About Crystal River
There really is a Crystal River in Crystal River, Florida it is a city in Citrus County, Florida, United States. The population was 3,108 in the 2010 census (3,485 in 2000). According to the U.S Census estimates of 2012, the city had a population of 3,055. The city was incorporated in 1903 and is the self-professed "Home of the Manatee".
Crystal River Preserve State Park is located nearby, and Crystal River Archaeological State Park is located in the city's northwest side. It is a six mile long winding waterway fed by some 30 springs, connecting Kings Bay with the Gulf of Mexico. The bay and the river combine to provide virtually every aquatic activity conceivable—from swimming and diving, to boating, water skiing, fishing and just drifting along admiring the views that make this city “The Gem of the Nature Coast.” Crystal River is at the heart of the Nature Coast of Florida. The city is situated around Kings Bay, which is spring-fed and so keeps a constant 72 °F (22 °C) temperature year round. A cluster of 50 springs designated as a first-magnitude system feeds Kings Bay. A first-magnitude system discharges 100 cubic feet or more of water per second, which equals about 64 million gallons of water per day. Because of this discharge amount, the Crystal River Springs group is the second largest springs group in Florida, the first being Spring Creek Springs in Wakulla County near Tallahassee.
Kings Bay can be home to over 400+ manatees during the winter when the water temperature in the Gulf of Mexico cools, and is the only place in the United States where people can legally interact with them in their natural conditions without that interaction being viewed as harassment by law enforcement agencies. Tourism based on watching and swimming with manatee is the fastest growing contribution to the local economy.
Long before Europeans came to the New World, native civilizations recognized the resources of the Crystal River area and left signs of their presence, some of which have been excavated and made accessible to visitors at the Crystal River State Archaeological Site. Boaters can see many other mounds as they cruise down the river.
There is solid evidence of the Deptford culture here from 500 BC to 300 A.D, then the Weedon Island culture from 300 to 900 AD, and finally, the Safety Harbor culture from about 900 A.D. until historic times, perhaps 1400 A.D.
Crystal River was once a center of cedar timber logging, and back about 100 years ago a local mill produced cedar slats that were sent to the Dixon Pencil Co. Countless users who chewed on Dixon pencils and released that characteristic aroma of cedar wood were getting a small taste of this beautiful community.
West Indian Manatees—those large, beloved marine mammals that graze underwater vegetation—are frequent visitors to the Crystal River area, because they cannot tolerate the wintertime chilly water of the Gulf of Mexico. Rather, they much prefer the steady 72-degrees of the spring-fed river. Together with neighboring Homosassa, Crystal River is the site of the largest gathering of manatees in North America and the only place in the nation where people can legally swim and snorkel with them.
Fishing was, and continues to be, a major attraction for Crystal River visitors. Many professional athletes have come here to enjoy some of the best saltwater fishing available anywhere. The short run to the Gulf and then the abundance of fish relatively near the shore make for memorable days.
The proximity of the Withlacoochee River provides a freshwater alternate to the saltwater delights of Crystal River. There is a very long canoe trail that can provide a week or more of lazy drifting and exploration, plus equally scenic equestrian trails.
The City of Crystal River has all the resources of any town in America, including excellent schools, convenient shopping, acclaimed antiquing, good restaurants featuring local seafood and produce, a Heritage Village with interesting shops and more. Crystal River also has an excellent airport, suitable for private aircraft and located just outside of the main business area.
Crystal River is located northwest of the center of Citrus County at 28°54′02″N 82°35′37″W, on the northeast side of Kings Bay and the Crystal River, an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico. U.S. Routes 19 and 98 pass through the center of the city, leading south 7 miles (11 km) to Homosassa Springs and north 46 miles (74 km) to Chiefland. State Road 44 leads east from Crystal River 17 miles (27 km) to Inverness, the Citrus County seat.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the City of Crystal River has a total area of 6.8 square miles (17.7 km2). 6.2 square miles (16.0 km2) of it is land and 0.66 square miles (1.7 km2) of it 9.35%, is water.
City of Crystal River
123 NW HWY 19, Crystal River, FL 34428
Ph: (352) 795-4216