Crystal River Preserve State Park, Crystal River

4.1
#5 of 8 in Parks in Crystal River
Crystal River Preserve State Park is a Florida State Park, originally known as the Crystal River Buffer Preserve, covering 30,000 acres (120 km²) of islands, inlets, backwaters, and forests. It is between temperate and sub-tropical climate zones and contains plants and animals from both. The park borders 20 miles (30 km) of the Gulf of Mexico between the cities of Yankeetown and Homosassa. Crystal River Archaeological State Park is located within the park.Activities include canoeing, fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking and bicycling. Among the wildlife of the park are neotropical birds and hawks, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and wading birds. Amenities include a dock, a 9-mile (14 km) biking trail, hiking trails and a two-and-a-half mile interpretive trail. The visitor center houses 6 dioramas, three 125 US gallon (473 L) aquariums, 2 snake exhibits, a diamondback terrapin enclosure, and a touch table. The park is open from 8:00 am till sundown year-round.Since the waterways adjacent to many of the park's shorelines are not technically included within the park boundary, it can be said that manatees are nowhere to be found in this State Park, even though, the nearest city (Crystal River) is nicknamed "Manatee Haven". However, acquisition of the land that makes up this state park does protect manatee habitat from development and manatees from the boating traffic associated with that development.
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Crystal River Preserve State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
114 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • Boat rides are great. I loved seeing the manatee. The zoo area has plenty to see and the walkways are safe. Staff is informative and friendly. Worth the expense,  more »
  • Beautiful Natural Setting. The Crystal River City Council has made it a priority to maintain its' natural beauty.  more »
  • The land from Tallahassee to Clearwater along U.S. Highway 19 in Florida remains today almost as lonely and barren as it was when my family first traveled the road in the early 1950s, when my father r...  more »
Google
  • The area is quaint and enjoyable. Some construction in progress. Would like to see more attention to the xeriscape demonstration.
  • Visitor center offers free parking, the archaeological site requires $3 parking fee. The attendants at the visitor center are helpful. There's cold tap water from refrigerated water fountains and clean restrooms with running water. See my photo for the hours when I visited in the winter.
  • Pleasant site. We visited on a dreary and rainy day. We did enjoy a short walk on a trail.
  • Excellent place for family outing.great place to swim with the manatees.
  • Peaceful and beautiful there is a abundance of wildlife

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Where to stay in Crystal River

If you wish to explore Florida's great outdoors on your own terms, consider renting a cabin in or near the quiet community of Crystal River. The area's vacation rentals not only offer fully equipped kitchens, private pools and spas, game rooms, and laundry facilities, but also provide you with more privacy than a hotel, motel, or bed and breakfast could. For something even more outdoorsy, and considerably less expensive, consider one of the area's campgrounds or RV parks.
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3 days in Crystal River BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Crystal River BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, hidden gems PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 28 days in Florida BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS January, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 28 days in Florida BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, teens, kids, relaxing, beaches, museums, wildlife, fast-paced, hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, teens, kids, relaxing, beaches, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 25 days in Florida BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA December, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 5 days in Crystal River BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Crystal River BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 25 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Crystal River BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in East Coast of USA BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Florida BY A USER FROM FINLAND February, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Florida BY A USER FROM DENMARK January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy
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