla. “Some adventurers might go down Fort Island Trail and try Redfish Hole and Dixie Shores, which we’ve been improving to make a little more hiker-friendly. “It’s definitely a bird-watcher’s, nature-lover’s, and photographer’s dream.”

First people Well before Columbus, the native people of North America built civilizations, cultures and trade networks extending over vast parts of the continent. The site that is now the Crystal River Archaeological State Park, was in use for as long as fifteen hundred years before being suddenly abandoned a thousand years ago. Two temple mounds, four burial mounds and a museum tell the story of this peaceful heritage site set on the banks for the Crystal River.

Fort Cooper State Park – Inverness

Homosassa Spring

face right up against the glass. In the wintertime, we put our residents in a separate area so the wild manatees can come in. “As with all the animals in the park, we really want visitors to make connections between the animals they see here and the ones in the wild places where they live,” says Kate. “They’re wildlife ambassadors.”

“It’s peaceful and quiet,” says Fort Cooper State Park Manager Chris Raby of this park that was once the site of skirmishes between U.S. Army volunteers and Seminole fighters during the Second Seminole War in 1836. A 19-day siege had a small but lasting impact on this remarkable 700-acre park. The informative kiosks of the Seminole Heritage Trail along the old Military Road built by the U.S. Army’s main force under General Winfield Scott provide insight into the conflict and key Seminole leaders who fought here including Osceola. With over five miles of hiking trails centered around Lake Holathlikaha, Fort Cooper has something for everyone. “The fishing is excellent out here. It’s not overfished,” says Chris. “People catch a lot of bass and brim, but there’s catfish, too.” “Peaceful and quiet,” as they say. A great place to visit. Fort Cooper Days in March


OPENING THIS YEAR!

2020 OFFICIAL VISITORS GUIDE

WINGS • FISH • RIBS

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"Our vision for Kane's Cattle Co. is to bring a culinary uniqueness to Citrus County, more importantly the beautiful down town Crystal River. Kane's will serve as a casual lunch venue, and transition its evening atmosphere into a casual fine dining experience everyone will love. Steaks are a main focus.. Tomahawks, Wagyu, Bone Marrow... the limits are endless! Fine Wines, Delicious Cocktails, and Local Crafts will be featured! We are especially looking forward to building out the beautiful patio area to be enjoyed when the weather cools down. Lastly I'll leave you with two words, Sunday Brunch."

674 NE 5th Street Crystal River, FL 34429

KANESCATTLECO@GMAIL.COM

Betty’s Boutique Where The Well-Dressed Woman Shops

The freshest selection of brand new clothing, gifts and accessories in Citrus County

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Featured Brands Include: • Alex Evening • Anuschka • Brighton • Clara Sun Woo • Cut Loose • Fresh Produce

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your purchase with this ad Offer valid through March 15, 2020. Cannot be combined with other coupons or offers.

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352.270.8019


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Fun P la

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• Free Wifi • Manatee Tours • Gift Shop • Sightseeing Tours • Public Boat Ramp

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The Port Hotel & Marina

The only dive center on the main spring!

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Your Choice Destination for American Contemporary Cuisine


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ECO-WALK: CRYSTAL RIVER PRESERVE STATE PARK

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TRAILS TO

TRAVEL With vast tracts of protected open space, there’s plenty to explore in Florida’s Citrus County. Whether you’re looking for an easy hike or want to go the distance, these six trails offer something for everyone. STORY: MILES SAUNDERS

We’ll start off with an easy one. Eco-Walk is a two-milelong trail that gives you an unparalleled introduction to Florida forests. Interpretive signs and benches dot the trail as it moves through open meadow into long-leaf pine forest, oak savanna and along the edge of a mixed hardwood freshwater marsh. Take US Highway 19 four miles north of Crystal River. Look for the great Florida Birding Trail sign and turn left at Curtis Tool Road.

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WITHLACOOCHEE BAY TRAIL & INGLIS ISLAND LOOP TRAIL: CROSS FLORIDA BARGE CANAL

Moderate Hike Located along Citrus County’s northern edge, the fivemile-long paved Withlacoochee Bay Trail leads from the trailhead along the Cross Florida Barge Canal to the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico at Withlacoochee Bay. The trail features scenic sheltered overlooks all along the way. The 6.5-mile-long Inglis Island Loop Trails provide a more secluded experience through hammock forest along the Withlacoochee River and Lake Rousseau. Bay Trail: Take US Highway 19 nine miles north of Crystal River to the Cross Florida Barge Canal Inglis Island: From US 19 take N Basswood Avenue to W Riverwood Drive.

Eco-Walk, Florida Trail, Seven Mile Loop: Miles Saunders; Bay & Salt Marsh Trails: Crystal River Photography; Fort Cooper: CVB Photography

Easy Hike


FORT COOPER STATE PARK: INVERNESS

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Moderate to Easy Hike

THE FLORIDA TRAIL: WITHLACOOCHEE STATE FOREST & WHISPERING PINES PARK, INVERNESS

Fort Cooper was a temporary military fort constructed along a small lake during the Second Seminole War (1835-42). Today, you can still walk the military road constructed by the U.S. Army as it winds through Sandhill forest. You’re likely to see a gopher tortoise or two on this trail. The well maintained trail system at Fort Cooper travels through a variety of forest habitats and the open sandy flats that circle Lake Holathlikaha, the centerpiece of the park. From US 41 take Eden Drive to Old Floral City Road.

Easy Hike

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SEVEN MILE LOOP: CRYSTAL RIVER PRESERVE STATE PARK

Easy Hike

Moderate Hike

This short trail system along a pristine portion of salt marsh in the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge is perfect for hikers of all ages looking for an easy hike with a big payoff. The trail quickly leads through hydric-hammock forest to open salt marsh and Lastinger Tower. The tower provides a striking panorama where eagles, osprey and waking birds—in addition to many other birds—are often seen. From Old Homosassa take South Mason Creek Road 1 mile.

This loop trail leads through several different Coastal Florida eco-systems including pine flats, coastal marshlands, hydric-hammock and hardwood forest. Since it’s located on coastal plain the trail is flat and easy to walk as it moves along maintained fire roads suitable for both biking and hiking. Mile markers with benches are clearly marked along the trail. The trail is ideal in the cooler months of fall, winter and early spring. From US 19, take West State Park Street. As it turns onto N Sailboat Avenue, go straight instead to the trailhead.

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CHASSAHOWITZKA SALT MARSH TRAILS, HOMOSASSA

352.794.5506

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The Florida Trail is a 1,300-mile-long National Scenic Trail that extends from South Florida to the farthest tip of the Florida Panhandle. The stretch through the 48,000 acre Withlacoochee State Forest is one of the highlights. A series of four challenging loop-trails over varied terrain make it a favorite winter training spot for hikers prepping for the Appalachian Trail. Mutual Mine Campground near Floral City provides an excellent jumping off point. For an easier hike try Whispering Pines Park in Inverness where the Florida Trail connects with the Withlacoochee State Trail.

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2020 OFFICIAL VISITORS GUIDE

Voted 2019 Best Lodge of Historic Floral City, FL

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SunshineShineLodgeFL.com A serene location with “Old Fashioned Charm” nestled under a canopy of ancient oak trees on beautiful Lake Tsala Apopka, in the heart of Florida’s West-Central Lakes Region, Fish, ski or just relax at one of the prettiest spots on Lake Tsala Apopka. Fully Furnished Cottages • Free WiFi • BBQ Pavillion • Hulu with Live TV • Bicycles, Kayaks, and Pedal Boats • Fire Pit • Bait & Tackle Shop • Boat Rentals • Daily, Weekly or Monthly Rentals


Two Homosassa Florida Vacation Rentals

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Date Call owner direct at352.323.8161 352-207-6227 Authorization for further info or call 877-818-1014 to book NOW! All information contained is strictly confidential. If you are neither the intended recipient

352.794.5506

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or the employee or agent of the intended recipient responsible for the delivery of this If a response is not received within 48 information, you are hereby notified that the disclosure, copying, use or distribution of hours, the publisher reserves the Like right us on thisfacebook.com/vacationwithmanatees information is strictly prohibited. All information is © 2018 Akers Media Group, Inc. DBA HEALTHY LIVING Magazine, STYLE Magazines. to publish the provided proof as is.

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PROOF #

Country Charm & only minutes to the river & manatees! Kayaks included

63 • Fully Appointed Vacation Rentals • Spacious RV Sites • Gated Resort • Heated Swimming Pool • Hot Tub • Horseshoes • Shuffleboard • Library • Recreation Hall • Laundry Facilities

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Shower Facilities Playground Activities Close to Local Attractions Full Hookups 50 Amp Service Big Rig Friendly Pull Thru Sites Pet Friendly Cable T.V. WiFi Available

1-877-722-7875 • 352-564-9350 • rockcrusherrvpark.com 237 South Rock Crusher Rd. • Crystal River, FL 34429

C R Y S TA L R I V E R . H O M O S A S S A . I N V E R N E S S . F L O R A L C I T Y

At the river with water access, boat ramp & kayaks

Homosassa Springs is Florida’s Nature Coast where you can kayak, snorkel, paddle board, boat & swim! Encounter our manatees year round. Join us for our world famous scallop season or fishing! The FUN starts here!


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Cycling connects scenery, history, and culture on Florida’s Withlacoochee State Trail. STORY: NANCY MORELAND PHOTOS: MATT MARRIOTT & MILES SAUNDERS


D I S C O V E R C R Y S TA L R I V E R F L . C O M // 352.794.5506

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espite the sunny warmth, it’s pleasantly cool under the oak canopy of the Withlacoochee State Trail. Cycling to the soundtrack of breezes and birdsong, I can’t think of a better way to spend the morning. Passing tots on trikes, spandexclad athletes on costly Cannondales, and seniors on recumbents, I realize: all are welcome here – whether biking, walking or, in some sections, riding on horseback. One of the longest cycling trails in Florida, this multi-use marvel


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spans 46 miles and three counties. “It’s the only trail I know of with historic railroad mileage and whistle markers,” says Dennis Reiland of Rails to Trails of the Withlacoochee. “And every six or so miles, there’s a town with cafés, taverns, and shops inviting you to stop, rest, and enjoy.”

Inverness on the Lakes Following the trail to Inverness, I find an historic 1912 courthouse anchoring an eclectic downtown. It’s a lively mixture of bike shops, brew pubs and sidewalk cafés. “One customer rides 45 miles one way to come here,” says James Cook, owner of Cattle

Dog Coffee Roasters—a perfect place for a midmorning break. Inverness has fully embraced its destiny as hub of the Withlacoochee State Trail. “Our new Depot District is part of a vision to unite the historic business district with our waterfront and the trail” says Liz Fernley, of the city’s Events and


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Hernando

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Floral City

Timeless Floral City

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Seven miles south, there’s another small town big on charm. Floral City’s historic district beckons bikers with a quirky café, bike shop, gallery, heritage

Discover the scenic lakeside communities of Inverness and Floral City at discovercrystalriverfl.com

352.794.5506

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Citrus Springs

museum and majestic moss-draped, tree-lined streets. “We’ve preserved our old Florida flavor and Avenue of the Oaks, the iconic signature of our community,” says local historian Frank Peters. Cycle to Ferris Groves Classic Florida Fruit Stand from November through mid-April and you can sample milkshakes made from either freshly-picked oranges or strawberries just in from the farm. Surprises like these will bring me back again.

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Visitors Bureau. This incredible fusion of a trailside Farmer’s Market Pavilion and historic depot with freshly refashioned waterfront parks, boardwalks, and amenities for cyclists is a wonder to behold. “It takes our ‘Small Town Done Right’ to the next level,” says Liz.


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SKYVIEW AT TERRA VISTA skyviewgolfandcountryclub.com

With beautiful rolling hills, Citrus County Golf is a unique experience in Florida.You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the golf courses in the Manatee Capital of the World which feature extraordinary vistas throughout. Take a swing at these beauties. STORY: DAVE DAUBERT; EDITOR: eSOUTHERNGOLF

This marquee course in Citrus County just underwent a major enhancement in 2019 replacing all of its greens with TifEagle Bermuda, new pure white sand in all the bunkers and numerous other improvements. It gives members and guests the finest possible conditions. The rolling terrain of Skyview at Terra Vista affords golfers beautiful vistas while changing the look of every hole with 18 unique challenges. At 250 feet above sea level, you can even see the Gulf of Mexico on a clear day. The magnificently appointed clubhouse is the perfect place to begin or end your day in elegant comfort.


golfcitrushills.com

PLANTATION ON CRYSTAL RIVER GOLF CLUB

BLACK DIAMOND RANCH blackdiamondranch.com

Black Diamond Ranch has 45 amazing holes designed by noted golf course architect Tom Fazio. The

SemiPrivate & Public Courses

SOUTHERN WOODS GOLF CLUB southernwoodsgc.com

SUGARMILL WOODS COUNTRY CLUB sugarmillwoodscc.com

VAN DER VALK GOLF RESORT AT LAKESIDE GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB valkusa.com

With more than 70 luxury vacation rentals overlooking the Tsala Apopka Chain of Lakes, this resort located in the county seat of Inverness is an ideal spot for families and extended stays. Bookings include reduced rates at nine local golf courses including Lakeside Golf and Country Club, an onsite championship course. The resort provides easy access to bicycling the 46-mile-long Withlacoochee State Trail. Beloved by Europeans, Van der Valk welcomes visitors from around the world.

TWISTED OAKS GOLF CLUB twistedoaksgc.com

CITRUS SPRINGS GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB citrusspringsgolfcourse.com

INVERNESS GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB golfinverness.com

PINE RIDGE GOLF CLUB prgfl.com

Discover more at discovercrystalriverfl.com

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The 27 holes at the Plantation on Crystal River are a golfer’s delight. Where else can you see manatees while playing golf? This Mark Mahannah design is a classic Florida style layout with large mature stands of trees bordering fairways with ponds and bunkers. I can remember playing a round with the great Sam Snead on one of my many visits here. The 19th Hole has the best burger in town and the Pro Shop was voted #1 in Citrus County. The Plantation is home to the Original Golf School with world renowned instructor Jay Morelli from November til April.

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plantationoncrystalriver.com

352.794.5506

Citrus Hills Golf & Country Club offers two fun-filled 18 hole layouts bordered by stands of loblolly pine and ancient oaks. The beautiful clubhouse is the center of activity with a huge outdoor Tiki Bar. The Meadows is the shorter and less challenging of the duo. The parkland style course is perfect for novice players and family outings. There’s ample room for errant drives, but you’ll need a good short game to navigate to the many bunker and pond protected greens. The Oaks stretches out to just shy of 6,400 yards and has tighter fairways and more elevation to deal with than its sibling. As I strolled the

Quarry, a Top 100 pick by Golf Magazine, provides once-in-a-lifetime golf as it plays through a stunning limestone quarry on the back nine. The Ranch course is the members’ favorite blending naturally into the Citrus County landscape and flowing aesthetically around its 18 holes. The 9-hole Highlands course can be combined to change the routine. There are homes available to rent which allow play on the exclusive courses and use of the elegantly appointed clubhouse.

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THE OAKS & MEADOWS AT CITRUS HILLS GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

beautiful course, it reminded me of being in the Sandhills of North Carolina rather than in Coastal Florida. Check out the VIP Golfer card for special discounts.


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s raw rld d s ay he wo nty. w h g hi nd t us Cou r u e o k r a bi itr k of try and ida’s C r o netw e coun as Flor s ’ a l h d lori cross t so idea F l a tra te Cen rs from is qui e to visi o plac ERVIS n Z but CARLY : RY STO

A Biker’s Palace Across the County one of the newest stops

D I S C O V E R C R Y S TA L R I V E R F L . C O M // 352.794.5506

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mall towns, some rolling hills and lush landscapes make for a relaxing ride, with plenty of stops for snacks at springs along the way. “Pretty much all of these back roads are oak-covered and winding,” says Wayne Hicks, the owner, mechanic, and bike-builder of Wayne’s Citrus Cycles in Floral City. Wayne’s classic shop blends in perfectly along the Avenue of the Oaks in Floral City. “The main thing is the lack of traffic. There’s a lot of little places to stop—little watering holes, the water itself, places to eat— and scenery.”


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is hard to miss. Crystal Harley Davidson, on Suncoast Boulevard in Homosassa, is an eye-catching destination. With tall queen palms lining the driveway, two stages for live music, and regular events, there’s something for riders of all ages and backgrounds. “We wanted to create an environment that’s fun, friendly, that’s big enough to keep all our new bikes on the showroom floor out of the rain,” says Justin Lamb of Crystal Automotive Group. “People take care of their motorcycles, so we’re going to take care of them. We also have one of the biggest riding pads to train new riders, which is a huge push for Harley.” Those new riders may be part of a family tradition.

Generations “There’s not a lot of things out there that grandkids and grandpar-

STELLAR RIDES

ents dream of the same thing,” says Bo Strickland, Sales Manager. “The grandkids love riding the Harleys, the dad loves riding the Harleys, and the grandad loves riding the Harleys.” “I’ve seen, multiple times, three generations riding together,” says Justin. “Our Father’s Day ride is always a big one—I think there were 400 motorcycles in it last year.” “The ladies’ ride is big, and so is LAMA’s, the Latin American Motorcycle Association,” he says. “It’s a great meet-up spot for Harley riders,” says Bo. “You’ll have groups of people meet for the first time and leave together—two groups of people who have never met, and they’re friends by the end of the ride.” “We probably have five visitors a week from Europe,” Bo adds. “They fly in, rent a bike, and strike out around the country.”

Ozello Trail – Crystal River Just off US 19 between Crystal River and Homosassa, Ozello Trail has 39 curves leading all the way to the Gulf of Mexico and Ozello Keys. Classic restaurants midway and at the end make it worth the while.

W Stagecoach Trail – Floral City to Chassahowitzka The name denotes the evolution of this onetime stage coach route into a rolling forested ride along the south end of the Withlacoochee State Forest which continues all the way to Chassahowitzka on W Oak Park Boulevard.


Avenue of the Oaks – Floral City

US 41 / N Florida Ave. – Hernando & Inverness

Fort Island Trail – Crystal River

Although canopied streets are plentiful in Citrus County, none compares with the Avenue of the Oaks on East Orange Avenue in Floral City. E Bushnell Avenue continues the route into the Withlacoochee River basin.

This classic old Florida Highway still bears the charm of an earlier time with nostalgic stops like the pristine stone gas station now well-known to bikers as the Burger Station. The Blue Gill Bait Shop across the street provides a fun atmosphere with great views of Lake Hernando and dining.

This Gulf Trail provides an incredible crossing of the Salt River opening up into vast coastal marshland graced by the ocean breeze. Fort Island Gulf Beach is the destination for a perfect end—or beginning—to a day.


2020 OFFICIAL VISITORS GUIDE

In the Heart of Historic Downtown Crystal River 352.564.1400 657 N. Citrus Ave., Crystal River, FL 34428 TheShoppesOfHeritageVillage.com

D I S C O V E R C R Y S TA L R I V E R F L O R I D A

74 BubbaQue’s of Crystal River Delicious BBQ Smoked to Perfection, Full Liquor Bar, Family Atmosphere 352.795.7227

All About Nature Gift Store Nautical and Coastal Decor, Including Nature-Themed Gifts 352.563.1425

The Cotton Club

Southern Babe Boutique

Latest Women’s fashion in clothing, shoes, accessories, gifts & Home Decor 352.794.3566

Glass Werx

A Full Service Glass Art Studio, Specializing in Stained Glass, Fusing, and Mosiacs 352.586.8546

Apparel, Gifts, and Accessories in Casual Coastal Elegance, Fresh Produce, Brighton, Spartina and Tommy Bahama 352.563.2582

Mez Mer EYEs

A Unique Optical Boutique with Eye Exams, Contact Lenses, Sunglasses and Gift Items 352.795.2020

The General Store

Featuring Hand-Dipped Ice Cream, Nostalgic Candy, Unique Gifts, and much more 352.564.0311

Heritage House

Gifts from the Heart Home Decor, Unique Gifts, Gourmet Delights, and Adult & Childrens Clothing & Gifts 352.564.1400

Southern Roots Salon

A Full Service Beauty Salon That Provides A Creative and Innovative Working Environment 352.601.6373

Hammer & Stain

Do-It-Yourself Studio Where Guests Transform Unfinished Wood Into Wall Worthy Pieces 352.566.3077

Franklin Anderson Gallery of Arts Fine art, Nature & Manatee Art, Jewelry & Gifts Featuring Local Artists 352.697.2702


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72 Comfortable Seats, 20’ of Catering Counter & 1,800 sq. ft. of Pure Party Magic!

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STORY: MILES SAUNDERS

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ave and Debbie Thomas have reached a milestone. It’s their 28th wedding anniversary and they’ve returned to one of their favorite spots in all of Florida—the Homosassa River. Together with friends they raise a toast at the new Monkey Bar. “They’ve got ice cold beer, good food and drinks and we always love to see the monkeys out on the island,” Dave says with a laugh. Just then their server walks up with a platter fi lled to the brim with the bounty of the Gulf—the Monkey Bar’s famous Trash-Can-Lid. “It’s twelve fresh blue crabs steamed Maryland style and it has a pound of peel-and-eat shrimp,” says Deven Oldenburg, of the Homosassa Riverside Resort. “It is a feast.”

HOMOSASSA RIVERSIDE RESORT

D I S C O V E R C R Y S TA L R I V E R F L . C O M // 352.794.5506

Fresh seafood and live music abound at water’s edge all along the Homosassa River.

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MONKEY BAR


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Homosassa Comes Alive All along the waterfront from Seagrass Waterfront and Marguerita Grill down to the venerable Shed and the iconic Freezer, the Homosassa waterfront comes to life. “We’re right at a wide open point on the Homosassa River so there are pretty much just incredible views from wherever you sit,” says Bryan Craig, looking out from Crumps Landing. Crumps, across from the Monkey Bar, has given the waterfront a fresh new vibe with an incredible tiki hut village that could have come off a fi lm set or a Polynesian resort. “We try to focus on a local Homosassa feel but we try to put a little twist on it,” says Bryan. With family-friendly activities and live music, Crumps is an experience accented by food. “We try to stay as local as we can,” he says, “We feature grouper and mahi which are locally plentiful.”

A Working Waterfront

THE FREEZER

Fishing and seafood have defined the Homosassa waterfront for onehundred-fifty years. The site of Shelly’s Seafood Market—next to the Shed at MacRae’s of Homosassa—has been an active fishing operation of one type or another the entire time. “It’s a working waterfront,” says Bridgette Hill, co-owner with Michele Marino of Wild Sassa food trailer. “We’ve got the seafood market and we’ve got the crabbers and the fishermen.”


THE SHED - MACRAE’S OF HOMOSASSA

Like the Freezer just down the street at the Cedar Key Fish and Crab Company, it’s about as close as you can get to fresh off the boat dining. “We’re always keeping things fresh,” says Bridgette as she serves up a fresh shrimp sandwich. “Having something right here by the fishing boats really lets people connect with the community and that’s what it’s really all about.”

The River Wide Up river, the tiki bar is fi lling up at Seagrass Waterfront with its equally spectacular views of the river. “It’s called Buzzards Bay,” says General Manager Mike Peek. “It is the widest part of the river and gives you almost a lake-style view.” Inside, the kitchen is turning out impressive plates of seafood and steaks including Parmesan encrusted

SEAGRASS WATERFRONT

CRUMPS LANDING

sea scallops and Brazilian-style Churrasco flank steak. “We’re about a chill atmosphere,” says Mike. “The beauty of the river, a great meal at any price point, and a really sophisticated drink menu.” Just around the bend, live music already mixes with the sweet aroma of the food at Marguerita Grill on the Halls River. The evening has a jubilant feel as the sun gets low in the sky. Up and down

the river, music begins to pick up the beat and fall in with the timeless rhythm of the river.

WILD SASSA


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Worth the

Journey

As the popularity of craft brews explodes, hyperlocal breweries and wineries are springing up everywhere – including Downtown Inverness. STORY: CARLY ZERVIS

D

owntown Inverness is a gem. With the walkable sensibility of a small European city paired with excellent local food and brews, it’s the perfect place to get to know small-town Florida. Regional and local brews have long been a mainstay here but the latest addition, Nine State Brewery, has brought the wafting aroma of freshly brewing beer right to the epicenter of Florida’s Small Town Done Right. “This downtown area is a walking downtown. People park and there’s shops, restaurants, pubs, the bike trail, and parks,” says Eric

Lesage, who opened Nine State Brewery amid much anticipation in September 2019. Nine State represents Eric’s life story. “I’ve lived in Massachusetts and Florida my whole life and the journey down from Massachusetts takes you through nine states,” says Eric. “The city holds a lot of events, too,” he adds. “A lot of people who ride the trail love the idea of being able to come right off the trail, have a couple beers, and get back on.” Wait a minute: Have a couple beers and get back on the Withlacoochee State Cycling Trail? It

turns out Eric has a perfect solution for cyclists--the Shed Time Pale Ale. This tasty New England-style Pale, brewed on site, has just 2.5% alcohol by volume—well below Nine State’s Stouts and Double IPA or any microbrew you would pick up at the store. It packs a few carbs to burn on the trail but won’t leave you wobbly. “We want this to be a low-key space for people to come in, have a beer, talk to people with low music in the background,” says Eric. “They’ve done a great job with the downtown here. It’s a place to relax and enjoy yourself.”


Tasty Treats & Lively Streets Nine State Brewery - 200 Tompkins Street

With the brewery right on-site, Nine State offers up a pleasing assortment of brews with bold stalwarts like an Imperial Cream Stout to fresh new styles and flavors that change with the seasons. ninestatebrewery.com

Pine Street Pub - 108 N Pine Ave Nine State Brewery

Pine Street is Inverness’ answer to Cheers - a hangout where guests are always welcomed. Cute, cozy, with indoor and dog friendly outdoor seating and a wide range of beers, what’s not to love? pinestreetpub.com

Twysted Vine Wine Bar - 103 W Main St

Pine Street Pub

Stumpknockers

Chic and charming, Twysted Vine specializes in choosing just the wine you’re in the mood for. With lovely lighting and excellent music, it’s an easy place to fall in love...with. facebook.com/mcwinebar

//

With walls covered in local nostalgia and a huge variety of beers complementing a full bar and menu, Coach’s has been a must-hit stop since 1991. The pool tables and bar games keep the fun going. coachspubeatery.com

Motor City Pasta Company - 108 W Main Street Saluti! Italian wine, local craft beers, wood-fired pizza and pasta al dente. This cozy pizzeria is the hole-in-the-wall wonder of Downtown. motorcitypastaco.com

Kawa Sushi House - 109 Old Courthouse Square Authentic Japanese cuisine featuring fresh sushi rolls, bento boxes and frequent menu updates. Front & center on Old Courthouse Square. kawasushihouse.com Coach’s Pub

The Tipsy Turtle Tavern - 203 Courthouse Square

The Tipsy Turtle (named for the river cooter variety of hard-shelled reptile that is the town’s mascot) is a fun spot with carefully-chosen beers and outdoor seating between Fountain Plaza and the Valerie Theatre. facebook.com/tipsyturtletaverndowntowninverness

Oscar Penn’s Restaurant - 207 N Apopka Ave Set under an elegant canopy of oaks along the Bicycle Boulevard, Oscar Penn’s features fine wine, fine food and a fine place to relax on an expansive Florida veranda. oscarpenns.com Twysted Vine Wine Bar

81 C R Y S TA L R I V E R . H O M O S A S S A . I N V E R N E S S . F L O R A L C I T Y

Inverness and Pine Street Pub & Stumpknockers by CVB photography; All others: Miles Saunders

Coach’s Pub and Eatery - 114 W Main St

352.794.5506

An old-Florida charmer, Stumpknockers feels like a fish camp and smells like blackening spices. Offering everything from steak to gator tail and a full bar, nothing about Stumpknockers disappoints. stumpknockersonthesquare.com

D I S C O V E R C R Y S TA L R I V E R F L . C O M

Stumpknockers on the Square - 110 W Main St


D I S C O V E R C R Y S TA L R I V E R F L O R I D A

82 2020 OFFICIAL VISITORS GUIDE

352-563-1111

ASK FOR RATE CODE ILCORRIV

352-564-6464


D I S C O V E R C R Y S TA L R I V E R F L . C O M

From the Gulf...

352.794.5506

//

...To the golf course

Plantation Realty, Inc 1250 N Country Club Dr., Crystal River, FL | 352.795.0784 918 E. Norvell Bryant Hwy., Hernando, FL | 352.423.1424 PlantationRealtyListings.com

Plantation Rentals PlantationRentals.com | 352.795.0782

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2020 OFFICIAL VISITORS GUIDE

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F E ST I VA L S

AND

EV ENTS

LAKE HERNANDO DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL November 14, 2020 The Lake Hernando Dragon Boat Festival is the largest small boat Dragon Boat Festival in the Southeastern United States. Set on scenic Lake Hernando, part of the Tsala Apopka Chain of Lakes, it’s the ideal setting for fun and festivities and multiple teams compete and celebrate to the pounding of festive drums and the dancing dragon.

C AL EN DAR


Downtown Crystal River gomanateefest.com JANUARY 25

Bluegrass Old Time Music Fest & Car Show Rock Crusher Canyon, Crystal River tinroofshack.com

FEBRUARY

D I S C O V E R C R Y S TA L R I V E R F L . C O M

Florida Manatee Festival

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JANUARY 18 - 19

352.794.5506

JANUARY

FEBRUARY 15

Ozello Craft Show & Chili Cook-Off Ozello Civic Association, Ozello

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ozello.net

MARCH MARCH 7 - 8

Floral City Strawberry Festival Floral Park, Floral City gostrawberryfest.com MARCH 14

Inverness St. Patrick’s Parade & Festival Downtown Inverness goinverness.com MARCH 17

St. Patrick’s Day on Citrus Avenue Downtown Crystal River crystalriverfl.org

C R Y S TA L R I V E R . H O M O S A S S A . I N V E R N E S S . F L O R A L C I T Y

fun

Every season has its own unique character on Florida’s Gulf Coast but friends, fun and family are always the common theme.


MARCH 20-29

APRIL 18

Citrus County Fair

Mermaids & Margaritas Festival

Citrus County Fairgrounds, Inverness citruscountyfair.com

Crystal River

mermaidsandmargaritasfestival.com

MARCH 21

Clean Air Bike Ride Withlacoochee State Trail, Inverness cleanairride.com MARCH 21

Inverness Big Bass Classic

JUNE JUNE 28

Homosassa River Fireworks Fest & Poker Run Old Homosassa

Liberty Park, Inverness

riversideresorts.com

MARCH 21

J U LY

goinverness.com

Shrimpa-Palooza Old Homosassa

shrimpapalooza.com MARCH 21 - 22

Fort Cooper Days Fort Cooper State Park, Inverness

floridastateparks.org/parkevents/fort-cooper MARCH 27 - 29

2020 OFFICIAL VISITORS GUIDE

Sunshine Grand Prix

86

Inverness

sunshinegrandprix.com

APRIL APRIL 4

The Taste Food & Beer Festival Downtown Inverness

JULY 3

Patriotic Evening Liberty Park, Inverness goinverness.com JULY 4

FLORAL CITY STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL

Old-Fashioned 4th of July

March 7-8, 2020: Floral City

Kings Bay Park, Crystal River

The wonder of Florida’s early spring comes alive at the Floral City Strawberry Festival. Set in the shade of the magnificent oaks of Historic Floral City, the Floral City Strawberry Festival is a celebration of classic Americana with pie eating contests, festive music and a sea of strawberry shortcake that’s yours to enjoy.

crystalriverfl.org JULY 25 - 26

Scallop Festival Kings Bay Park, Crystal River bestfloridafest.com

AUGUST AUGUST 1

Pine Street Jam Downtown Inverness goinverness.com

goinverness.com APRIL 18

Fort Cooper Bluegrass Festival

OCTOBER

Fort Cooper State Park, Inverness

Crystal River Oktoberfest

floridastateparks.org/parkevents/fort-cooper

OCTOBER 3

Rock Crusher Canyon, Crystal River

facebook.com/citrusoktoberfest

OCTOBER 4

OCTOBER 23 - 25

Annual Withlacoochee Bike Ride

Cooter Festival – A Three Day Music Festival

Withlacoochee State Trail, Inverness

Depot District, Inverness

rttwst.org/annual-bike-ride-railsto-trails.php

D I S C O V E R C R Y S TA L R I V E R F L O R I D A

OCTOBER 10

Heritage Village Scarecrow Festival Heritage Village, Crystal River

cooterfestival.com OCTOBER 23 - 24

Haunted Tram Ride Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, Homosassa floridastateparks.org/parkevents/homosassa-springs

theshoppesofheritagevillage. com/upcomingevents.html

N OV E M B E R NOVEMBER 7

FLORIDA MANATEE FESTIVAL January 18-19, 2020: Crystal River Set at the peak of the winter manatee season, the Florida Manatee Festival is a celebration of the annual return of the manatees to Kings Bay and Florida’s exceedingly comfortable winter. Bands, boat rides and boardwalks where you can see the manatees up close are the highlights of this iconic two-day event.

Blues ‘n Bar-B-Que Old Homosassa

facebook.com/naturecoastblues NOVEMBER 7

Stone Crab Jam Downtown Crystal River stonecrabjam.com NOVEMBER 7 - 8

Inverness Festival of the Arts Downtown Inverness goinverness.com


HOMOSASSA ARTS, CRAFTS & SEAFOOD FESTIVAL November 14-15, 2020: Old Homosassa Enjoying fresh seafood is a defining feature of living the Salt Life in Old Homosassa. With the cooling days of fall, a year-round passion for art, crafts and seafood all come together as one in this celebration of the joys of Gulf Coast life. Lively music, mountains of seafood and delightful crafts booths under the sheltering oaks make this the happiest time of the year in Old Homosassa.

LIGHT UP INVERNESS December 4, 2020: Old Courthouse Square, Inverness NOVEMBER 14

DECEMBER 4 - 5

Lake Hernando Dragon Boat Festival

Floral City Heritage Days

Lake Hernando Park, Hernando

lakehernandodragonboatfestival.com NOVEMBER 14 - 15

Homosassa Arts, Crafts, & Seafood Festival Old Homosassa

homosassaseafoodfestival.org NOVEMBER 28

Ozello Arts, Crafts, & Blue Crab Festival Ozello Civic Association, Ozello

Downtown Floral City

floralcityhc.org/heritage-days.html DECEMBER 11 - 13

Fort Cooper Nights of Lights Fort Cooper State Park, Inverness

floridastateparks.org/parkevents/fort-cooper DECEMBER 19

Homosassa Boat Parade Old Homosassa

riversideresorts.com DECEMBER 19 - 24, & 26

ozello.net

Celebration of Lights

NOVEMBER 29

Homosassa Springs, Homosassa

Grinchmas Christmas Tree Lighting Festival

floridastateparks.org/parkevents/homosassa-springs

Little Springs Park, Downtown Crystal River crystalriverfl.org

DECEMBER DECEMBER 4

Light Up Inverness! Downtown Inverness goinverness.com

***Event dates, times, & locations are subject to change. For the most up-to-date information, go to discovercrystalriverfl.com/ events-calendar.

Snow in Florida? Yes, but only once a year at this signature holiday season event on Old Courthouse Square in Inverness. Light Up Inverness is the spectacular kick-off to the Christmas season with a memorable evening of lights, food and singing choirs in the cozy confines of downtown Inverness.


2020 OFFICIAL VISITORS GUIDE

532 N. Citrus Ave. Crystal River, FL 34428

MUSIC AT THE MUSEUM

The Past is Present in Museums

Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Visit us on our website or Facebook for our full schedule of events To order tickets:

cccourthouse.org | (352) 341-6428

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COASTAL HERITAGE MUSEUM

352-341-6428

Hernando Heritage Council

HISTORIC HERNANDO SCHOOL RESTORATION PROJECT Facebook: Hernando Heritage Council

FLORAL CITY HERITAGE MUSEUM 2020 Floral City Heritage Days First weekend in December

OLD COURTHOUSE HERITAGE MUSEUM Call, e-mail, or visit website for complete listing of concerts and activities.

1 Courthouse Square, Inverness FL 34450 (352) 341-6428 / Monday – Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. katherine.turner@citrusboccc.com / cccourthouse.org

8394 E. Orange Ave., PO Box 328

Floral City, FL 34436 (352) 860-0101

Friday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the-fchc@hotmail.com / floralcity.org


TRY DLLEE DD

AD PA P G G N I N I D D R R A OA K a y a k s t o o ! BO B ve

352. 564.0901 544 N. C it rus Avenue, Crystal River, FL 3 4428

Seagrass Seagrass Seagrass

Waterfront Restaurant Waterfront Restaurant Waterfront Restaurant And TiKI Deck And TiKI Deck And TiKI Deck

//

R ES E RV E NOW AT M A N AT E E PA DD LE.CO M

352.794.5506

Re nta ls • Lessons • Sales • Market-Leading Bi c/Yo l o Paddl e Boa rds • Comfor t Seating Liquidlogic Kayaks • Fre e Waterproof Floa ti ng Phone Case w ith 2 Weekday 4-Ho u r Re ntal s

D I S C O V E R C R Y S TA L R I V E R F L . C O M

We h a

On The Homosassa River On The Homosassa On The HomosassaRiver River

Awesome Drink Menu! AwesomeDrink DrinkMenu! Menu! Awesome

Wild Caught Gulf of Mexico Shrimp (USA) Wild Caught Gulf Mexico Shrimp(USA) (USA) Wild Caught Gulf of-of Mexico Scallops - Redfish Cobia -Shrimp Snapper Or Mahi Scallops - Redfish - Cobia - Snapper Mahi Scallops - Redfish - Cobia - Snapper OrOrMahi Nice Broiled Seafood Platter! Nice Broiled Seafood Platter! Nice Broiled Seafood Popular Int’l Chicken, Pork,Platter! and Beef Dishes Popular Int’l Chicken, Pork, and BeefDishes Dishes Popular Int’l Chicken, Pork, Beef Certified Angus Beef Burgers &and Signature Sandwiches Certified Angus Beef Burgers SignatureSandwiches Sandwiches Certified Angus Beef Burgers && Signature Full Menu and Hours at seagrassresort.com Menu and Hours atseagrassresort.com seagrassresort.com FullFull Menu and Hours 10386 WatHalls River Rd 10386 W Halls River 352-503-2007 10386 W Halls River RdRd 352-503-2007 352-503-2007

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1INFORMATION! STOP CITRUS COUNTY WELCOME CENTER Open Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm 915 N Suncoast Boulevard, Crystal River FL 34429

(352) 794-5506

2020 OFFICIAL VISITORS GUIDE

www.discovercrystalriverfl.com

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Find Your

Adventure Only Minutes to the World Famous

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Discover Crystal River 2020  

The 2020 Visitors Guide for Citrus County, Florida — showcasing Crystal River, Inverness, Homosassa, and Floral City

Discover Crystal River 2020  

The 2020 Visitors Guide for Citrus County, Florida — showcasing Crystal River, Inverness, Homosassa, and Floral City