Black Diamond Ranch “Where to Live if You Live for Adventures off the Golf Course”
For the next few weeks I will be talking about places to travel and explore that are close to Black Diamond Ranch, Citrus County. I will include activities for grandchildren, the young of heart and sports enthusiasts. Also, see the info on doggie parks. This week I am featuring day trips in the area and including areas nearby. Tampa and Orlando attractions and Citrus water and sports adventures to be featured in future blogs.
Citrus County: Visit Citrus link
Two Local Playgrounds for toddlers: Beverly Hill: Roosevelt Street near the library and Homosassa: Homosassa Trail across from the Lions Club: Clean areas to take the kids: swings, slides, climbing gyms and play areas.
Summer $1 Movies at the Crystal River Mall: Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10 am (see my Facebook page for movie schedule: Linda’s Facebook link
Homosassa: Homosassa FL link
The Homosassa River< affords boating, fishing, snorkeling etc. (“Fun on the Water” blog to come.
The Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park is a 210-acre park that– “encompasses some of Florida’s loveliest landscape and the headwaters of the Homosassa River. The park serves as a rehabilitation center and refuge for injured and orphaned endangered West Indian manatees. The natural spring environment allows them an opportunity to re-acclimate themselves to a more natural environment before they are returned to the wild. The park also offers visitors an opportunity to observe Florida’s native wildlife in natural settings. One strolls along paved trails and boardwalks to see manatees, black bear, bobcats, key deer, alligators, grey fox, otters and cougars at close range. Most of the birds and animals that live here cannot survive in the wild.”–None of our guests has ever been disappointed in going to this park! Take the boat ride over from Hwy 19 or drive directly to the park on Yulee Drive. Homosassa Springs link
Alpaca Magic USA: –“Yes, you can visit the farm any day between 10 and 2. You get up close and personal with the alpacas and learn more about them, free! After your visit with the alpacas you can browse through our store with many items made from the luxurious fleece. Maybe you’ll find the perfect gift for a special someone!–” My grandchildren had a great visit. I also enjoyed the gardens and flowers they have there.
Inverness: Inverness FL link
–“Looking for a park with free admission and fun for the whole family only 15 minutes away? You need not look any further than Whispering Pines Park: Picnic area, children’s playground, water playground, swimming pool, tennis, racquetball and basketball courts, along with athletic fields are all free of charge. Courts are lighted for evening play. Walking, hiking & mountain biking trails and Disc Golf – An 18 hole disc golf course winds its way through the trees and hills of the park. Discs, score cards, map and information about the game are available at the Administration building or at the pool during public swim hours. Dog Walking trail – Dogs are welcome on the Perimeter Trail, as long as they are controlled and on a leash, for these same trails are used by walkers & bicyclists. Pet owners should also come equipped with plastic bags for cleaning up after their pet. Dogs are not allowed at any other location in the park. If you are seeking a location where your pooch may run and play call: Bark Central Dog Park (341-2275) on Turner Camp Road.”– My grandchildren loved the playground and water playground.
Crystal RiverCrystal River FL link
Water adventures galore: fishing, boating, diving, snorkeling, scalloping. See the city site for businesses. (More on this and swimming with the manatee in a future blog)
Fort Island Beach: It is a man made beach but my grandkids loved it! Nice sunsets! Half hour drive: Hwy 19 to Fort Island Trail.
Dunnellon: > Rainbow Springs link
Rainbow Springs Park: –“About a half hour drive, in Dunnellon sits one of Florida’s most beautiful state parks. Take a swim in the headsprings or tube down the crystal clear Rainbow River. Bonus points: hike through the park and check out the man-made waterfalls firsthand.”– Friends recommend the tubing—a future adventure for us.
Brooksville-Spring Hill area: (hour drive or less)
Weeki Wachee Springs:–“Weeki Wachee is the only home of live mermaids, Weeki Wachee Springs is a great place to enjoy Florida’s only spring-fed water park. Swim in the 72-degree, crystal clear spring with white sandy beach, have a picnic, play beach volleyball, and watch the mermaid show.“– My grandchildren and their parents had a great time— I really enjoyed the show and park!
Gainesville area: (just over an hour away)
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings State Historic Site: Gainesville area—“Visit the Cracker-style house and farm where Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings wrote “The Yearling,” the novel that won her the Pulitzer Prize in 1939.”–
Gainesville Butterfly Museum: Established by the University: butterfly museum and rainforest.
A future trip for us, I have heard wonderful things about this exhibit.”
Williston Elephant Farm—Two Tails Explore: There are retired circus elephants and more! Call ahead for reservations. Kids enjoyed the animals and birds…the lecture on elephants is interesting for adults, too detailed for young children.
Ginnie Springs Resort: — “Canoe, tube, snorkel and hike at this privately owned resort. Float down the Santa Fe River: scuba dive in the crystal clear springs. Cavern and cave-dive if you’re experienced. There are campsites with electric and water hook-ups, heated bathrooms, picnic tables and grills, and a general store.”– We had a great time kayaking there!
Sante Fe College Teaching Zoo:— “The Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo houses 70 species, and 250 individual animals in its collection, including white handed gibbons, red ruffed lemurs, ocelots, bald eagles, Galapagos tortoises, African grey parrots, and Matschie’s tree kangaroo. The Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo is Gainesville’s community zoo and the training facility for the Zoo Animal Technology Program.”– Nice place to visit if it is warm. In the cold weather many animals and birds are indoors. I think the info and exhibits appeal to adults and to children over seven years of age. I am a Lowry Park Zoo fan! (A future Tampa blog)
Ocala Area: (45 minutes to one hour drive)
Ocala is “horse country” and we have explored two areas in the city:
Silver Springs features national music acts, live animal exhibits, glass bottom boat trips, nature tours. In season there’s a water park. We enjoyed the glass bottom boat ride, farm area and park rides.Silver Springs link
Easy Street: Water Wars, Rock Climbing, Kid Zone, Batting Cages, Arcade, Go Karts, and Miniature Golf. My grandkids were too young for the go karts but had fun in the arcade and playing miniature golf.
The Canyons Zip Line, Ocala. “We have two certified and experienced guides to lead you on your 3 hour adventure through approximately one mile of course which includes: NINE (9) different zip lines, 2 rope bridges, one rappel, nature walks, and fabulous views you won’t find anywhere else. We are also have the LONGEST, HIGHEST, FASTEST zips in Florida!” This place of adventure shared by Black Diamond Member Jill.
Next week: Tampa area attractions.
***Bay News 9 runs featured day trips and records the information on its website. Check out the trips from Scott Fais’ Road blog: Bay News 9 link
Black Diamond Ranch: “Where to Live if you Live for Golf and Adventures off the Golf Course”