Local Guide: Visit Citrus County And Crystal River, Fl

One of the biggest benefits of living in the Villages of Citrus Hills is that there are so many great things to see and do nearby. One of the most popular local attractions is Crystal River, Fl a town located less than twenty minutes west of Citrus Hills. 


The Crystal River area is often described as “The Water Lover’s Florida”and “The Jewel of the Nature Coast.” While those are great sounding descriptions of the area, they fail to capture all that there is to do in and around Crystal River, Fl. 

If you are interested in activities and sightseeing, Crystal River offers everything from historic shopping and museums to boat tours and canoe rentals. If you are passionate about food and dining, there are plenty of unique local restaurants to choose from. When it comes to lodging, the options range from discount campgrounds to first class resorts. 

Whether you are looking for an exciting day-trip, a fun-filled weekend, or an entire month getaway, there are excellent options for all three in Crystal River.

Things To Do in Crystal River, Fl

One of the most popular ways to spend time in Crystal River is browsing through the stores located in its historic downtown area. You can loose track of time looking through all of the different shops. One of the most popular stops is the Manatee Toy Company, which stocks more than a dozen different types of stuffed manatee toys, as well as plenty of other gifts and clothing. 

Another must-see local attraction is Crystal River Preserve State Park. This beautiful state park features a number of bicycle and hiking trails, fantastic fishing locations, an impressive visitor center, and water activities like boat tours, kayaking, and canoeing. Pets are also welcome at the park!

Speaking of water activities, there are multiple locations around Crystal River that offer boat tours, as well as boat rentals. Swimming with manatees is extremely popular. Crystal River Manatee tours allow you to snorkel right beside these large sea-cows. 

If seafood is more your thing, you might want to try your hand at scalloping. Harvesting fresh scallops is a fun activity that can be enjoyed by the entire family. There are many services around Crystal River that offer guided scalloping adventures.

Places To Eat the Best Seafood, Burgers and Ales 

In addition to being filled with interesting things to do, Crystal River also has a great selection of local places to eat. Visitors can find everything from casual family restaurants to fine dining, depending on their own personal preferences. 

One popular restaurant is Burkes of Ireland. This Irish Pub delivers the complete pub experience by combining the food, music, and beer that you would expect to find in any true Irish pub. The draft menu features14 different craft and import beers, and there is also a large selection of bottled beer. Burkes is also in the process of brewing their own beer, so look for that next time you are in the area. 

Another great eatery is The Crystal River Ale House. This restaurant is known for having fresh seafood, as well as pasta, burgers, chicken, and steak. Because it is located right on the water, the views from the dining room are unbelievable.  

If you are looking for a truly unique dining experience, you will definitely want to check out Vintage on 5th. This restaurant is located in downtown Crystal River, Fl in what used to be a church. The building was constructed in 1940. The menu at Vintage on 5th focuses on fresh fish and classic southern dishes.  

The Plantation is Where to Stay 

If you live in the Villages of Citrus Hills, you probably don’t need a place to stay, as Crystal River is just 20 minutes from home.

But if you don’t, or you simply want to stay and immerse yourself for a few days, we recommend you check out Plantation on Crystal River. The Plantation is a 232-acre resort that provides first-class accommodations located right by all of the interesting attractions in Crystal River. The resort also offers 27 holes of golf, a full service spa, a heated swimming pool, swimming with manatees, and a full service restaurant. 

It’s hard not to be overwhelmed by all of the options for activities in Crystal River. Since it is located less than 20 minutes from Citrus Hills, there is no reason not to visit on a regular basis. You certainly won’t run out of things to do.