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Being in Tampa Bay means having access to so many wonderful destinations nearby. One of our favorite easy getaways or day trips is Crystal River, with lots of outdoor activities. Crystal River, known as the jewel of Citrus County, Florida, has been recognized as a top summer destination in the 2023 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest for Best Summer Travel Destination!

Crystal River is also a hot spot for manatees and scalloping

Crystal River is a paradise for outdoor adventurers and nature lovers. Blessed with picturesque trails, an exclusive scalloping season, and the esteemed title of the ‘Manatee Capital of the World’, Crystal River, along with neighboring Homosassa, Inverness, and Floral City, presents unforgettable experiences. 

If you’re wanting to see what it’s like to swim with the manatees, check out A Bucket List Date Day Swimming with Manatees in Crystal River. Scalloping season is also on the horizon and we’ve got Your Ultimate Guide to Scalloping in Tampa Bay in 2023.

Conveniently located about 75 minutes north of Tampa and 90 minutes west of Orlando on Florida’s Nature Coast, this Gulf of Mexico gem is the perfect blend of accessibility and tranquility. You can find lots of local eats, including Crump’s Landing – some of the best waterfront dining in Florida.

Tiki Hut Dining at Crump's Landing Homosassa Florida
Dining at Crump’s Landing Homosassa Florida – Dani Meyering

 

Crystal River is also home to multiple natural springs in Florida that are totally date-worthy.

Crystal River selected by USA Today

This charming town, which was initially nominated among 20 destinations by a panel of travel media experts, climbed its way to the top 10, placing 7th and validating it as an unmissable summer hotspot on the 10Best.com website.

Out of 10 notable destinations across the United States, Crystal River proudly ranked seventh. To get a taste of one of the best summer travel destinations in the U.S., plan your visit now. For more information and to start your journey, head to DiscoverCrystalRiverFL.com. Discover the magic of Crystal River, Florida, and make your summer unforgettable.

“As part of our ongoing marketing strategy, we host travel writers so they can experience all Citrus County has to offer and then use those experiences to create travel content to introduce our destination to the world,” said John Pricher, executive director of Discover Crystal River Florida. “We were thrilled to welcome a travel writer from USA TODAY earlier this year and are honored to have been nominated for this contest. I want to thank all our locals and visitors who voted and helped Crystal River earn this prestigious and far-reaching accolade.”

Image credit: Get Up and Go Kayaking

 

Nominees for the award were chosen by a panel of experts. These travel experts included editors from USA TODAY, editors from 10Best.com, expert contributors, and sources for both these media and other Gannett properties. While the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest lives on 10Best.com, a standalone travel media site, it is promoted across USA TODAY Travel Media Group’s digital and mobile sites, as well as their social media.

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