Citrus County: Experience Florida from the Water
By Renan Leahy
Upon arriving in Citrus County, I realized that Florida will never fail to amaze me. I did not expect to find so much contact with nature and adventure on the beautiful waters here, all located so close to the major theme parks of Orlando and Tampa. Now I want to share with you what I saw there.
Plantation Adventure Center Tours and More
Citrus County consists of the cities of Crystal River, Floral City, Homosassa and Inverness, is in central west Florida, bordered by the Gulf of Mexico. This is a natural paradise where you will make friends even underwater! From the Plantation Adventure Center, you can take a boat tour that will put you side-by-side with manatees at the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge. This is the only place in North America where you can do this in their natural habitat, an impeccable sanctuary that is home to 25 percent of the population of the species in the United States.
Also in Crystal River, you can choose the way to explore Three Sisters Springs that best fits your profile: diving, kayaking or paddle boarding. You can rent everything you need on site and will be impressed with the clearest water I've ever seen.
Later in the afternoon, I highly recommend going back on the boat at the Plantation Adventure Center to enjoy an unforgettable sunset over the river waters.
On an Airboat in Citrus County
Citrus County’s waters also offer other amazing experiences to its visitors. Airboats take tourists to explore the region’s flora and fauna, in areas where motorboats cannot go. It gives you the sensation of discovering a secret saved for just a few, with stops at locations where nature remains untouched. The reflection of the enormous trees on the water is only disturbed when some curious alligator or turtle comes to check you out. Not just a beautiful tour, it is also a great adventure, with radical manoeuvres at high speed.
Scalloping in the Gulf of Mexico
In the summer, adults and children of all ages put on masks and snorkels and go in search of scallops, a very fun game of treasure hunting in the shallow flats of the Gulf of Mexico. And the best thing is to savour these fresh, delicious mollusks with cooking tips that many captains can teach you. If you prefer, you can take them to one of the local restaurants, and the chefs will prepare your catch.
And in the evenings, you can relax with a walk around charming downtown Crystal River, with great bars, restaurants and shops installed in beautiful historic buildings. It’s the perfect complement to this spectacular natural world, located just a short drive from the fantasy world of Orlando. Come check it out!