Crystal River Beach: Ah, sweet, sweet paradise. Wind in your hair, sand between your toes, and nothing but miles of ocean in front of youâ€¦ Thereâ€™s nothing quite like getting away from it all with a visit to the beach.
Thatâ€™s the goal for this weekend, at least. But first, you need to find out where you can access Crystal River Beach. Your life is busy enough already and you donâ€™t want to spend hours getting to your paradiseâ€¦ You need to find someplace nearby to let loose and relax.
Fortunately, youâ€™ve got plenty of options, from beaches located just minutes away to those you can get to within the hour.
Ready to find out what those beaches are so you can go ahead and start planning your day away from it all? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about four beachside parks all within an hour of Crystal River, Florida.
Fort Island Gulf Beach
For those of you who really donâ€™t want to travel far, why not head straight to Fort Island Gulf Beach, which is as Crystal River Beach as they come. Thatâ€™s because this beach is located right in the city of Crystal River.
Upon arriving at the beach, enjoy walking on the parkâ€™s beautiful white sands or boardwalk. Then, head out to the fishing pier to catch dinner. Those who search diligently may even be lucky enough to see dolphins swimming in the deep blue.
Fort Island Gulf Beach is open from 6 AM to 9:30 PM every day and is located at the address listed below:
16000 W. Fort Island Trail
Crystal River, FL 34429
The beach also provides visitors with access to restrooms and showers.
Swim with Manatees on the Crystal River Beach
So, weâ€™ll be straight with you: next on our list of Crystal River beaches isnâ€™t actually a beachâ€¦ itâ€™s even better. If youâ€™re looking to take your water adventure to the next level, you may consider visiting some manatees rather than heading to the beach this weekend.
In order to swim with manatees in the Crystal River, you must work with a business that has a Special Use Permit, as manatees are a protected species under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and the Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973. Fortunately, there are several organizations that offer such services.
In other words, as tempting as it may be, donâ€™t try to swim with manatees on your own!
You can also visit several boardwalks along the Crystal River that may give you a glimpse of Crystal River manatees in their natural habitat. This includes Three Sisters Springs. Or you may choose yet other recreational activities that get you close to these incredible creatures, such as kayaking or paddleboarding.
Alfred McKethan Park Beach
Next up on our list of Crystal River beach is the Alfred McKethan Park Beach, located about an hour away from Crystal River, Florida in Hernando County.
This beach is part of a 3-acre park. You can get up to the obvious beach activities of sunbathing and swimming at this park.
Or you can venture out a bit and enjoy some volleyball. The park also has several picnic shelters, picnic tables, and barbeque grills, making this location a great option if youâ€™re hoping to gather with extended family during your beach visit.
The park is open from 8 AM to sunset each day and is located at the address below:
10800 Pine Island Drive
Spring Hill, Florida 34607
Hunter Spring Park in Crystal River Beach
You may also consider taking a trip to Hunter Spring Park to fulfill your dreams of visiting some Crystal River beach.
While this park doesnâ€™t have an ocean-front beach, it does provide access to some pretty killer swimming. Thatâ€™s because itâ€™s right next to one of 70 Crystal River springs. This maintains water temperature at a comfortable 72 degrees year-round.
In addition to swimming, you can take your boat out using the parkâ€™s boat launch or try to see some manatees while walking the boardwalk. The park also has a playground, making it a great place for those with little ones (but be sure to leave your dog kids at home though, as this dog only permits service animals).
The park is located at the following address:
104 NE 1st Avenue
Crystal River, Florida 34429
Upon arriving, youâ€™ll need to pay for parking at one of the nearby kiosks. The park is open every day from 8 AM to sunset.
With a variety of Crystal River beach you can choose your own adventure depending. Upon whatever youâ€™re up for that day. That may mean taking a swim with Crystal River manatees. Staying nearby at Fort Island Gulf Beach, or driving down to the Alfred McKethan Park Beach. No matter which option you choose, youâ€™re sure to have a wonderful time enjoying all that Florida has to offer.