We enjoyed our last trip to Florida so much, we decided to stay over in the sunshine state a little longer. Well, not really—but we can dream can’t we? And that’s just what your OYAMA electric folding bike lets you do: dream big about your next great adventure and actually carry though by leaving the car behind and exploring your vacation spot more freely.
With your OYAMA eBike, you can shop, dine, tour neighborhoods, get out into nature (mountains, desert, beaches), and go on mini adventures to all those places you normally would not go if you first had to fight traffic, park, and then walk.
One area worth some of your time is about 50 miles north of where we last left you in Clearwater Beach, Florida.
Visit Crystal River
Crystal River is a gem of a city located on the west coast of Florida. It offers a wide range opportunities to boat, dive, swim, fish, and perhaps most famously view and interact with the Florida manatee, a subspecies of the West Indian manatee, sometimes known as the “cows of the sea.” Crystal River is a small city, with ample shopping and restaurants, but it’s mostly known for its natural, historic, and rural settings.
In King’s Bay, which is the headwaters of the Crystal River and is fed by around 30 natural springs that keep the water a constant 72 degrees Fahrenheit year round, you’ll get to see wild manatees face-to-face in one of the few places in the United States where the federal government allows “passive observation” with these protected gentle giants. Many boating, diving, and snorkeling tours are available.
Also in King’s Bay, you’ll find King’s Spring, which, at about 65 feet deep and 200 feet in diameter, is considered one of the finest freshwater dive sites in Florida. It’s known for its excellent visibility, easily accessible underwater cavern (for SCUBA divers), and the opportunity for divers and snorkelers to see lots of fish and other sea creatures (including manatee).
Further upriver from King’s Bay is the Three Sisters Spring area, which features even more opportunities to see manatee as well as mangrove snappers and schools of other fish. It can be reached via boardwalk through a surrounding 57-acre refuge with nature trails, or by water via the Crystal River. One of the highlights is the ability to snorkel/swim the course of a crystal-clear flowage from the springs into Crystal River.
Homosassa Wildlife Park
The Homosassa Wildlife Park is located just south of the City of Crystal River. The park showcases native Florida wildlife, much of which has been rescued from the wild where the animals sustained injuries or disease. Inhabitants of the park include manatees, black bears, bobcats, white-tailed deer, foxes, American alligators, American crocodiles, flamingos, eagles, owls, and river otters. Manatee viewing is a highlight, as is the park’s underwater viewing port into Homosassa Springs where manatees and schools of fish congregate.
Unique Area Dining
A trip to Crystal River and Homosassa wouldn’t be complete without a stop at two of the area’s most well-known eateries.
Opened in a large old seafood freezer, with an attached outside Tiki Bar and deck, The Freezer is a popular destination for some of the finest Cajun-style shrimp boil you’re likely to find anywhere. Also on the menu are blue crabs, stone crabs, hotdogs, and smoked salmon. Best yet, this rustic and relaxing restaurant is located right on water leading to the Homosassa River.
The famous, decades-old Margarita Grill burned down in 2011, but a new restaurant owned by the same friendly family is back on the same spot in a new building. The new Margarita Grill is known for its black angus steaks, fresh seafood, friendly service, patriotic tones, outstanding views of the Homosassa River, and BIG “fishbowl” margaritas.
You’re In for a Leisurely Ride
Some of the best aspects of biking this part of Florida are that the area is very flat, and the roads (once you leave congested Route 19) typically wind through the country side beneath the branches of majestic live oaks and palms. You’ll get to see quaint Florida vacation and fishing villages, river observation points, breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico, and lots of area wildlife, including egrets, ibis birds, herons, and even the occasional bald eagle—and it will be made all the much better if you experience it from atop your OYAMA eBike model CX E8D or CX E8D Version II.
Let Your Dreams Unfold
With roots in Japan and more than 50 years of mechanical and design expertise, OYAMA Bikes builds 200+ varieties of practical, functional, and innovative folding bikes for active mobile cyclists who want to define their own paths. Known for their amazing ride quality, OYAMA folders are bikes that happen to fold. Designed, tested, and manufactured in-house, OYAMA bikes offer quality, utility, comfort, and style.
Check an OYAMA bike out today . . . and let your dreams unfold!