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The Sunshine State is home to several exciting and unique cities, but selecting the best destination for your family can be challenging. 

Crystal River is an ideal destination if you are searching for a quiet, scenic place close to the Gulf of Mexico. It’s home to crystal-clear springs, sandy beaches, and laid-back residents.

Let’s take a closer look at this west Florida city to discover whether it’s an excellent place to settle.

Is Crystal River, Florida, a Good Place To Live?

Crystal River, Florida: General Information

Living in Crystal River, Florida, could be a dream come true if you enjoy warm weather, a comparatively low cost of living, and access to plenty of natural attractions. Overall, this city offers residents the chance to enjoy some of Florida’s most beloved aspects.

Weather and Climate

Crystal River sits along the western coast of Florida, situated on the Gulf of Mexico. Though the average temperature here hovers around 83 degrees Fahrenheit, cool coastal breezes help keep you comfortable during the hot summers. 

The average low temperature during the winter is 43 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s far more comfortable than the freezing temperatures you’ll find in midwestern and northern states. You’ll never need to shovel snow or prepare your car for icy conditions.

Rainfall is common and relatively constant in Crystal River, especially between June and September. So, this city might not suit you if you don’t enjoy wet weather.

Cost of Living

The overall cost of living in Crystal River, Florida, is lower than the average cost of living in Florida and the United States. 

Health care, housing, and transportation are comparatively affordable here, and the median home price is approximately $216,000 – that’s $74,000 less than the average Florida home price.

Local Attractions

The most popular thing to do in Crystal River is swimming with manatees. The Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge and Three Sisters Springs are popular destinations for residents and visitors hoping to catch a glimpse of these peaceful sea cows.

Other popular water-based activities include kayaking, fishing, and snorkeling. Airboat rides and cruises are a fantastic way to explore the coastal water, and taking a dip in the cool, clear spring water is bound to be an unforgettable experience.

If you enjoy the beach, you’ll love the serenity found at Fort Island Gulf Beach. It’s a great spot to lie down on a towel, catch some sunshine, walk along the shore, or collect shimmering seashells.

Dining Options

Crystal River’s restaurants have a distinctly Southern influence, and many serve tasty seafood dishes.

You’ll want to dine out at Grannie’s Country Cookin’ Restaurant, The Biscuit Barn, or the Hardwood Smokehouse if you enjoy Southern cuisine. If seafood makes you salivate, Cracker’s Bar & Grill might be a better choice, as they serve fresh-caught seafood right along the water. 

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For a combination of both (and a taste of the juiciest steaks in the city), visit Vintage On 5th. This small, laid-back restaurant offers elevated dishes to suit every palate. Whether you’re in the mood for fried green tomatoes or a rack of lamb, you can find exactly what you’re looking for at this top-rated restaurant.

Which Neighborhoods in Crystal River are Best for Retirees?

The Manatee Capital is a relatively small city, but it is home to a handful of retirement communities and assisted living facilities. These facilities make Crystal River an excellent location for retirees, especially those looking to make a long-term move.

Some of the best neighborhoods for retirees are Crystal River Village and Meadowcrest. Crystal River Village is an age 55+ community that caters to active adults, hosting a wide range of on-site activities including bingo, billiards, and potluck events.

Meadowcrest is not age-restricted, but its amenities attract many retirement-aged residents. If you choose to live in one of Meadowcrest’s five villages, you can look forward to enjoying walking trails, bocce ball, and peaceful gardens.

If you’re looking to move into a top-notch assisted living facility, you’ll be glad to know that there are several in Crystal River from which to choose. Some of the best-rated include:

  • Sunshine Gardens
  • Cedar Creek
  • Pure Restoration Assisted Living

The best option for you depends on your needs and preferences. For example, Sunshine Gardens specializes in providing housing and care for people with memory impairment. Cedar Creek offers residents a resort-style experience that includes access to fine dining, pet assistance services, and an in-house beauty parlor.

How Safe Is Crystal River, Florida?

Generally, Crystal River is a safe place to live, especially for residents in gated communities or assisted living facilities. However, property crime is widespread throughout this area. 

According to NeighoborhoodScout, the crime rate of this city is approximately 56% higher than in other Florida cities. The westernmost area of Crystal River (along the coast) is the safest option for retirees looking to live independently in mixed-age communities.

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Pros and Cons of Living in Crystal River, Florida

Though there’s plenty to love about living in Crystal River, Florida, there are also a few potential drawbacks. Let’s examine this city’s pros and cons to ensure that it’s the right choice for you.

Pros of Living in Crystal River, Florida

  • Gorgeous natural sights: Crystal River’s springs, wildlife refuges, and beaches overflow with natural beauty and native wildlife. You’ll likely love living here if you enjoy being surrounded by beautiful natural environments.
  • Low cost of living: Compared to the average cost of living in Florida, Crystal River is affordable, particularly in terms of housing and health care. These qualities make it an ideal destination for retirees.
  • Authentic cuisine: The restaurants in Crystal River offer authentic Southern cuisine and fresh seafood. If these meals make your mouth water, you likely won’t be disappointed when dining out in Crystal River.

Cons of Living in Crystal River, Florida

  • Small-town living: Crystal River has a small-town charm that might not be suitable for those looking to retire in more urban, concentrated cities.
  • Plenty of rainy days: The summer season in Crystal River is rainy, with rainfall expected almost every other day.
  • Comparatively high property crime rate: Unless you plan on living in a gated community or assisted living facility, you might need to take extra steps to protect your property.

Final Thoughts

Moving to Florida could be a life-changing experience, especially if you choose to move to beautiful Crystal River, Florida. 

This west Florida city is known for its manatees, beaches, and easy-going residents. It is the perfect retirement destination for those looking to soak up some sunshine and explore a natural environment.

Crystal River is not the only scenic and exciting Florida city. If you’re eager to learn more about moving to other cities in the Sunshine State, you’ll want to check out these related articles.

Before you purchase a Florida home, you’ll want to ensure your chosen property is not sitting atop a sinkhole. Check sinkhole locations now.

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