Are your kids bugging you to take them on an adventure trip? If you live in Florida, you won’t have to go far to get immersed in the miles of forests, lakes, cool springs, wildlife, and adventure. Wherever you go in Florida, you won’t be far from one of the quaint towns such as Crystal River. So the question isn’t where should I go on vacation?—the question is where should I stay in Crystal River, Florida?
Part of the “true Florida” located on Florida’s Nature Coast, Crystal River is spread around Kings Bay. This bay is fed by 50 warm springs and is home to about 400 manatees. In fact, you can swim with the manatees at the Crystal River Preserve State Park! You can also explore ancient Indian artifacts at Crystal River Archaeological State Park, play golf, go fishing, hike through the forest, kayak, look for scallops, or relax in one of Crystal City’s excellent accommodations.
Where to Stay in Crystal River, Florida
Crystal River offers some of the best hotels, bed & breakfasts, inns, vacation rentals, and motels to help you experience a unique Florida vacation getaway or group retreat.
★★★ Retreat at Crystal Manatee, Crystal River, USA
Retreat at Crystal Manatee is a 3-star hotel located about 7.5 miles from Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park and within walking distance from Bird's Underwater and Three Sister Springs.
All rooms in this contemporary hotel are recently renovated, colorful, clean, and comfortable. All have air-conditioning, free wifi, a private bathroom, a flat-screen TV, and a desk. There are also larger family rooms—this hotel is very popular with families. The beach is only a few minutes’ walk from the hotel.
Guests enjoy a continental breakfast or can opt for the buffet breakfast. The hotel is surrounded by a lovely garden.
★★ Hampton Inn Crystal River, Crystal River, USA
Hampton Inn Crystal River is a large, modern hotel located about 3.2 km from downtown Crystal River. Very popular with families exploring the Florida wilderness, this comfortable hotel has a swimming pool with lounge chairs, a gym, and an office center.
The rooms are modern, spacious, and beautifully furnished with contemporary furniture. All rooms have a private bathroom, air-conditioning, a refrigerator, microwave, flat-screen TV, free wifi, and coffee-making facilities.
Guests enjoy a complimentary breakfast, free parking, and a laundromat.
There are plenty of things to do near the hotel. The Coastal Heritage Museum and Crystal River Preserve State Park are a short drive away.
★★★ Best Western Crystal River Resort, Crystal River, USA
Best Western Crystal River Resort is perfect for those tourists who want to combine exploring the "true Florida" with a bit of golf. The nearest golf course is less than three km away. The resort is also popular with families—there is a large swimming pool, and the resort offers diving and snorkeling tours.
All rooms are modern and spacious with a private bathroom, cable TV, desk, a microwave, and a refrigerator. The resort is also pet-friendly. Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast and free parking.
For those looking for more fun, Hunter Springs Park is only a short drive away. These natural springs are perfect for swimming and kayaking. Additionally, Crystal River Archaeological State Park is only 3.2 miles away.
★★★ Plantation on Crystal River, Ascend Hotel Collection, Crystal River, USA
Located in a 50-year-old plantation-style building on a 232-acre, eco-friendly property, Plantation on Crystal River resort has something for everyone: Southern charm, world-class golfing, Kings Bay natural springs, swimming with manatees, scuba diving, kayaking, and super comfortable accommodations. In addition, the hotel is only a 15-minute walk from Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge.
The rooms are elegant and spacious and have mini-fridges, flat-screen TVs, free wifi, microwaves, and coffeemakers. The private one-bedroom villas also have kitchenettes and living rooms. Guests can enjoy an outdoor pool, a 27-hole golf course, two restaurants, three bars, free spa treatments, and the 12,000 sq ft meeting space. There is also an on-site dive shop and marina. Guests can buy fishing supplies and rent kayaks, boats, and diving gear. The hotel provides regular, free, guided snorkeling tours for the guests—so you can snorkel with manatees!
The poolside Tiki Bar offers classic American dishes and tropical cocktails.
The River House, Crystal River, USA
If you are thinking of a girls’ weekend on the water or a fishing trip with the buddies, why not enjoy the privacy of a home with all the amenities of a hotel? The River House is a private holiday home with two wonderfully furnished rooms and all modern amenities. The house has a flat-screen TV, cable channels, wifi, and a fully equipped kitchen that includes a dishwasher, microwave, and washing machine. There is also one bathroom with a shower.
The house has a spacious, comfortable living and sitting area with a wood-burning fireplace and a wonderful view of the pool and the bay. There is also a large dining area and space for sitting at the kitchen counter.
The River House can provide comfortable accommodation for eight adults.
What makes this house stand out with guests is the spectacular views of the Crystal River, Three Sisters Springs, and Kings Bay. Watching the sunsets from the new saltwater pool, patio, or dock is guests’ favorite pastime in the evening. As for the kids, they love to swim with the manatees in the sanctuary located only a few hundred feet from the dock.
Snowbirds can rent this home long term. Ask to find out about their special rates.
Note that the best time to come to Crystal River is during the scalloping season, from June to the end of September.
Crystal River Lullaby B&B, Crystal River, USA
There are times when you have a very special occasion and need a special location. How about a magnificent, upscale, private bed and breakfast located on its own private island? Crystal River Lullaby B&B is located in the heart of St. Martin's Marsh Aquatic Preserve not far from Crystal River, Florida. The only thing connecting you to the rest of the world is a small bridge. In addition, Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park is only about six miles away.
The bed and breakfast has four luxury rooms. Each beautifully and uniquely decorated room has a sitting area, a private bath, its own entrance from the porch, a 49″ flat-screen TV, USB ports, an alarm clock, individual temperature control, a Blu-ray player, WiFi, a microwave, a fridge, a Keurig coffee maker, water, tea, and coffee. The rooms offer perfect comfort with Crave® and Tempur-Pedic mattresses and Comphy® sheets. For the tiny ones, Travel Lite cribs are available.
The covered porch and screened deck have comfortable sitting areas and are perfect for enjoying the views.
Handicap access is available through the four double carports. Guests enjoy a complimentary, gluten-free gourmet breakfast and special afternoon treats. Children two years or younger stay free.
The magical garden around the b&b is full of flowers and greenery and is also used for fun barbecue parties.
Guests can explore all the nearby attractions all less than 20 minutes away. They can swim with manatees, take a kayak trip on the river, or have fun boating from the Black Creek.