Top Things to Do in Levy County
Levy County is one of those places that still has the essence of true “old Florida.” Longstanding locals are proud of their quiet, scenic destination that’s known for having some of best sunset views in the entire state. Levy County has natural springs, beautiful landscapes, charming small fishing towns and diving holes, and it’s one of the coolest places in Florida to explore. Here are some of the best things to do in Levy County, Florida.
Animal and nature lovers can go birding and see natural wildlife in some of the county’s highly reputed parks including Henry Beck County Park along the Wekiva River, Blue Springs Park and Fanning Springs State Park. However, most locals will recommend Manatee Springs State Park, where visitors can get a chance to view manatees in the winter. Visitors to the crystal-clear spring can rent scuba gear and go cave diving. But if you’re looking for something a bit out of the ordinary, the elephants at Two Tails Ranch are guaranteed to make your visit worthwhile. Visitors can meet some of the giants and watch them at play, or “Luke” the elephant can paint a personal canvas for you. A visit to Two Tails Ranch is an educational one; you’ll learn about the importance of elephants in our eco-system and other fun facts about the massive creatures. And if you’re hoping to see bats, the Lower Suwanee National Wildlife Refuge has multiple bat houses where visitors can see thousands of them flying overhead at dusk.
Sports enthusiasts will find Levy County is an oasis for recreational water fun. The Withlacoochee River is part of the Nature Coast of Florida and is a great spot for kayaking, canoeing, sailing, fishing and boating. When cruising down the 141-mile-long river, paddlers will get a glimpse of untouched Florida’s nature and wildlife. Goethe State Forest in Bronson is another superb spot to go hiking, bicycling and horseback riding.
Divers looking for something different need to look no further than Levy County’s diving holes. Like Manatee Springs, Blue Grotto is a spectacular cavern that allows divers to descend 100 feet underwater and see some of the spring’s fish and turtles. First-timers can also join in on diving classes. Devil’s Den is another great diving hole with a sinister perk. During the winter, steam rises from the spring and divers have to literally walk down steps into the cavern before submerging into the water. Once in the water, divers can enjoy exploring the ancient Pleistocene rocks and fossils that are up to 33 millions years old, making this spot a true natural wonder.
History lovers can visit the Shell Mound Archeological Site near Cedar Key. This historic site spans several acres in a crescent-shaped mound. Archeologists agree that most of the Gulf Coast of Florida was home to shell mounds by early peoples as long ago as 7,000 years. Visitors can walk a trail atop the shell mound for a panoramic view of the Gulf of Mexico. While you’re in Cedar Key, swing by the Historical Society Museum to enrich your learning experience. The First Cross-Florida Railroad exhibit is another great spot to absorb the area’s history. Visitors can walk through the historical archives and look at photos in the museums to learn how the county evolved over the years. But if you want to combine your love of nature and history, there’s no better place to do it than Cedar Key Museum State Park. The museum is full of Indian artifacts and one of Florida’s largest shell collections. Before you leave, be sure to to take a stroll on the nature trail to the Whitman House.