Area Attractions and Activities
In addition to the many activities and amenities available within the Deer Park Community and Sugarmill Woods, the surrounding areas of Homosassa and Crystal River offer endless adventures.
Homosassa and Crystal River, which is just 20 minutes up the road offer many aquatic activities. Both names after the Homosassa River and Crystal River respectively, there are many types of river tours and boat rentals in the area. From kayaks and jon boats to pontoon boats, you can either rent one yourself or sit back and enjoy the ride on a river boat sightseeing tour, sunset dinner cruise, or you can take a manatee tour, there are even airboat rides.
The area is famous for its manatee tours. The many warm, freshwater springs that dot the area are home to hundreds of these gentle giants whose average weight is 1,100 lbs. These vegetarian, sea cows were once mistaken as mermaids by early sailors. You can sit in a pontoon boat, high & dry and observe the air-breathing manatees that surface often or slip into a wet suit and snorkel available for rent from the many dive shops, and swim with the manatees. This is an experience you will not soon forget.
Kings Bay in Crystal River offers scalloping trips in season. Kings Bay leads out to the Gulf of Mexico and some of the best tarpon fishing in the world. In fact, the world record tarpon was caught here, just off the coast of Citrus County, Florida.
Other fish you can expect to catch are Redfish, Ladyfish, Amberjacks, Grouper, Yellow Tail, Cobia, Pompano, Flounder, King Mackerel, Mahi Mahi, Permit, Red Snapper, Wahoo, and Sailfish. The eastern side of Citrus County has many lakes and offers excellent bass fishing year round.
Some area attractions include Alpaca Farms which often open to the public for tours. There is also the nearby Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park exhibiting many native Florida animals such as alligators, otters, panthers, bobcats, deer, black bears, timber wolves, bald eagles, flamingos, gopher tortoise, owls, snakes, and much more. There is even a hippopotamus named Lucifer that was made an honorary citizen by the local Mayor. And of course there are manatees, you can walk down the stairs into the underwater observatory “fishbowl” and see manatees glide by, some as large as a small car.
There are many Florida State Parks with walking trails, and picnic areas. One of the most popular area attractions is Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. Billed as “The Only City of Live Mermaids”, there is an underwater amphitheater where you can watch the mermaids perform their underwater shows. Next door in the Buccaneer Bay Water Park complete with several large water slides for the grand kids.
There are many area festivals which take place each year including: the Homosassa Seafood Festival, Shrimpa Palooza (Mardi Gras Homosassa style), Homosassa River Christmas Boat Parade, Manatee Festival, Crystal River Christmas Parade, Stone Crab Jam, Scallop Jam, Crystal River Wine & Beer Festival, 4th of July Fireworks, Scarecrow Festival, and many more.
There are many local colorful eateries and shops in “Old” Homosassa and Historic Downtown Crystal River. Enjoy some of the freshest seafood around at the many waterfront restaurants and bars or spend the day shopping at the many unique boutiques and antique shops at Heritage Village in Crystal River.
For medical services, the area is surrounded by some of the top hospitals in Florida. Oak Hill Hospital is a full-service, emergency care facility in Spring Hill specializing in heart & surgical care and is the closest to Deer Park Cottages. Citrus Memorial Hospital is a hospital and emergency room in Inverness serving all of Citrus County. Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center is a general medical and surgical hospital with emergency room in nearby Crystal River.
There is also a vast array of diagnostic facilities on the surrounding area of Homosassa and the rest of Citrus County as well as Spring Hill to the South. Just about any medical test you may need can be done right here at a local medical facility like Sugarmill Diagnostic Imaging and Homosassa Open MRI and dozens of others.