Citra is situated on a rustic piece of countryside replete with grand old oaks and palm trees, and like the scenery the town is a charming piece of Florida history. As U.S. Route 66 once thrived with tourist stops going west, so was Highway 301 and you can see that in the Orange Shop that pre-dates attractions like Disney World and Universal Studios. It’s easy to see why tourist would stop to buy oranges while looking at Spanish moss draped over the shady oaks that are so prevalent in Marion County. Tourism led to a construction boom in Citra during the 1950’s, as many people who passed through were so taken with the town they decided to make it their home. With the coming of the Interstate system Citra became a sleepy little town, and has stayed that way until today.
Nearly seven-thousand people call Citra home, and that number is likely to grow with Florida’s renewed popularity as a state to relocate. Citra is a paradise for the hiker, fisher, or hunter. There are ample woods to explore and see wild Florida, as it was before the population boom of the 1960’s. The Orange Creek Conservation area is one of Citra’s main attractions, with both swamps and nearby Paynes Prairie it offers the wildlife enthusiast and bird watchers an abundance of creatures to observe. From a vacated bank built in the 1920’s to homes built before the turn of the twentieth century, Citra is a wondrous place. The orange groves that gave the town it’s name may have perished in the freezes of 1983 and 1989 but the town itself is as welcoming as it was sixty years ago. Though isolated, it is just a short trip from Ocala and all the luxuries of the twenty-first century.
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