Dunnellon

5 Fun Things to Do in Dunnellon

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Known for its prime location along the Rainbow and Withlacoochee Rivers, as well as its historic downtown district, Dunnellon is one of the many hidden gems residents will find located all around the Villages of Citrus Hills.

Because of its location just over 20 minutes north of our community, Dunnellon is one of the popular day trip destinations for our residents. And with everything from river tubing and horseback riding to airboat tours and shopping, there is never a dull moment in this nearby town.

Let’s take a closer look at five of the most fun things you can do while spending a day up in Dunnellon.

Tubing Down the Rainbow River

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One of the most popular things to do in Dunnellon is break out a tube or kayak and spend the day floating down the Rainbow River. This is a great way to take in the beauty of the area without having to do a whole lot of work.

The best places to start any tubing or kayaking adventure here are Rainbow River State Park and the KP Hole County Park. There are companies available to rent tubes or kayaks near both locations, so the only thing you have to bring is a swimsuit.

Rainbow Springs State Park

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While Rainbow Springs State Park is best known for being a perfect launch point for a day out on the Rainbow River, the park offers so many additional amenities that it actually deserves a place of its own on this list.

In addition to river access, Rainbow Springs State Park offers some of the best hiking and camping areas you will find this close to the Villages of Citrus Hills. So whether you are looking for a wilderness weekend or just a picnic outside, this is the type of location you definitely want to experience.

Happy Acres Ranch

If horses are your passion, then Happy Acres Ranch is going to be the type of place you want to visit over and over again.

This working ranch specializes in trail rides, lessons, and boarding. They have over 50 miles of trails to explore on horseback, so there is always a new path to explore while you are out riding.

In addition to being a great place for horseback riding, Happy Acres Ranch also offers campers and cottages for rent if you want to turn Dunnellon into your home for the weekend.

Airboat Tours

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While exploring the Rainbow and Withlacoochee Rivers by kayak can be quite relaxing, airboat tours offer visitors a much more exciting version of that same experience. These flat-bottom boats are powered by massive fans attached to the back of them.

Local companies like Captain Bob’s Airboat Tours offer regularly scheduled tours that will get you up close and personal with all kinds of local plants and native wildlife. Plus there is the fun of actually getting to experience riding on an airboat.

Historic Shopping District

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Most of the small towns throughout the state have some interesting boutique stores for shoppers to explore, but Dunnellon has the Historic Village Shops of Dunnellon, which is a collection of those types of stores that work together to create an amazing shopping experience.

The Historic Village Shops of Dunnellon also hosts a market of local crafters and artists on the first Saturday of each month. So if you are planning on shopping in town, that is the best time to visit.

With everything from tubing down the Rainbow River to exploring the Historic Villages Shops of Dunnellon, this quaint little town is packed with fun and adventure for anyone who wants to visit. And since it is located just a short drive from the Villages of Citrus Hills, there is no reason you can’t plan to head up to Dunnellon on a regular basis.

American Diners: 5-Restaurants in Citrus County for a Delicious Classic Meal

Everyone loves comfort food, and no one does comfort food quite like the classic American diner. Here at the Villages of Citrus Hills, we have the good fortune of being surrounded by an incredible selection of local diners.

If you are looking for a place that serves the best of your breakfast, lunch, and dinner favorites and is willing to put sausage gravy on just about everything, we have five perfect places that are guaranteed to keep your belly full for a price that won't break the bank.

Grannie's Restaurant - Crystal River

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When we’re talking about diners in Citrus County, the conversation pretty much HAS to start with Grannie's Restaurant in Crystal River.  

This place isn't set up to impress you with fancy bells and whistles. It's a basic brick building with a simple sign on the outside. Inside, it's just a basic counter service diner with a few tables. But when the food comes out at Grannie's, everyone's mouth will be watering.

Breakfast is the name of the game here, so you will definitely want to try the sausage gravy and smoked ham. However, Grannie's also puts out some delicious lunch options. Their fried catfish lunch is outstanding.

 

Sara's Diner - Crystal River

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Located just down the road from Grannie's is another diner that is a Citrus County staple. Sara's Diner has a similar look to Grannie's on the inside with counter seating and a few tables, but the lunch food is the big attraction here.   The reuben is one of the most popular items on the menu here, and it stands up to the hype as one of the best sandwiches you will find in Crystal River. Sara's also serves an excellent turkey club, and the chop steak dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy will surely fill you up.

Breakfast Station - Multiple Locations

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Most people don't include chain restaurants when they’re talking about diners, but Breakfast Station has done such a good job of staying true to the classic diner experience that you honestly wouldn't know they have ten stores across central Florida. Residents of the Villages of Citrus Hills have their pick between three locations in Citrus County: Beverly Hills, Crystal River, and Homosassa.

 

As for the food at Breakfast Station, they deliver a consistent quality that continues to impress customers. Railroad Yard Omelets are probably the most popular choice here, but they also serve traditional breakfasts, as well as some not-so-traditional dishes like the Grand Junction, which is a breaded chicken filet on a biscuit smothered in sausage gravy.

Sugarmill Restaurant - Homosassa

While most of our local diners close for the day around 3 pm, the Sugarmill Restaurant in Homosassa stays open for dinner as well. This is where you can find classic diner-style dinners like chicken-fried steak and mashed potatoes, chop steak sandwiches, and chicken parmesan with spaghetti.

The omelets are all spectacular, and the home fries might be the best in Citrus County.

The Front Porch - Dunnellon

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Since they advertise themselves as a "Restaurant & Pie Shop," you can probably guess what the big selling point is at The Front Porch in Dunnellon. If you are in the mood for a slice of pie, this is the place you want to be. 

They also have a wonderful breakfast menu and the lunch menu is also a big attraction with delicious soups and a Cuban Melt that will make you feel like you've been whisked off to Havana.

Make a point to try all five!  Enjoy!

October Activities and Events at the Villages of Citrus Hills

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Just like that, the calendar is changing again, and we are making our way into the fourth quarter of the year. It feels like the whole year has flown by, but we certainly have had a lot of fun here at the Villages of Citrus Hills so far in 2017.

If you thought the calendar was filled with fun activities over the past few months, you are going to be astounded by what the month of October has to offer. We are officially into autumn, and that means that we have lots of pumpkin-spiced fall events planned throughout the entire month!

Social Events

This month's Trivia Challenge will be a special Halloween edition in the Hampton Room on Thursday, October 17. Dinner will include Bourbon Salmon and Cheddar Cheese Stuffed Chicken, and there will also be a costume contest for anyone who wants to participate.

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The Shabbat Dinner Club will have their monthly dinner on Friday, October 27 in the Garden Room. The meal will feature a choice of Pan-Seared Salmon or Chicken Marsala, and it will be a great opportunity to get to know some of your neighbors on a more personal level.

Residents who are really looking to get into the fall spirit will want to make sure they make reservations for the trip to The Pickin' Patch in Dunnellon on Saturday, October 28. This quaint little farm is a must visit for anyone who loves pumpkin patches, and there will also be a stop at The Front Porch for lunch on the way back.

The Citrus Hills Vacationers club is always planning a few months ahead, and right now they are taking reservations for anyone who wants to attend Tampa Bay Lightning games on December 7 and March 6. Tickets for each game include round-trip transportation, and they can be purchased by calling the Activity Center.

Arts & Entertainment

On Tuesday, October 10, the Speaker Series will be hosting The Crime Prevention Task Force for a discussion on "Helping Citizens Be Aware." The workshop will take place in the Activity Center at 1 pm.

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All of our crafters will want to be sure to attend the Sign Painting Workshop in the Activity Center on Wednesday, October 11 from 2 pm to 5 pm. Heavenly Colors will be bringing everything you need to create a beautiful sign to hang in your home, so the only thing that you need to bring is your creativity.

Lunch & Learn will be back on Tuesday, October 24 in the Garden Room. This month, guest speaker Ann Marie Simonelli will be discussing how we can work the idea of healthy aging into our everyday lives. There will be a delicious chicken salad lunch served as well.

Golf & Tennis

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Golf is definitely going to be heating up this month with the Citrus Hills Ghost Open on October 7, the 2017 Skyview Men's Club Championship scheduled for October 23 and 24, and the Citrus Hills Couples Championship on October 27.

In addition to those big tournaments, there will be a Taylor Made Demo Day at Skyview on October 12 from 9 am to 2 pm. You can also get some help to improve your game at the Free Golf Clinics with Mary Slinkard on October 2, 3, and 4 for beginners, and October 10, 17, and 24 for intermediate golfers.

Over at the Skyview Tennis Center, there will be a Free Beginner Tennis Clinic on Tuesday, October 10 at 11 am. After improving your skills this month, you will be ready to go for the Burger Bash Tennis Social scheduled for November 5.

Dinner Specials

The Tiki Bar will be hosting Alfresco Starry Night on Thursday, October 12. Guests that evening will have their choice of Seared Nebraska Trout, Hazelnut-Crusted Duck Breast, Filet Mignon, or Tuscany Shrimp Pasta. There will also be live entertainment to enjoy from Snap Dare.

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The big event at Skyview Restaurant will be Brewvival on Tuesday, October 24 from 5 pm to 8 pm. This dinner and beer tasting event will feature a delicious five-course meal where each course is perfectly paired with a different specialty beer.

We are now well into the NFL season, and no matter who you root for, all football fans are welcome on Sundays at the Tiki Bar. There are great food and drink specials from 1 pm to 8 pm every week, and thanks to Direct TV's NFL Sunday Ticket, all of the games are available!

Spa & Fitness

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Our friends over at BellaVita Spa have also gotten into the fall spirit. They will be having Pumpkin Spice Oil Massage and Pumpkin Facial specials throughout the entire month of October. So, if you happen to find yourself with some free time between all of the activities and events this month, make an appointment to pamper yourself!

 

 

For the full schedule of all the activities and events for October please click into the link below for our Connections Newsletter.

http://www.citrushillsgolfandcountryclub.com/userfiles/file/October%202017%20Connections%20ONLINE.pdf