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Junior Journalists: Students make appeal to tourists

By PAULETTE LASH RITCHIE
Published March 20, 2007


The Junior Journalism program is a partnership between the Citrus Times and the Citrus County School District to encourage writing. Students were supplied with prompts and asked to write essays. These sixth-graders wrote about selling Citrus County as a tourist destination.

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WELCOME TO CITRUS COUNTY, FLORIDA

Citrus County is where the sky is sunny, the air is warm and the springs are cool. It is a place to find warm gulf waters, fantastic fishing and beautiful lakes. Also, quaint riverside inns, bed and breakfast establishments, full service resorts and rustic campgrounds are ready to welcome you.

Don't forget our unspoiled natural surroundings, championship golf courses, charming shops, fine food and lots of history are here awaiting you.

You can drive through Citrus County in a vehicle and see many of the birds that live here. Hiking trails are made for those who rather go by foot. There are lakes to go boating, water skiing and fishing.

If you love boating but do not own a boat, there are some local businesses that can rent you one. Camping is great here because of the natural settings.

Also, in some areas in Citrus County you may go diving. The Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge allows you to make reservations to go snorkeling with the manatees.

You can also visit the Homosassa Wildlife Attraction to see the manatees and other types of animals. History of the Civil War, Spanish explorers and other historical events are in the Citrus County Historical Society Museum waiting for you.

If you are a hiker, you will enjoy hiking through sand hills, scrub, hardwood hammocks, swamps, prairies and marshes. Rails to Trails is a path for everybody who want to ride their bike, walk, or roller skate. Absolutely no motorized vehicles are allowed on this path.

If you like horseback riding, you are sure to enjoy horseback riding on horse trails on the Flying Eagle and Potts Preserve tracts.

Citrus County is in fact a great place to visit for all ages. If Citrus County does not have enough great things for you to do, don't worry because you can go to the nearby towns of Ocala, Orlando and Tampa, where there are many different amusement parks for you to visit as well.

Yes, Citrus County is a GREAT place to visit. Once you have visited here, you will WANT to return here for future vacations.

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Citrus County (a.k.a. Paradise)

Paradise: any place of great satisfaction, happiness, or delight; Citrus County, Florida.

This may not be Mr. Webster's actual definition of paradise, but Citrus County sure comes close!

Citrus has activities for people of all ages, from 1 to 101. If you're the adventurous type, then how does swimming with a manatee sound? If you're the kick back and relax type, then spend a few days at our bed and breakfast inns and day spas.

Some folks are movie lovers. If there's one in your family tell them to check out our cinemas and movie rental stores, like Movie Gallery.

There are plenty of activities for those who "just gotta be in the water." Fishing, scalloping and snorkeling provide visitors all the water recreation they could possibly want.

Let's not forget our rough and tough outdoorsmen. There's hunting, camping, biking, and many other thrilling things to do in Mother Nature's backyard. Citrus has sports, too. Take a swing on our golf courses or score a goal at Holden Park in Inverness.

For the younger crowd and the young at heart, we have the Citrus County Fair during spring break. This March event, held between Inverness and Floral City, has exciting rides, delicious food, and arts and crafts buildings to browse.

Did you know Elvis, the Elvis, made a movie in Citrus County? Part of it was filmed in our courthouse! That's right, Elvis Presley packed up his peanut butter and banana sandwiches, followed his dream, and went to Citrus County to make a movie called Follow That Dream.

Even famous people have found "paradise" in Citrus. Major League Baseball pitcher Mike Hampton and Gary Burghoff (Radar from M*A*S*H) are a couple celebrities who call this county home. The late Ted Williams, the Splendid Splinter of the Boston Red Sox, lived in Citrus Hills.

If you're a history buff, you'll enjoy the Civil War re-enactment held in Crystal River every year.

You'll witness firsthand battles, see how the surgeons took care of a wounded soldier and the different types of weaponry. There's also a Seminole Indian War re-enactment held at the Fort Cooper State Park. Step back in time and take part in some Florida history.

Some may call it "paradise," others say it's "fun in the sun," but to many it's "home." Come on down and spend your vacation in good ol' Citrus County.