Discover Secret Swimming Holes and Hidden History in Crystal River, Florida - Atlas Obscura Lists

Discover Secret Swimming Holes and Hidden History in Crystal River, Florida

Citrus County, with its natural springs and plentiful manatees, is full of surprises

Often called the Nature Coast because of its abundant wildlife, wooded forests, and mangrove islands, Citrus County, Florida is where Gulf-fed, turquoise pools of water at Three Sisters Springs provide homes for the world’s largest gathering of manatees. This is where remnants of the state’s sugar-growing past at Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park lie near a wildlife preserve where native species come face-to-face with visitors. This is the Florida of natural springs, of Indigenous sites with history of the land’s first inhabitants, and islands where the only residents are free-roaming monkeys. 

Beautiful surprises can be found all over Florida – but this corner of the state, with its wilderness and oases, is waiting for you to discover its delights hiding among groves and springs. Dive into its waters, like the 30-foot-long fissure in the Chassahowitzka River that’s accurately named “The Crack”. Let fantasy and reality blur in the spectacular mermaid show at Mertailor’s Aquarium Mermaid Encounter

You can soak up the history of modern printing at the Old Mill House Gallery & Printing Museum, and finish your tour with a restaurant known for some of the region’s best Cuban cuisine. And not to be missed are the crystal-clear waters of Crystal River’s 70 natural springs that offer a unique experience, where you can swim in the company of manatees in their natural habitat as part of a guided eco tour.

Citrus County asks you to explore, turn corners that lead to breathtaking views, and discover little-known histories. Here, the natural world and the human world intertwine. This may not be the Florida you already know, but soon, it’ll be the one you fall in love with. 

This post is sponsored by Discover Crystal River. Click here to explore more.