The Gulf of Mexico, nearby our Inverness hotel, allows unparallelled access to both coastal marine Eco-systems, tidal environments and near-shore river environments. All of these are great destinations for those who snorkel and dive. Whether you partake in intense scuba or just enjoy goggles and a snorkel, you can witness a surreal underwater world hidden just out of sight.
Snorkeling and diving in natural spring waters is always popular. If you are fortunate enough to swim above the limestone mouth of a spring, you can use your diving/snorkeling gear to peer into the gaping mouth of the crevice and see water gushing up, fish swimming in circles, or even manatees using the temperate waters as a winter haven.
Popular springs for diving and snorkeling are Three Sisters Spring, Rainbow Springs, and King’s Bay Spring. Diving in springs is ideal over open waters such as a lake or ocean as it involves little wave action, visibility is typically much better, water is a constant temperature (~72 degrees), and skilled divers can explore underwater caverns. Divers should always be aware of their experience level and certifications before descending into a spring. Also, many springs have diving restrictions so check at the visitor station before you dive.
Coastal diving in the Gulf of Mexico is also a popular attraction. The Crystal River and Fort Island Gulf Beach are popular places to dive along the coast. Manatees have been known to gather along the mouths of rivers, in bays and inlets along this stretch, and you can see creatures as well as various fish and rays wile diving or snorkeling in the coastal waters.
Florida scalloping is a common recreational activity in Citrus County. The annual scalloping season and harvest is a major draw to the Gulf Coast, and therefore, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission limits scalloping from July 1st – September 10th. During this time recreational scallop hunters will put on snorkeling gear and try their luck along the Crystal River and other coastal shallows.
Florida scallops are found in aquatic seagrass beds and are a popular seafood treat in hot summer months. Thanks to recent restoration and reintroduction efforts by the FWC, portions of the Gulf0 Coast which were once closed for harvesting are open again. With access to some simple snorkeling gear you can catch yourself a helping of scallops and look forward to a succulent, fresh-caught meal later in the day. For information on guided scallop hunting tours, click here
If you are a recreational scallop hunter who is coming to the area for this fun and flavorful activity consider taking advantage of our extended stay rates or our AAA rates, our AARP rates and many others.
For information on diving and scalloping tours and services in Citrus County, please check out American Pro Diving based out of Crystal River.
Photo Courtesy of www.visitcitrus.com