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Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge

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Address: 1502 S.E. Kings Bay Dr., Crystal River, FL 34429
Phone Number: 352-563-2088
Website
Activities: Swimming, Viewing wildlife, Snorkeling
Description: Swimming with manatees is the highlight of a trip to this nature reserve.

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 136 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 92
    Excellent
  • 28
    Very good
  • 13
    Average
  • 2
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
animal paradise

we love this place...great for kids old or young...bring a camera...unique chance to see fish in natural habitat as well as land animals...worth every penny

5 of 5 starsReviewed March 29, 2015
447barryb
,
Lecanto, Florida
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136 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Lecanto, Florida
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2015 NEW

we love this place...great for kids old or young...bring a camera...unique chance to see fish in natural habitat as well as land animals...worth every penny

Was this review helpful? Yes
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2015 NEW via mobile

This was a great place. I would recomend parking at the main building and taking the boat over. Its a great tour, they give some history of the refuge. The best part of this was the under water viewing room. You could see the manatee's so clearly! There was also a large assortment of birds and reptiles. They even have... More 

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Roswell, New Mexico
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
13 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2015 NEW

Not much except a visitors center. Very nice and super informative especially the Manatee's. Watch the movie playing every few minutes. Lots of nice gifts and displays. Staff was OK, but not super helpful. Probably depends on the day. They are volunteers and place was very busy. Don't plan on seeing Manatee here. You must take private boat shuttle to... More 

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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2015 NEW

Very helpful here, offering great resources, tons of information, and many tips. The ranger was also nice enough to give great directions.

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Marine City, Michigan
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2015 NEW

An excellent visit in an unspoiled area sporting original flora and fauna. Also a chance to see wildlife that is native to the area. Well worth the visit. The rangers are informative and friendly. Would highly recommend for young and old.

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Mesa, Arizona
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
14 attraction reviews
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2015 NEW

We wanted to get away from the crowds of Disney and opted to tour the park. It was a beautiful day out of the bustle and we accepted it at face value. The park staff include volunteers and everyone was friendly. We enjoyed the boat tour and while we did not see Manatees from the observation area below water level,... More 

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Limerick
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
7 attraction reviews
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2015 NEW

In truth this is really a zoo and not a wildlife park. Yes in winter you should see wild Manatees coming for the hot springs but we were there in mid March and it is 4 captive Manatees is all that is there. Now the underwater observatory was good and if it is a zoo you want (we didn't) it... More 

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Franklin, Tennessee
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2015

Not crowded, park staff friendly and knowledgeable, very inexpensive. Took tram over and boat back to parking lot. Don't expect a large zoo...all animals native to Florida and have been injured and cannot be returned to wild.

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Spring, Texas
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2015

We were so disappointed with this refuge. It was almost like an old fashioned theme park; the animals were in small, depressing enclosures.

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Rhode Island
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
26 attraction reviews
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2015

We added a couple of species to our life list here. If you are a birder it's a must see. Pileated woodpeckers love it here.

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge and other visitors
5 questions
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Ocala, Florida
2 months ago
Columbus, Ohio
15 days ago
Abingdon, Virginia
Mount Vernon, Iowa

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Questions? Get answers from Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?