5 Places to Take Your Holiday Guests in Citrus County

One of our favorite things about living in Citrus County is that there is an endless amount of things to see and do.  There is always something happening right here in the Villages of Citrus Hills, and there are just as many fun attractions throughout the rest of the county.  

All of these attractions and activities are great for those of us who call Citrus County home, but they can be a little overwhelming for those who are just visiting with us for a short time. For that reason, we thought it would be a good idea to put together a list of the top five places everyone must see while visiting in Citrus County.  

5. Fort Island Gulf Beach 

Fort Island Gulf Beach is one of those places that you probably say, “We should come here more often,” just about every time you visit. It has beautiful white sand beaches, public restrooms, and a great boardwalk overlooking the water.

When your guests visit the Gulf Coast of Florida, they are definitely going to want to SEE the Gulf Coast. This is the perfect way for them to see it right here in Citrus County, and it’s also an extremely relaxing way to spend a day. 

4. The Withlacoochee State Trail 

Bicycling is a fun way to show your guests a good time outdoors, making the most of our great Florida weather. There are lots of trails to choose from around Citrus County, but the Withlacoochee State Trail is the one that is a must-see attraction. 

This is a perfect place for cyclists of all skill levels. You can take your time and cruise just a few miles, or push the envelope and explore all 46 miles of former train tracks. 

3. Rainbow River Tubing 

If your visitors are looking for something a little more adventurous that is still a great representation of life in Citrus County, taking them tubing on the Rainbow River is a perfect way to spend an afternoon.

Tubing is popular and with the beautiful forecast for the next week it will be the kind of experience that your visitors will be sure to tell everyone back home about! Kayaking or canoeing is another way to see the beautiful Rainbow River if the tubing is not of interest. 

2. Downtown Inverness 

Whether your guests are interested in history, shopping, or great food, there is something for everyone to enjoy just a few miles away in downtown Inverness.

Every tour of Inverness should start at the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum, but you might also want to explore the local shopping or grab some takeout food and head to Fort Cooper State Park for a picnic lunch.  

1. Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park 

A lot of people who visit Florida want to get to the beach, which we addressed with number five on this list. But the main interest for many who visit Citrus County specifically is to see live manatees, and the best place to do that is Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park!

Visitors can get up close and personal with live manatees from the underwater observatory. They can also learn a lot more about these local mammals from the information sessions held regularly at the park.  

Among each of these five attractions, you will definitely show your guests some of the very best highlights of Citrus County. And if you haven’t been to all of these places yourself, what are you waiting for?

October Activities and Events at the Villages of Citrus Hills

September came and went in the blink of an eye, and believe it or not we are already rolling into the month of October. That means that we are getting deep into another football season, all of our seasonal friends are coming back down south for the winter, and we better get moving on our Halloween costumes! 

As usual, there is something for just about everyone packed into this month’s activities calendar. Whether you are looking for a great day trip, a fun painting lesson, great dinner specials, or some of the most competitive golf anywhere along the Gulf Coast, you can always chase your passions here at the Villages of Citrus Hills. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the biggest events happening throughout our community this month.


 Social Events

We will kick off this month’s social events on a competitive note with a Mah Jongg Tournament in the Activity Center Card Room on Wednesday, October 5 at 9 am. There will be a total of 13 tables playing simultaneously to decide who is the best Mah Jongg player in town.  

The Little Black Dress Club will be hosting a Hot Pink Luncheon Party on Thursday, October 6 at Skyview Restaurant. This month, the focus will be on breast cancer survivors.

On Sunday, October 9, our local car and truck enthusiasts will be getting together in the Activity Center Parking Lot. There will be food, music, and vendors, as well as tons of really cool classic cars! 

Speaking of the classics, there will be a group of members taking an “Old Florida” Antiques & Shopping Trip to Micanopy on Saturday, October 15. This day trip will offer some excellent shopping opportunities, as well as an optional historic tour.  

Our monthly Trivia Challenge Night will be on Tuesday, October 18, and it will have a Halloween twist this month with a special prize for the most creative costume!

The Shabbat Dinner Club will be meeting in the Garden Room at The Grille on Friday, October 21 for a fabulous dinner event that includes your choice of baked stuffed chicken or salmon with lemon dill sauce.

Arts & Education 

On Monday, October 10, The Vacationers Club will be meeting in the Activity Center at 10:30 am. This month’s speakers are Kathy Hildebrandt and Darla Fowler from Travel Authority, and they will be speaking about some of the upcoming trips for 2017.

Coffee & Canvas is also back this month, and local Artist Vanessa Fuller-Brown will be instructing the class on recreating Monet’s famous “Garden in Bloom.” As usual, everything you need is included in the $60 price for members.

Golf & Tennis

Golf season is already back in full swing, and there are three big tournaments scheduled for the month of October. That will start with the VIP Card Tournament at The Oaks Course on October 18.  

All the big dogs will be out at Skyview for the Men’s Match Play Championship on Monday, October 24 and Tuesday, October 25. This is one of the biggest members-only tournaments of the year.  

Couples who golf together stay together, and that will be on display at the 12th Annual Couples Championship teeing off on Sunday, October 30. This is a two-day, 36-hole tournament that will determine the best golfing couple in the Villages of Citrus Hills.  

If your game still needs some work, there will be Beginners Golf Clinics on October 3, 4, and 5. Those will be followed by Intermediate Golf Clinics on October 11, 18, and 25.  

Tennis players are not going to want to miss out on the Tennis Taco Fest on Sunday, October 16. This will be a round robin men’s and women’s doubles tournament that is followed by a build-your-own-tacos buffet.  

Those just starting to learn the game might want to attend the Free Beginner Tennis Clinic at Skyview on October 8 at 11 am.  

Dinner Specials 

Since it is the month of October, it makes sense that our friends over at Skyview Restaurant would be planning a few Oktoberfest specials. They will be serving up an Oktoberfest Dinner on October 11, as well as an Exploring the Tastes of Germany Dinner on October 25.  

Skyview Restaurant will also be hosting Sunday brunch on October 16 and October 30.


The Tiki Bar is also getting festive this month. They will be having a formal event called Alfresco on Thursday, October 13 with live jazz music and fancy, high-end food. Then, they will be cutting loose a bit on Monday, October 31 for their Halloween Costume Party.   

In case all of these great events still aren’t enough to fill up your calendar, you might also want to take advantage of the Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte Spa Pedicure that is on special throughout October at BellaVita.  

Looking ahead, there will be a trip to Tampa to watch the Buccaneers host the Seattle Seahawks in November. And you will definitely want to mark your calendars for the 12th Annual Holiday Boutique in the Hampton Room on November 3.  

For a complete list of activities and events please click below for our October club newsletter. 2016 Connections_ONLINE.pdf

Killer Deals: Our Favorite Local Flea Markets

One of the favorite pastimes for many residents of the Villages of Citrus Hills is bargain shopping. And between all of the local discount stores, craft boutiques, and antique shops in the surrounding area, there is an almost never-ending supply of options. But nothing feels quite like a good old-fashioned flea market…and we’ve got plenty of those too.  

Depending on the day of the week and how far you are willing to go, there is always treasure hunting here in Citrus County. These are a few of our favorite local markets.  

Howard’s Flea Market

Fun, Food & Fabulous Finds

With more than 800 covered booths spread out over 55 acres, Howard’s is the largest flea market in Citrus County. This local treasure was started back in 1972 and has won a “Best of the Best” award from the Citrus Chronicle every single year for two decades now.

Bargain hunters will find a wide range of items available at Howard’s. In addition to all of the standard types of flea market items, there is also a great selection of gourmet deli foods. They are open every Friday from 7 am to 2 pm, and every Saturday and Sunday from 6:30 am to 2 pm, and parking is always free.  

You can find Howard’s Flea Market on Suncoast Boulevard right in Homosassa.  

Stokes Flea Market 

If you are looking for a good mid-week flea market, Stokes Flea Market in Crystal River is a great choice. They are open every Tuesday and Wednesday from 6 am to 2 pm, and Wednesdays are typically busier than Tuesdays.  

As you make your way through the booths at Stokes, you will find all of the typical guns, knives, and jewelry vendors under covered booths towards the front. But those open-air booths at the back are where it gets a lot more interesting. This is where you will find all kinds of random stuff…including some hidden treasures.  

Southern B’s Indoor Flea Market 

It doesn’t have to be a nice day to find some bargains at Southern B’s Indoor Flea Market. They are located right along US-19 in Crystal River, and you will find just about anything you can imagine under the roof here! 

This one is more of a vintage second-hand store than a true flea market, but there are still some amazing finds to be had here. They are open every day from 10 am to 5 pm, so if the weather tries to throw a damper on your shopping plans, Southern B’s is the perfect backup option.  

Webster Westside Market


If you are willing to travel about an hour southeast of the Villages of Citrus Hills, you will find yourself at the Webster Westside Market in Webster, Florida. This 35-acre market has been packed full of booths for more than 50 years now.

Webster Westside Market is a great place to search for those hard-to-find antiques, but they also have plenty of food vendors and two restaurants on site. They are open every Monday from 6 am to 2 pm during the summer, and then from 5 am to 3 pm from September through April.  

I-75 Flea Market

Another big weekend market is the I-75 Flea Market located off of I-75 just north of Ocala. They are open every weekend from 7 am to 2 pm on Fridays, and from 7 am to 4 pm on Saturdays and Sunday. 

 And if all of these flea markets aren’t quite enough, you might want to check out the massive Red Barn Flea Market in Bradenton or Renninger’s Twin Market in Mount Dora.  

Happy shopping!