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Tour Code: WT - Florida 03
6-Day Tour of Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park - Fort Island Trail Beach Park - Historic Courthouse Museum - Crystal River - Citrus County

Departure: Daily
  • Itinerary

    Day by Day
  • Day 01
    Entry Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park - Fort Island Trail Beach Park

    After breakfast, head on over to The Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. Experience this remarkable showcase for native Florida wildlife. The park offers visitors a rare opportunity to observe these animals, birds and plants in their natural settings. Also, there is an underwater observatory directly over the head spring of the Homosassa River where you can observe hundreds of fish and manatees up close. Fascinating educational programs are offered daily on West Indian manatees, Florida snakes and alligators. The Children’s Education Center will entertain the little ones while Mom and Dad take a rest after the 1.2-mile walk through this incredible, beautiful park. Lunch after the park is easy. Just down the road from the west entrance on Yulee Drive is the Museum Café, which specializes in Cuban sandwiches or for a waterside experience go to the world famous Riverside Crabhouse and watch the monkeys swing around on monkey island. Or try Marguerita Grill’s fresh seafood and sandwiches with “margaritas as big as your head”—all served with patriotic flair. After lunch, drive out to Fort Island Trail Beach Park and enjoy the afternoon and an unforgettable Florida sunset. The park has restrooms, picnic tables, a fishing pier and warm Gulf of Mexico water.

  • Day 02
    Historic Courthouse Museum - Crystal River

    For a unique indoor diversion after yesterday’s outdoor thrills, and for fascinating displays on the history of Citrus County and beyond, visit the Historic Courthouse Museum. Many displays are geared toward and even created by kids. Admission is free, but they accept donations for the Citrus County Historical Society. Elvis spent time at the historic courthouse to film his movie Follow That Dream. After the museum, make your way around the corner to Plaster Paradise (214 Tompkins Street, Inverness, 352.344.2893) where the kids (and the grownups) can choose a ceramic item to paint any way they’d like. While your creations are drying, walk on over to the town square for a great lunch. Stumpknockers offers seafood, sandwiches and the best fried catfish you’ve ever had. Then on your way back to Plaster Paradise, stop and see the doctor. Yup, tell your kids it’s time for their checkup with The Ice Cream Doctor. This shop is just what the doctor ordered for a wonderful frozen treat. (Find out more about historic Inverness here.) In the afternoon, drive over to Manatee Helicopter in Crystal River. It’s a “must do” to appreciate the diversity of the area and see the estuaries and grassy flats that make our coastline such a rich habitat for wildlife.

  • Day 03
    Crystal River

    Meet your captain riverside for a half-day or full-day fishing charter. All you need to bring is sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen and lunch. Everything else is provided, including the expertise and licenses. Homosassa and Crystal River are known worldwide for the fishing adventures they provide. Use our helpful guide list to find a guide. Be sure to make your reservations early! Spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool exchanging fishing stories.

  • Day 04
    Crystal River

    Renting a pontoon boat is the perfect way to explore the natural side of Florida. The boats are simple to drive, usually hold up to 12 people and are easy on the wallet. At the mouth of the river, you can swim in the warm Gulf of Mexico saltwater. Then, at the head of the river, cool off in the 72-degree water of a crystal-clear spring. And lunch during this excursion is a breeze. You can pull right up to one of our many wonderful waterfront restaurants for a great lunch, or pack your own. Most of the boat tour companies, marinas and resorts have rentals available.

  • Day 05
    Crystal River

    You’ve explored by motorized vessel. Now let’s see nature from a different angle: Take a kayaking tour of the Withlacoochee or Chassahowitzka River with a guide and learn about the history of the river and its flora and fauna - all while exploring what feels like uncharted land as you travel the way the region’s first Native American settlers did centuries ago. After your kayaking expedition, visit Cracker’s or Caribbean Cravings in Crystal River on Kings Bay. Outdoor seating at both places and hugely diverse menus are sure to satisfy even the biggest post-paddle hunger. Plus they are in the walking-friendly district complete with shops, pubs and a waterfront walk. After lunch, visit one of Citrus Countys Parks or hike one of the Great Florida Birding Trails sites. Either way, you’ll be communing with the beauty of the area while expending boundless kid energy.

  • Day 06
    Exit Citrus County

    We’ve saved the best for last. Today, we’re going to do something you can’t do anywhere else in the country - snorkel with endangered West Indian manatees. Hire a guide service to enjoy a half-day in the water with these sweet-tempered sea cows. A manatee encounter in Citrus County is a fun and unforgettable way to meet these gentle giants up close.
     

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