Citrus County was created in 1887 and was named in honor of the massive citrus tree groves making up the area’s land. While the big freeze during the winters of 1893 and 1894 destroyed the area’s citrus industry, phosphate found in Floral City provided the area an opportunity to launch into the mining industry. Before the Spanish settled in Florida, Native Americans used the area that has now become the Crystal River Archeological Site as a ceremonial burial and ritual exchange site. The area that now makes up Citrus County is on the west central coast of Florida and was originally a part of Hernando County. Today, Citrus County is also known as “the water lovers Florida” because the county has six lakes, seven rivers, multiple natural springs, small streams and ponds, and access to the Gulf of Mexico. For those who love the outdoors but aren’t water lovers, the area is also known as “the gem of Florida’s Nature Coast”. Nature lovers will find Citrus County the perfect place to call home because of the county’s access to multiple waterways, nature preserves, protected parks, and protected land and wildlife refuges which form a natural playground with endless opportunities for the outdoor lover and adventure seeker to explore. Citrus County is the perfect home for anyone who enjoys boating, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, fishing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, bird watching, golfing, hunting, picnicking, and any other outdoor activity you can think of. In the early 1980’s, Citrus County was designated as Florida’s Manatee capital, and is now the only place in the United States where you can legally swim and interact with the West Indian manatee. Finally, the county is also only about an hour drive away from Orlando and about an hour and half drive away from Tampa – some of the state’s largest tourist areas – providing the perfect opportunity to live in an area where you can easily access major attractions but still be far enough away to enjoy the Old Florida lifestyle.