The Gulf of Mexico provides unparallelled access to both coastal marine environments, tidal environments and near-shore river environments. All of these are popular to those who snorkel and dive. Whether it is intense scuba or just goggles and a snorkel, you can witness a surreal underwater world hiding just out of sight.
Snorkeling and diving in natural springs is always popular. If you are lucky enough to swim above the mouth of a spring, you can use your diving gear to peer into the gaping limestone mouth of the crevice and see water gushing up, fish circling, or even manatees using the temperate waters of the spring as a winter haven.
Popular destinations for spring diving are Three Sisters Spring, Rainbow Springs, and King’s Bay Spring. Diving is springs is ideal as it involves little wave action, visibility is typically between 20-100 feet, water is a constant temperature (72 degrees), and divers can explore underwater caverns. Divers should always be aware of their skill level before descending into a spring. Also, many springs have diving restrictions so check before you dive.
Coastal diving is also a popular attraction on the Gulf of Mexico. Crystal River and the Fort Island Gulf Beach are popular places to dive along the coast. Manatees are known to gather along the mouths of rivers and in bays and inlets along this stretch and you can see these as well as various fish and rays wile diving or snorkeling in the clear waters.
Florida scalloping is a favorite recreational activity in Citrus County. The annual scallop harvest is a major draw to the coasts of Florida and, therefore, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission only allows scalloping from July 1st – September 10th. During this time recreational scallop hunters will don snorkeling gear and try their luck along the Crystal River coast.
Florida scallops are found in seagrass beds and are a popular catch in hot summer months. Thanks to recent restoration efforts, portions of the west coast which were once closed for harvesting are open again. With access to some basic snorkeling gear you can catch a batch of scallops and look forward to a tasty, fresh-caught dinner in the evening. For information of guided scallop hunting tours, click here
If you are a scallop hunter who is coming to the area for this fun and exciting activity consider taking advantage of our extended stay rates including our AAA rates, our AARP rates and many others.
For information of diving services in Citrus County, please check out American Pro Diving based out of Crystal River.