Good bye Winter!

If you are in the North, you may still be in the throws of winter but here in Crystal River it has started to feel like spring! We love the feeling of rebirth and renewal that comes with the arrival of warmer weather, but we are always sad to watch our manatee friends leave for their summer migrations. Our population is dropping now, but with one more[RBO1]  cold spell we hope March will offer us one last manatee hurrah! They are not GONE yet, they are just out searching for food and will be quick to return to the springs if overnight temps drop below 60 or so! March brings Crystal River thousands of visitors hoping to see these elusive manatees, so we are hoping Mother Nature will cooperate and extend our cool season at least 6 more weeks. In Pennsylvania, Punxsutawney Phil tells them what weather to expect….but here in Crystal River the manatees are the best weather predictors around!

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This is the time of year where having a qualified and experienced guide can make the difference between a disappointing day and a phenomenal encounter. They are not always easy to find but having a crew of people on your side that do this everyday can make for a much better chance at a manatee sighting! With warmer temps on the horizon, that means our summer time offerings will shine front and center!  Scallop season is on the way and we will be excited to announce a new VIP scallop tour from both Crystal River and Homosassa. Also, our Family Fun Day tour is an awesome way to spend a day with the family and the air boat rides are never better than in summertime conditions! Yes, it is getting warm….but there is still so much fun to be had in Citrus County!

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Scallop season opens on July 1 and will close on September 24. The season is short and fleeting, with folks coming from all over the state to harvest these delicious morsels! If you want one of the ‘prime spots’…..especially on a weekend then do not wait to book! For scallopers, the limit this year will be 2 gallons of uncleaned scallops per person or a limit of 10 gallons per boat…..and even though people get obsessed with finding their limit of these dinnertime treats, we love to remind our visitors that it’s all about the ‘experience of the hunt’ not just the amount of harvest. We have such an awesome time out there snorkeling and communing with nature, that collecting scallops becomes just a small part of that adventure! Fish, dolphins, sea turtles, manatees, birds and more are waiting for you in the Gulf of Mexico during your scallop quest!

A trip out to Shell Island, maybe a picnic and a paddle sound like an expedition built for your group and our Family Fun Day tour has all this plus more!! An affordable option for the group of up to 6 participants, this adventure can focus on whatever your heart desires….manatees, a river cruise, kayaking or tubing. We customize this tour to fit your needs and it gives much more time than the ‘group tour’ if you are simply hoping to swim with manatees. Do not overlook the Family Fun Day option, and if you don’t see it available the day you would like to book, simply give us a call and we can work out the details!

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Whether it is spring, summer, winter or fall, our crew is always happy to see you and anxious to share our love of the Nature Coast with everyone! From the rivers to the gulf, the springs to the grasslands, Citrus County has a surprise waiting for you around every bend and with River Ventures and Safaris as your guide dozens of hidden gems are waiting to be discovered!