Last updated: 3/15/2018
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Citrus County is part of “Florida’s Nature Coast,” occupying a land area of 582 square miles on the west-central coast of Florida off the Gulf of Mexico. It is more laid-back as compared to its neighbors Tampa to the north and Orlando towards northwest.
This county was founded in 1887, and as its name suggests, it initially thrived on citrus farms. These bread-and-butter plantations, however, virtually ended in 1894‒1895 because of a great freeze in Florida. Phosphate mining then became the county’s main industry, but this too fizzled out at the start of World War I, and the county stagnated for 50 years into a rural economy based on farming, cattle-raising, fishing, and timber.
Fit for Quiet Retirement
Today, Citrus County still retains much of its small-town charm, a come-on for many retirees and seniors which were estimated to constitute approximately a third of its population of 145,671 as of 2017. As to be expected, health care services is one of the top sources of employment in this county.
The largest industry in Citrus now is the electric power-generating complex that Florida Power Corporation built near the county’s Crystal River in the 1970s. A new natural gas-based power plant of Duke Energy Florida is likewise set in this area.
Its waterways, as seen in Crystal River, are assets vital to Citrus County, which is why it is called “The Water Lover’s Florida.” All in all, the county has seven pristine waterways running through its territory.
Top Tourist Draw
Besides its being host to power-generating capacities, Crystal River is a habitat for the largest congregation of wintering manatees in the country. The seasonal visits of this herd count as a major local tourist attraction, as visitors are allowed to swim and interact with the manatees in Crystal River, the only U.S. spot where it is legal to do so.
Ecological and environmental protection is high on the priorities of Citrus County. With its status as part of Florida’s Nature Coast, the county is committed to protect more than 98,000 acres of its territory.
Because of its pristine natural setting of rolling hills and crystal clear warm waters and its commitment to protect the natural environment, Citrus County has become a magnet not only for baby boomers but also for households seeking a laid-back lifestyle. It also helps that the cost of living is relatively lower in this county compared with its more urbanized neighboring counties like Orlando and Tampa.
Home Buying Favorites
One of the leading destinations for home buying in Citrus County is Inverness, the county seat. This incorporated city exudes charms with its many lakes which serve as scenic setting for waterfront homes in Inverness communities like the Moorings, Wyld Palms Condominiums, Pritchard Island, and Gospel Island.
A rustic county atmosphere, on the other hand, is the ace that wins new residents for Beverly Hills, one of Citrus County’s the census designated places. The prime residential choices in this area include Laurel Ridge which charms prospective home buyers with its proximity to the golf links of Twisted Oaks. Another popular Beverly Hills choice is the equestrienne community of Pine Ridge Estates with large and lushly wooded lots that are an epitome of the refreshing lifestyle Citrus County so generously offers.