When people think of Crystal River, for most, manatees and perfectly clear waters come to mind, and with good reason. Masses of manatees migrate to Crystal River every winter, seeking the warm spring fed waters of the river. There are manatee sight seeing tours, chances to swim with manatees among other activities. As entrancing as it is to see theses gentle creatures, there is so much more to the town of Crystal River. While it is a little town of less than four thousand people, it is poised for steady growth. There are numerous hotels, shops, and restaurants to accommodate the tourist industry. In the coming years it is likely Crystal River will see a construction boom from the aging Baby Boomers choosing it as a place to retire.
The natural beauty of the area is an attraction itself, the azure waters of the river are framed by palms and oaks dangling over the water as if they want to jump in and swim. The river is an optimum location for paddle-boarding and canoeing with its attractive surroundings. Manatee are not the only wildlife that make Crystal River their home. Osprey and brown pelicans frequently fish the river, each in their own unique way. Bear, deer, and other wildlife along the more remote parts of the river will make their way to its banks for a drink. As one would imagine, the crime rate in Crystal River is low and gives it a small town feel from decades ago, while still embracing the 21st century. The forest surrounding the river are peaceful and unspoiled, but for the residents of Crystal River who want to go to a more populated area, from U.S. 98 they can easily reach Spring Hill, Tampa, or St. Petersburg. The town of Crystal River is not just a tourist town, but one its citizens are proud to call home.
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