Plan Your Visit

*****CLOSED due to renovations*****

Directions, Address, and Contact Info

Hands-on information about the Crystal River NWR can be obtained by visiting the refuge headquarters, located in Crystal River, Florida. The headquarters can be accessed from U.S. 19, which runs through the Town of Crystal River. The new Visitors Center and office Headquarters are located in the same parking lot as the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.

1502 SE Kings Bay Drive  Crystal River 
Tele: 352-563-2088
General email address:


The Visitor Center is opened from 9:00am – 4:00pm Monday – Friday (May – October) and from 9:00am – 4:00pm Monday - Sunday (November – April). The Visitor Center offers a nature store, exhibits about Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge manatees and springs, and volunteer assistance at the front desk. Visitors can arrive by vehicle since the property is located off of U.S. 19.  

Points of Interest

1) Three Sisters Springs:  This is the most beautiful spring system in Kings Bay and the most important for wintering manatees. Shuttles to the Three Sisters Springs boardwalk are available daily. For reservations and more information, visit

To read more about this property visit: Draft Management Plan for the Three Sisters Springs Property

To read the Environmental Assessment of Three Sister Springs visit: Development of Visitor Services Facilities, Infrastructure, and Habitat Improvements at Three Sisters Springs

2) King Spring: This is the largest of the spring-sheds in Kings Bay and the original spring for which the Refuge was established in 1983.
3) Jurassic, House and Hunters Springs: These springs are found in Hunter’s Cove where a free non-motorized vessel launch site is available.


  /uploadedImages/Region_4/NWRS/Zone_2/Chassahowitzka_Complex/Crystal_River/Images/Manatee Protection Areas in Kings Bay.jpg

Click here for a full view of the Manatee Protection Areas map

Know Before You Go

Crystal River NWR is mostly accessible to visitors by water only. Only the Three Sisters Springs property provides land access between November and March (shuttle service), but no access to water is provided to visitors at this site. The Refuge doesn’t offer any water access facilities for visitors. However, there are a few free City boat ramps and private ramps (fee) available that provide access to Refuge waters. If you are interested in visiting other parts of the Refuge (other than Three Sisters Springs boardwalk), you can either use your own vessel, rent a vessel or join a guided tour (see “List of Tour Operators”).

The manatee season at Crystal River NWR begins in mid-November and ends in late March. This is when the manatee sanctuaries go in effect. During the winter months, manatees come to the springs of Crystal River NWR to conserve the energy necessary to survive the cold Gulf waters. Manatees are not here to amuse visitors. The Manatee Manners videos are designed to provide visitors with the necessary awareness that prevents disturbing manatees from different recreational activities. Please view "Manatee Manners" before initiating any recreation activity in Kings Bay.