Getting to know Citrus County

Citrus County, located in west central Florida on the Gulf of Mexico, is the "Nature Coast of Florida." It never gets old, whether you want to take a walk back in time under a canopy of moss-draped oaks; swim with the gentle endangered manatees; catch grouper, large mouth bass, or a trophy tarpon in one of the seven fresh water rivers or in the Gulf, ride horseback in this 44,000 acre west state forest; or ride a bike, jog or roller blade on the 45 mile "Rails to Trails" that traverse the entire county. See first-hand blue heron, ivory egrets, or rare white pelicans.

Inverness, the county seat, is the location of county government and courts. it is the site of the county fair grounds and Citrus Memorial Hospital. The city, with its historic old county courthouse and city square, still remains its small hometown character and values.

Weather records indicate an average of 345 days of sunshine and annual average temperatures of 81.84 degrees with typical humidity ranging from 40 to 70%. Normally 219 days per year fall into a comfort zone that will require neither heating or cooling (60% of the year). The average yearly precipitation is 51 inches, with June, July and August being the months of highest rainfall.

Cost of living in Citrus County is one of the lowest for the entire state of Florida! Your dollars will go further by moving from the Northeast, Midwest, California or even South Florida. Check it out! Sales tax is six percent and there is no state income tax. Car insurance is generally half the cost to drive your vehicle in Citrus County as compared to highly populated areas of the country. Property taxes are usually found to be a fraction of what you may be paying to live elsewhere. Florida offers every homeowner who is a Florida resident, a $25,000 per tax year "Homestead Tax Exemption" right off the top of the tax bill.

Golf is very affordable in Citrus County with over 17 courses available, the most prestigious being the famous, private 36 hole Black Diamond Ranch. Eleven Citrus County parks provide family facilities, and Rainbow Springs State Park is one of the most beautiful natural areas with its waterfalls, hiking paths and aquamarine color of the many springs.

Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park, boasting more then 200,000 visitors each year, is a showcase for wildlife and endangered species including manatees, deer, bobcats,. otters, cougars, alligators, snakes and a variety of birds, and is the most popular state park in Florida

Birds The Great American Egret, a common site in Citrus County, is a very large white bird with jet-black legs and a yellow beak. During the nesting season, the Great Egret grows long feathers call “Aigrettes”. The plumes grow from the upper back and are not tail feathers. Other egrets include the Snowy Egret, Reddish Egret, and Cattle Egret, all of which are seen wading and fishing. The birds are native of Africa and were unknown in America until the 1930’s. They flew across the Atlantic Ocean with the help of strong tail winds. Since the 1950’s they have been a familiar sight in Florida. Other popular, frequently seen water birds include herons, ibis, pelicans, terns, sandpiper, etc.

Florida is an excellent place to observe our national bird, the American Bald Eagle. Next to Alaska, Florida has the most breeding pairs of any other state; still it remains an endangered species. They are not bald; the male and female have white feathers on their head. The young birds have dark heads and do not get a white head and tail feathers until they are three to five years old. Bald Eagles are “raptors” and in this category the female bird is always larger. The Bald Eagles have a spectacular courtship ritual known as a “cartwheel display” in which they grasp each others talons and tumble over and over through the sky. Their nests are huge (7 ft. wide) and they return to the same nest year after year.

Trees

Crystal River, with a population of 6,000, is one of Florida's most popular bases for those who love to scuba dive, fish, swim with the manatees, or enjoy water skiing. The manatees arrive in late fall and stay until late spring. Fishing has been a major industry since its beginning in 1903. Visiting The Crystal River State Archaeological Site, just north of the city limits, provides an opportunity to observe where Indians resided about 200 B.C. For the gambler, the Sun Cruz Casino boat departs twice every day to cruise out in the Gulf.

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