Crystal River, Florida, has become a favorite ecotourist destination in the United States because the river is home to the world famous Florida manatees. Every year, numerous visitors flock to this location to swim alongside gentle giant sea mammals. Captain Mike and his crew have been providing guided manatee tours in the Crystal River area for more than a decade, with highly trained personnel and state-of-the-art equipment to ensure safety. In fact, they are the only PCI compliant manatee tour company in the Crystal River area.
The Crystal River area has several hotels and resorts. Justin Strickland, the manager of Swimming With The Manatees, recommends The Port Hotel Marina or the Quality Inn Crystal River, both of which provide excellent accommodation facilities. Other popular hotels in the area include Crystal Cove Bread & Breakfast, Withlacoochee Motel, Nature Coast Inn, Two Rivers Inn, MacRae’s of Homosassa and Country Chalet Inn.
For nearby dining, the Crystal River Ale House is a few steps away from Swimming With The Manatees. This eatery overlooks the open bay with a view of manatees, boats and dolphins while you dine. Other famous restaurants in the area include Grannie’s Restaurant, Seafood Seller & Cafe, Margarita Breeze, Vintage on 5th West 82 Bar & Grill, and Cody’s Original Roadhouse. From affordable bread-and-breakfast options and two-star hotels to more luxurious accommodations, there is something for everyone. Tourists are advised to book in advance to take advantage of discounts. Keep in mind that the manatee population is at its peak during the months of November through April. The best month to visit Crystal River is March, when the manatees gather in large numbers near the river’s hot springs.
In addition to manatee tours, this riverside city has a long list of attractions. Tourists can indulge themselves in other activities such as SCUBA diving, kayaking and swimming. They may also check out the Crystal River State Preserve which is a paradise for hiking enthusiasts. Those who want to try horseback riding can visit Flying Eagle and Pott’s Preserve.