Chrystal River
There really is a Crystal River in Crystal River, Florida. It is a six mile long winding waterway fed by some 30 springs, connecting Kings Bay with the Gulf of Mexico. The bay and the river combine to provide virtually every aquatic activity conceivable—from swimming and diving, to boating, water skiing, fishing and just drifting along admiring the views that make this city “The Gem of the Nature Coast.”

West Indian Manatees—those large, beloved marine mammals that graze underwater vegetation—are frequent visitors to the Crystal River area, because they cannot tolerate the wintertime chilly water of the Gulf of Mexico. Rather, they much prefer the steady 72-degrees of the spring-fed river. Together with neighboring Homosassa, Crystal River is the site of the largest gathering of manatees in North America and the only place in the nation where people can legally swim and snorkel with them.

Floral City
Located some seven miles east of Inverness, today's Floral City is technically not a city, but “a census designated place.” Floral City was named for the wild flowers that grew, and still grow, all over the area. This picturesque community hosts an annual Strawberry Festival. The event features live entertainment, family activities and dozens of booths and offering their unique items for sale. Many open air “cafes” spring up to serve a variety of food and drink.

Even the most insensitive motorist, intent on getting past Floral City on the way to Interstate 75 to the east or the City of Inverness to the west, cannot ignore the length of road that goes through a spectacular archway of old oak trees. It is the crowning glory of Floral City.

The beauty of the Homosassa River was recognized by a group of New England investors who obtained ownership of virtually all the land bordering the Homosassa River in 1886. Successors to the owners began selling land to the public in 1921, leading to the gradual growth of Homosassa as a fishing village and a place of permanent residence. Travel in those early days was by stagecoach from Ocala.

The big, crystal clear spring always was a major tourist attraction, with manatees—and the visitors who come to swim and snorkel with them—enjoying the year-round 72 degree water, a combination of fresh and salt water fish and countless waterfowl. A series of private businesses owned the property until 1984, when the Citrus County Commission bought the attraction. Today, Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park is owned by the State of Florida and managed by the State Department of Environmental Protection.

The City of Inverness is the largest municipality in Citrus County and it continues to grow at a managed pace. Inverness proper is slightly more than 7 square miles with population over 7300. Residents take pride in the community and the fact Inverness has served as the County Seat of Government for more then 120 years. Inverness has become the principal hub for special events, culture and activity. Bordered by forests and lakes, natural resources have been protected and managed to provide a wealth of outdoor opportunities for family enjoyment. It is a community with a strong vested interest to respect its history and environment.

The City is made up of many small neighborhoods, each with a distinctive past and flavor. Through the years, it has become a haven for those seeking a relaxing getaway, a friendly community to enjoy retirement, or a simpler and safe lifestyle to raise family. Many may be found enjoying the beautiful water front parks or taking a leisurely stroll through the historic downtown area.