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Crystal River

Visit Crystal River and you'll be heading to the manatee capital of the world. In 2015, a survey of Florida's manatee population found 1,000 of the state’s 6,000 manatees here. And, it's the only place in Florida where you can legally swim with manatees - an experience you’ll never forget!

Why so many manatees? It all comes down to the abundance of crystal-clear springs that feed the county’s rivers, including seventy springs in Crystal River’s Kings Bay alone. Visit or swim in the spectacular Three Sisters Springs, where hundreds of manatees gather in winter or see them anytime at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park’s underwater observatory.

Afterward, feast on freshly-caught seafood in one of Crystal River’s seaside villages. Enjoy the night-life in the pubs and restaurants of historic downtown Inverness. The county is a cycling paradise too, with the 46-mile long Withlacoochee State Trail that winds through one picturesque village after another.

Crystal River reflects the same fun, friendly, wild atmosphere you’ll find throughout the Sunshine State. You won’t miss out on the Florida Resort Experience either. Stay in comfort and style at the world-class Plantation on Crystal River. With a 36-hole golf-course, a top-rated restaurant and fishing and kayak tours leaving hourly from the Plantation Adventure Center, there’s plenty to do. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll feel wonder again in Crystal River, Florida.

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Swim with manatees

The Crystal River region attracts more manatees each winter than any other place in Florida and it’s the only place you can swim with manatees. Board a boat at the Plantation Adventure Center and slip into the water with these gentle marine mammals. Tours take place year-round but the largest numbers of manatees are between November and March.

Kayak and paddle-board Florida Springs

Florida’s springs defy imagination—crystal-clear waters welling up from beneath the earth in white sandy coves. Paddle and plunge in the Chassahowitzka River’s incredible Seven Sisters Springs or scuba dive in underwater caves in Crystal River’s King Spring.


An underwater Easter Egg Hunt in the Gulf of Mexico! Snorkel in warm water above shallow grass beds teeming with starfish, sponges and wonderful neon blue-eyed scallops. Take them back into town where local chefs specialize in cooking up delicious meals with your catch. June to September.

Airboat Rides

A flight of fancy beyond compare. Fly over the waters of the spring-fed Withlacoochee River in these quintessential Florida boats. See wildlife including alligators and limpkins and enjoy the ride.

Withlacoochee State Trail

Bicycle through quaint towns in the Tsala Apopka Lakes Region. Quaint towns, fresh Florida fruit stands, and wonderful food choices are all along the way.


Our Top Hotels in Crystal River

Plantation on Crystal River

Plantation on Crystal River


The eco-friendly Plantation on Crystal River, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member is surrounded by the natural springs of Kings Bay and more than 25,000 acres of pristine lakes and rivers.

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Holiday Inn Express Crystal River

Holiday Inn Express Crystal River


This hotel features a modern green-friendly environment conveniently located near highways 19 and 44 - which offer easy access to Inverness - Tampa and Orlando.

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Best Western Crystal River Resort

Best Western Crystal River Resort


Crystal River Florida hotels are close to a variety of attractions, and our Crystal River hotel staff is committed to making your stay special.

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Fly Drive Holiday: Sunshine Trails

Miami - Key West - Everglades National Park - Naples - Sarasota - Silver Springs - St Augustine - Orlando

Take a whirlwind tour around the coast of Florida on this sun-drenched fly-drive holiday, starting in Miami and taking in subtropical swamps, unspoilt beaches, fascinating wildlife and phenomenal sunsets en route to Orlando, the theme park capital of the world. Don’t miss the chance to meet a veteran astronaut at the Kennedy Space Center or test your snorkelling skills at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
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You will need your ESTA!
The US authorities have imposed a requirement for passengers travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), to register for Electronic Travel Authority if you are travelling to the US. Any passengers who have not made an application for and received their travel authorisation via ESTA before travelling may not be permitted to board the aircraft or could be denied admission at the US entry destination. But of course, neither possession of a visa, nor meeting the basic requirements for travelling visa-free on the VWP will guarantee a passenger admission to the United States. The final determination of admissibility is made by the immigration office at the port of entry.

Where can I apply for ESTA?
Prior to travel, you will need to visit and fill out an online application form.

When should I apply?
This will need to be applied for at least 72 hours prior to travel if you intend to travel to America.

How long is my ESTA valid for?
Your ESTA will be valid for up to two years, or until your passport expires. It is also possible for you to use for multiple entries to America. Just be sure to amend any necessary data, such as date of travel and your address whilst in the US.


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