It’s hard to believe that September is almost over and that autumn is upon us. Our northern friends and family will be returning to winter with us. It’s prime time to sell or buy a house in Sugarmill Woods. Welcome your new Sugarmill Woods residents and neighbors. Not only are there great places to golf, bicycle, jog or walk the Sugarmill Woods neighborhood, but there’s also a plethora of fun activities to do all over the Nature Coast. Tell them about all the wonderful activities that go on in Citrus County, Florida. Here are some fun ideas to introduce to your new neighbors.
Home of the World Famous Manatee
The Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park is located on Highway 19 in Homosassa and starts with a boat ride from the visitor’s center to the park. Knowledgeable pontoon guides will point out the wildlife along the way. Once inside the park, there are numerous animals to visit. Stop at the fishbowl and take an underwater look at our friendly Florida manatees. These lovable sea-cows love to show off for visitors. Another main attraction, is a visit to Lu, the hippo. Lu is Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park unofficial mascot. At over 50 years old, Lu is one of the park’s earliest and most beloved residents. Other species include birds, bobcat, and alligators.
Three Sisters Springs, located in downtown Crystal River, is where the manatees come to play. The springs are the best place to see manatees during the winter when the springs stay close to 72 degrees. These gentle giants are fascinating to watch from the boardwalk surrounding the Springs. Visitors come from all over the world to Citrus County, FL just to see our world famous manatees. Sugarmill Woods residents love to bring their families and friends who are visiting to this great location to see the manatee.
A Water Lover’s Paradise
Water activities are abound in Citrus County. From paddle boarding and kayaking to fishing and boating, there is plenty of room for all kinds of water fun. The Crystal River, Homosassa River and the Chassahowitzka River all lead to the Gulf of Mexico for a day of fun on the water. There’s also eco-tours that will get you up close and personal with our wildlife. In June, Old Homosassa hosts a large Cobia fishing tournament. Also, around the first of July through the middle of September is scallop season. If the scallops are running well, you should be able to bring home enough scallops to feed your entire family. Make sure you have a valid Florida fishing license.
Restaurants & Shopping
Seafood is abundant in Citrus County. There are numerous seafood restaurants that offer locally caught shrimp, crabs, and scallops, many of which are in Old Homosassa. Make it an adventure, try all the restaurants and pick your favorite along the Nature Coast.
Shopping is a visitor’s paradise. Citrus County has a wide variety of gift shops and specialty shops. Take a day and explore the little shops in Floral City and Dunnellon. Stoll along Citrus Ave. in Crystal River and poke around the shops there. An afternoon in Inverness can be spent browsing the shops along Main St.
Citrus County is Rich in History
Heritage Museum is located in the former and famous courthouse in the round. Elvis Presley, in 1961, shot some scenes for the movie Follow That Dream, in our lovely courthouse. Sugarmill Woods residents who are Elvis fans enjoy visiting the museum
Valerie Theater located on Courthouse Square, offers concerts, plays, movies and more to the residents and visitors of Citrus County, FL. Renovated in 2015, the theater was built in 1926 by Mrs. Pearl G Maddox, and was named after her daughter, Valerie. The building was gutted by fire in 1939 and rebuilt. In 1962, daily clips from Follow That Dream were viewed with Elvis Presley in attendance. The theater sat vacant from 1987 until 2009 when the City of Inverness purchased it.
An Original Florida Orange Grove Stand, Ferris Groves, is located in Floral City on Highway 41. This is something that should go on every Sugarmill Woods resident’s to do list. You can purchase and ship fresh locally grown oranges and grapefruits. February begins the strawberry season, be sure to stop and get your strawberry milk shake.
Outdoor Enthusiasts Love the Nature Coast
Withlacoochee State Trail offers bicyclists an old Florida view. This 46-mile trail is part of the nationwide Rails-to-Trails network. It can be used for biking, hiking and skating. There is an adjacent horse trail to ride horses on. The trail begins in Citrus Springs, just south of Dunnellon and extends south to Highway 301 in Dade City. Sugarmill Woods residents who enjoy riding their bicycles should check out this great state trail for a scenic and fun ride.
Fort Cooper State Park, located off Old Floral City Road, is a part of the Great Florida Birding Trail. This 700-acre park was the site of three different Seminole Indian wars during the mid-1800s. There are several thousand Seminoles in the state of Florida that are descendants from these warriors. Visit Fort Cooper in March for Fort Cooper Days, the reenactment of one of the war battles.
Famous Festivals in Citrus County
The Strawberry Festival, an annual event held in late February or early March, is a great day activity for everything strawberry. Vendors set up in Floral Park just south of downtown Floral City. It’s everything you can imagine and then some! Bring your new Sugarmill Woods neighbors to this fun and delicious event!
Stone Crab Jam is an annual festival, sponsored by King’s Bay Rotary, the first weekend in November in downtown Crystal River. Vendors set up along Citrus Ave and there are several food tents where you can enjoy the delicious star of the day, the Stone Crab. Voted one of the best festivals in Citrus County, this a favorite of Sugarmill Woods residents.
Lastly, there are our parades. We love our veterans and honor them with a parade on Veteran’s Day in Inverness and a Memorial Service following the parade. Additionally, the Christmas Season brings out the spirit in all of the Citrus County communities. Each town has their own special take on the Christmas parade. It may be a golf cart parade in Ozello, or a themed parade in Inverness, or a good Santa Claus parade in Beverly Hills. Also, drive around the various communities in the evenings and ooh and aah over all the holiday lights. Sugarmill Woods residents enjoy lighting up their yards and homes with special Christmas decor.
Citrus County, Florida may be off the beaten path, but there are plenty of things to see and do when you become an official Sugarmill Woods resident. Welcome your new and returning neighbors with open arms and tell them about our county and why it’s so special.
About the Author
Ruth Edwards, serves as the 2019 President of the Realtors® Association of Citrus County. Additionally, she is an active Realtor® with Coldwell Banker Next Generation Realty. Contact Ruth for assistance with all of your Sugarmill Woods and Citrus County real estate needs. Either by phone at (352) 586-0115 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Build in Sugarmill Woods, Florida
When you’re ready to build, contact the trusted professionals of Edward Russell Johnston, Inc. Over 43 years of building beautiful homes in Sugarmill Woods and across the Nature Coast. Call (352) 795-2200 for more information.