Located about an hour and a half north of Tampa, Crystal River is a great location for an outdoor day trip that you can take with your family. Here are a few things you and your family can do while visiting Crystal River:
Swim with the Manatees
Crystal River is known for being one of just a few places in Florida that native manatees flock to each year during the cooler months. The town of Crystal River and its surrounding waters are dotted with natural springs that remain around 72 degrees year-round, drawing in the manatees that can't survive in colder water.
Tree Top Adventures offers those visiting crystal river a fun family-friendly activity, that will challenge you with ropes, zip lines, a climbing wall, lily pad platforms, and other obstacles.
Explore the Three Sisters Springs Boardwalk
One of the most famous places that the manatees gather in Crystal River is at Three Sisters Springs Boardwalk, which is a collection of natural springs that feed the Crystal River.
There are three different ways to experience the Three Sisters Springs:
Walk the boardwalk above the springs
Paddle into the springs with a kayak or paddleboard
Swim into the springs
Kayak the Chassahowitzka River
The “Chaz” is a 5-mile-long river is located in southwestern Citrus County, just a 20-minute drive from Crystal River. Like many rivers in this part of Florida, “The Chazz” is spring-fed, and is bursting will all sorts of life.
Visit the Homosassa Springs
Lastly, you should make a stop at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, located less than 15 minutes from Crystal River. Originally opened as a kind of zoo in the early 1900s, today the park is run by the state of Florida.