Destination guide

Crystal River—more than just the manatees!

To enjoy life in the slow lane for a while, bring the family to Crystal River for plenty of exciting vacation options, but what’s more exciting than Mother Nature in all her tropical glory? With state parks, art galleries, specialty toy shops, manatee encounters, fishing, swimming, boating, and beautiful beaches, Crystal River vacation rentals offer the perfect base from which to go exploring the local area. Located in West Central Florida, Crystal River, nicknamed the “Home of the Manatee,” is off the beaten path, but well worth the detour.

Things to do

Manatees, beaches, art, and antiques—all in Crystal River

After you’ve had your manatee fix, head over to one of the beaches for an old-fashioned boardwalk experience and try your luck fishing off the pier. The Boardwalk is home to longleaf pine, gopher tortoise, and fox squirrel, and takes visitors through a sawgrass marsh and out to a hammock island. Little Springs Park Playground is a hidden gem that will keep the kids happy and give the adults the chance to relax amid beautiful surroundings. You can also enjoy art and antiques with the shoppers in your group at the nearby stores.


Crystal River is a must for your Florida nature vacation

Crystal River vacation rentals are your home away from home and perfect for exploring the Crystal River Preserve State Park and Crystal River Archaeological State Park. Both parks offer canoeing, fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking, and cycling. Younger members of the family will love fishing off the pier and then heading for some nature coast food at one of the local family-owned restaurants. Of course, the number 1 attraction here is snorkeling and swimming with the local celebrities—the manatees, that is!


Cool off or warm up in secluded Crystal River

While you’re enjoying your Crystal River vacation rentals, you’ll find the climate in Crystal River pleasant and relaxing. Crystal River is located on a natural spring-fed bay which maintains a constant 72°F temperature year-round. The summers are sunny and hot, the winters are short and cool. Over the course of the year, temperatures typically vary from 45°F to 90°F and are rarely below 30°F or above 95°F. The water temperature is warmest in July, with an average temperature of 85°F and coolest in February, when it’s more like 65°F.

Natural features

Crystal River—the hidden treasure of West Central Florida

Located just 80 miles from Tampa and 85 miles from Orlando, Crystal River is located northwest of the center of Citrus County on Kings Bay and the Crystal River—an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico. U.S. Routes 19 and 98 pass through the center of the city, leading south to Homosassa Springs and north to Chiefland. Crystal River has a total area of 6.8 square miles of which just over 9% is water. Kings Bay can be home to over 400 manatees during the winter when the water temperature in the Gulf of Mexico cools.

How to get there

Transportation options to and around Crystal River

The nearest airport is in Ocala, FL (OCF-Ocala Intl.), located 30.9 mi (49.7 km) from the city center.

Where to stay around Crystal River?

Our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 344 vacation rentals near Crystal River. From 24 Cabins to 256 Houses, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best places to stay near Crystal River for a holiday or a weekend are on HomeAway.

What is the best area to stay when traveling to Crystal River?

Whether you're traveling with family or friends, here are the areas with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Crystal River:

  • Springs at Kings Bay: 39 vacation rentals
  • Indian Waters: 21 vacation rentals
  • Crystal Shores: 29 vacation rentals
  • Dixie Shores: 27 vacation rentals
  • Woods N Waters: 21 vacation rentals

For other neighborhoods, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

What are the popular points of interest near where I can stay when traveling to Crystal River?

HomeAway offers a large selection of vacation rentals near lovely places in Crystal River. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge: 550 vacation rentals
  • Crystal River Watersports Marina: 546 vacation rentals
  • Hunter Spring Park: 550 vacation rentals
  • Crystal River Archaeological State Park: 539 vacation rentals
  • A Crystal River Kayak Company: 551 vacation rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Crystal River listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available near the point of interest of your choice.

Can I rent Cabins in Crystal River?

Yes, of course. HomeAway has 24 Cabins in Crystal River. Our other popular types of vacation rentals in Crystal River include:

  • Houses: 256 rentals available
  • Condos/Apartments: 26 rentals available
  • Villas: 14 rentals available

But you can also enjoy a great stay in one of our other vacation rentals including Cottages and more.

Can I find a vacation rental with pool in Crystal River?

Yes, you can select your preferred vacation rental with pool among our 104 vacation rentals with pool available in Crystal River. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

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