Crystal River is a town of about 3100 (down 12% since 2000) located along U.S. Highways 19 and 98 in Citrus County in Central Florida near the Gulf of Mexico. The coastline was significantly different during the Pleistocene Era with the coast about 50 to 60 miles farther west. There is evidence of human habitation in this area about 10,000 years ago. Around 500 BC a group from the "mound builders" lived in the area. White settlement began here in the mid-1800s after the end of the Second Seminole War. Citrus growing was an important part of the early economy in the late 1800s until the great freeze of 1894-1895 killed many of the trees. Crystal River was incorporated in 1903
This tiny Floridian town self named, "home of the manatee" lies on the gulf coast. Over 400 manatee make their home in winter months here. This is one of the few places where people can interact with them in their natural environment. The river where the manatees live is spring fed so, it maintains a constant temperature throughout of 72 degrees.