Holidays

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?

10 Food Ideas That Will Make Your Home a Hit This Holiday Season

The holiday hosting season has officially arrived, and whether you are hosting your friends, family, or coworkers, everyone wants their holiday party to have that one amazing food item that everyone is still talking about at the next party.  

Luckily, thanks to all of our amazing friends, we don’t have any shortage of great ideas when it comes to foods that are perfect for those holiday parties. 

We’ve broken it down into the four holiday food groups: appetizers, entrees, desserts, and cocktails! 

Appetizers 

Our first appetizer is a modern take on the classic meatball appetizer. You used to be able to blow your guests away with a traditional Swedish Meatball, but it takes a little more than that these days, and this Crock-Pot Cranberry Orange Meatball recipe has exactly what it takes.

Chips and dip are another staple of any holiday party, but this Holiday Wreath Taco Ring takes that basic concept to a whole new level. Scrap the chips altogether and start dipping these little slices of stuffed taco bread into homemade guacamole and your guests are sure to be impressed.

A perfect fit for any holiday party is a tray of bacon wrapped chestnuts. There’s a song dedicated to chestnuts roasting on an open fire, but they must have just been out of bacon, because this is the way your guests really want chestnuts prepared!

Entrees

Moving on to the main course, cranberries are one of the most festive holiday ingredients that you can include with any dish, and this version of balsamic roasted chicken mixes them with some fresh thyme for an absolutely amazing flavor combination.

Another tried and true holiday entree is a classic prime rib. Try a version with lots of garlic and rosemary, and then balance it out with a delicious horseradish cream sauce.

Desserts 

They say that presentation is 90% of taste, and if that is true then this amazing Gingerbread Trifle will surely impress everyone when it comes time for dessert. With layers of different berries stacked between layers of ginger bread and homemade whipped cream, this stunning dessert is almost too pretty to eat!

Another adorable dessert idea that is really easy to pull off are these little strawberry and whipped cream Santas. They might not be enough of a dessert on their own, but they are the perfect complement to any other desserts you might have planned.

Speaking of complementing your desserts, nothing does that job quite like a gourmet hot cocoa bar. Just set out a few bowls of accessories that your guests can add to their hot cocoa and they will surely still be talking about it at the next party!

Cocktails 

Having your own featured cocktail is another great way to set your holiday party apart from all the other ones this season. One of the simplest options is to dress up a classic vodka and cranberry with a bit of club soda and then some fresh cranberries and rosemary. All of a sudden, that simple drink looks instead like something out of a magazine.

If you prefer to make your cocktails in large batches, this Sparkling Cranberry Vodka Punch is another way to dress up the classic vodka and cranberry juice. This time, we’re adding some ginger ale and lemonade to make it into a punch and then garnishing with lemons, cranberries, and fresh mint leaves.

The most important ingredient for any holiday party is always going to be having the right people there, but once you have that in place, the next step is to impress them with something amazing. This list of ten unique food items should have you well on your way as far as that is concerned.  

Happy holidays!