Category Archives: Travel

Four Leaf Clovers on Forest Floor

March Events near Crystal River, Florida

As the spring weather moves in, it is a great time to head outdoors before the temperatures get too hot. Here are some fun events near Crystal River you should consider attending this month.

 

  • March 4-5 – Floral City Strawberry Festival: This is the 30th year for this fantastic festival and it is held three miles south of downtown Floral City. Admission costs $4 for adults and children ages 12 and under are free.
  • March 11-12Fort Cooper Days: Come experience what life was like in the 1800s during the annual Fort Cooper Days at Fort Cooper State Park. The event includes live demonstrations and reenactments.
  • March 17 Patrick’s Day: Right here in Crystal River, enjoy all things Irish with a dog parade, live music, Irish food and drink, and so much more.
Four Leaf Clovers on Forest Floor

St. Patrick’s Day

  • March 18 Shrimp-A-Palooza: This annual event is hosted by The Rotary Club of Homosassa Charitable Foundation. Watch the parade, listen to live music, eat as much food as you like, and enjoy fun for all ages.
  • March 25 Clean Air Bike Ride: Take a ride down the Withlacoochee State Trail in Inverness and enjoy a continental breakfast before you start.

 

Here at Nick Nicholas Ford Lincoln, we’re excited to get out in the wonderful community we serve!

Thanksgiving Travel Tips in Florida

We’re well into November now which means that, in just a few weeks, Thanksgiving will be here. Family and friends come together to celebrate the food and fun of the holiday but getting to their destination can be an issue. Here at Nick Nicholas Ford Lincoln, we have some helpful Thanksgiving travel tips to make your life much easier this holiday season!

Thanksgiving Travel Tips - Inverness, Florida

  • Technology – Technology has become ingrained into our society, so use it to your advantage this holiday season. Navigation systems and smartphones can track traffic jams and reports in real time, which means avoiding road hazards is easier than ever. Plan your course based on time or distance and hit the road!
  • Flight – Flying during the Thanksgiving holiday is stressful, no doubt. The day before Thanksgiving marks the busiest travel day of the year. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead. Make travel arrangements now rather than next week and be prepared to leave for the airport at least three hours in advance.
  • Packing – More luggage means more problems. Pack light this holiday season and ship your extra clothes and various belongings to your destination by mail. Doing so ensures less hassle packing the car and fewer baggage fees if you plan on flying.

Things to Do in Crystal River Preserve

There are many beautiful parks and preserves to visit in Florida, where vivid wildlife and colorful plants flourish thanks to the warm, tropical atmosphere. In Crystal River, Florida, visitors and residents alike are invited to visit the scenic Crystal River Preserve State Park. Located along 20 miles of the northern Gulf Coast between Yankeetown and Homosassa, the park offers up to seven miles of trails for either walking or biking, as well as a glimpse into the wilderness of Florida’s Crystal River region.

 bike on the beach - Crystal River Preserve

The Trail begins at the corner of State Park Street and Sailboat Avenue and runs through a diverse array of habitats for cyclists and hikers to enjoy — basin swamps and marshes, a tidal marsh, pine flatwoods, and more. There are also several hiking trails such as the Dixie Shore Trails, Fort Island Trail, Hammock Island Trail, Lake Loop Trail, and the Churchhouse Hammock Boardwalk and Primitive Trails.

Besides biking and walking, visitors to the park may also take boat tours or paddle themselves out into the river in canoes or kayaks. There is also a day-use fishing area known as the “Mullet Hole” for those with a fishing license who’d like to enjoy the day on the open water with their fishing pole.

The Crystal River Preserve State Park offers visitors several opportunities to get close to nature. Home to undisturbed islands with indigenous species such as bald eagles and wood storks, the park is an excellent place for everyone from photographers to wildlife enthusiasts and everyone in between. Don’t hesitate to stop by this beautiful state park to get a glimpse into Florida’s pristine natural world.

Top Activities in Crystal River, FL

sunset - activities in Crystal River, FL

Crystal River has ultimate natural beauty, so you’re lucky if you live here. Here are the top five activities in Crystal River you should check out.

  • Three Sisters Springs Boardwalk 
    • Three Sisters Springs is a beautiful collection of three natural springs that feed the Crystal River. You’ll get a beautiful view here.
  • Swimming with manatees – 
    • How could it get better than this? You can swim with these gentle giants, who flock to warmer waters during wintertime in Florida.
  • Kayaking “The Chazz”
    • You can kayak on the gorgeous Chassahowitzka River. You can rent campground on the river or boats and kayaks to paddle along.
  • Meet Lu at Homosassa Springs
    • You’ll have to stop at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. Originally a zoo, it’s home to resident animals like manatees, alligators, bald eagles, and even an orphaned Florida panther. There, you can meet Lu the hippo, who has an honorary Florida citizenship.
  • Catch a beach sunset
    • Island Gulf Beach is only a short 15-minute drive away from Crystal River. Watching the sun set on the beach is a perfect way to end your Crystal River day, appreciating nature at its finest.

Whatever activities or adventures you choose, let us know which ones you enjoyed most! We love hearing from our customers and friends about great times that they’ve had!

Crystal River Manatees: Nature’s Gentle Giants

snorkel with Crystal River manatees

Crystal River is located in the center of the Florida Nature Coast, and is home to some of nature’s most unique creatures: the manatees. Crystal River manatees are unlike anything else in the world, and this city is one of the few areas where you can watch and swim with these graceful creatures.

Manatees, also called sea cows, are large, mostly herbivorous marine mammals similar to seals and walruses.  They can grow up to 13 feet long and weigh as much as 1,300 pounds; however, they are among some of the gentlest wild animals in the area. Because they are listed as vulnerable to extinction, several areas around Crystal River are dedicated to keeping them safe and increasing public awareness of these beautiful creatures.

In the US, most manatees are concentrated in Florida, especially in the winter. Looking to see or swim with some sea cows? Check out Manatee Adventures or the Plantation on Crystal River. Here you can book a tour to swim and snorkel with manatees, as well as simply watch these gentle giants in action.

Crystal River manatees are protected by the National Wildlife Refuge System, as well as a network of individuals who donate time and money to protect manatees. Two observational studies also occur in the area, increasing knowledge on these wild animals.

Fun Picnic Spots Near Crystal River

Picnic Spots Near Crystal River

Summer is the perfect time to head outdoors to enjoy your meals, which is why August is recognized as National Picnic Month. Here are some great picnic spots near Crystal River to enjoy some great views and some great food!

Crystal River Parks

  • Kings Bay Park. Features five picnic shelters, a fishing dock, grills, a playground, and more. Come enjoy a delicious lunch and then head out on the water.
  • Little Springs Park. Your kids will love coming to this park with its amazing playground. It also has picnic tables and grills to complete your picnic fun.
  • Copeland Park. If playing sports is what you love, head to Copeland Park. Here the kid can play on the playground, take in a game of basketball, or even some volleyball. Then, head to the picnic area to eat your lunch.

Crystal River Beaches

If a beach picnic is more of what you love, visit the local beaches.

  • Fort Island Gulf Beach. This off-the-beaten path beach features beautiful sand with a roped-off swimming area. There are also covered pavilions with picnic tables.
  • Pine Island Park. This three-acre park is right on the Gulf of Mexico and has a white sandy beach along with picnic tables, shelters, grills, a volleyball court, and a concession stand. Pack a picnic dinner and take in the spectacular sunset.

From all of us at Nick Nicholas Ford Lincoln, we hope you have a great rest of your summer!

Plan a Summer Family Reunion

Summer Family Reunion

Summer is the perfect time of year to get together with some of your far-flung relatives. If you haven’t seen some of your cousins in years, perhaps now is the perfect time to plan a summer family reunion. Follow these simple steps to have a reunion that everyone will talk about for years.

  • Guest List. You first want to create a list of everyone you would like to attend. This will give you a great starting point to plan the rest of the party. There is a huge difference between a family reunion of 10 people and one with nearly 100. You could even ask a few of your closer relatives what they think of the idea and who they think would come.
  • Budget. Once you have a general idea of how many people might come, you can think about what size of a space you’ll need, how much food, etc. Set a budget and possibly ask other family members to contribute.
  • Get some help. Ask your favorite aunt or closest cousin to help do some of the planning, including the menu, location, invitations, and other small things.
  • Pick the location. Pick a location that would be convenient for most of the guests, perhaps the old family farm or a large local park.
  • Plan some games and activities. You don’t want everyone just sitting around staring at each other. Break up into teams for a softball game or have everyone bring a plain T-shirt to decorate and sign. Don’t forget to plan activities specifically for the younger kids.
  • Have fun. The most important thing is to have fun, and don’t forget to take lots of pictures.

We hope you all have a safe and fun summer from your friends here at Nick Nicholas Ford Lincoln!

Top Family Cars from Lincoln

Summer time is for road trips, being outdoors, and spending time with family. If you’ve been pushing the thought of a newer, more functional vehicle further and further in the back of your mind, we here at Nick Nicholas Ford Lincoln invite you to act on it now! Here are a few of our favorite Top Family Cars from Lincoln.

Lincoln MKX

This is a five-seater vehicle with a 3.7-liter Ti-VCT V6 engine. Premium materials, innovative technology, and an array of safety features make this a great vehicle for families. For more details, see our model overview.

Top Family Cars from Lincoln

Lincoln MKC

This luxurious SUV also has seating for five and plenty of spaciousness and storage areas without compromising great fuel economy. Check out our model overview for more details on the MKC.

Top Family Cars from Lincoln

Lincoln Navigator

Chances are if you’ve heard of Lincoln, you’ve heard of the Navigator. This large-family vehicle seats up to eight with a powerful engine to get you anywhere. See more details on the Navigator from our model overview.

Top Family Cars from Lincoln

Check out even more options for family-friendly vehicles right on our website, or come and see us today here at Nick Nicholas Ford Lincoln in Crystal River, Florida!

River Picnic Tips for a Trip to the Park This Spring

River Picnic Tips

Spring is the perfect time of the year to plan a relaxing and fun picnic down by the river. Here in Crystal River, we certainly aren’t short of park locations to meet over a delicious meal.

Here are some river picnic tips to get you started:

  • Scope our your location ahead of time, and plan accordingly. You’ll want to know if you need to pack a blanket, chairs, etc.
  • Consider any special dietary needs that your guests have, such as allergies, and plan accordingly.
  • Try not to bring any food that quickly goes bad in the sun. In fact, if you can plan an entire meal that doesn’t require a cooler, your entire picnic will be simpler.
  • Familiarize yourself with the weather, and while you’ll obviously want to avoid the rain, thinking about wind too. You don’t want your well-crafted meal to blow away.
  • Don’t forget to wear and pack sunscreen!

Do you have any other river picnic tips? Where are your favorite places to picnic? Let us know your ideas in the comments!

How To Save Money On A Road Trip

They say time flies when you are having fun. Many times, money flies as well. Nowhere is this truer than a road trip. You get home and your smile fades as you find your wallet or purse is far lighter than you thought it was. To help prevent over-spending, we’ve compiled a few tips on how to save money on a road trip.How To Save Money On A Road Trip

Eating out on the road gets very expensive very quickly. A high-quality cooler can you save you loads of money on a road trip. In addition to snacks like granola bars, fruit and peanut butter, a cooler allows you to pack substantial foods like lunch meat, yogurt and cheese.

If you don’t mind sleeping under the stars, camping provides a much cheaper alternative to getting a hotel room. Campsites with electricity and running water do cost a bit of dough but nowhere near what a hotel room costs.  Plus, nothing says adventure like mosquito bites and run-ins with bears!

There a lot of little things you can do to save money on a road trip, little things that can really add up. Use an app like Waze to find the cheapest gas. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and consider a tune-up as breaking down in foreign territory can be very costly.

Follow these tips and spend money where it really counts, like a spontaneous trip to an amusement park or outdoor concert! For more tips and tricks, see us today at Nick Nicholas Ford Lincoln!