The Crystal River Archeological Park is a fantastic place to go. Crystal River can get a bit crowded during scallop season or manatee season. The Park offers amazing views of the river from the top of the largest mound. Multiple burial mounds, middens and an air conditioned visitor’s center make up the park. Because the park is located directly on the river, there is often a cool breeze even in the hottest part of July and August. Crystal River Archeological Park is one of the more impressive ancient sites we have visited, especially considering it was rescued from being a trailer park.
The largest mound has stairs that allow you to climb to the top. The other mounds give an idea of the size of the native population for this area. Beads and other trade items show trading from the Ohio River Valley down to Meso America. A paved walking trail winds around the site. There are two stone stele. One contains a carving of a soldier with hair flowing behind him. Stop and see if you can find him! The rangers at the Park are very knowledgeable and always eager to talk about the area. There is a $3 per car honor system payment as you come in the gate. The Park is tucked away in Crystal River. It could be easily overlooked, but add this one to your GPS and head out to explore.
Other ideas in the area: Visit Homosassa to see Monkey Island, Eat at the Freezer and check in on Lu the Hippo or Kayak with Manatees at Three Sister Springs