One of the best remedies for the end of summer blues is to visit a local attraction that just so happens to be stunningly beautiful, close to home, and completely free of charge.
Located at the end of the nine-mile long West Fort Island Trail off of Route 19, this little gem is definitely not a tourist attraction.
This is the type of beach added front park that is enjoyed by locals from throughout Citrus County. It is just over thirty minutes from the Villages of Citrus Hills, which makes it perfect for a quick trip to the beach, even if you only have a few hours to enjoy your time there.
The Beach Area
The beach here is a great locale for families, especially those with younger children. And, because it is located at the end of a long, windy road, this area is usually not very crowded, even on holiday weekends.
When you arrive at the beach, the first thing you will notice is that there are well-maintained restroom facilities with showers.
You will also see that there are a number of covered picnic pavilions located right on the beach itself. Even if you have no plans to swim or even hang at the beach, these beachfront pavilions are a great place for an afternoon picnic.
If you are planning to hit the beach, you will notice that it has the type of white powdery sand that you think of when you hear about the Gulf Coast. This little beach tends to have a lot less rocks and shells compared to some of the other local beaches.
There is also a small swimming area that is observed by a lifeguard on duty from Memorial Day throughout Labor Day.
Fort Island Gulf Beach is also a great location if you are looking for a salt-water fishing spot that is close to home. Surf fishing is very popular here, and many people will venture out onto the breakwater rocks that jut out into the Gulf to find the perfect spot to cast their lines.
There is also a pier that provides an even better fishing location. This is great if you are looking to get your line out into water that is a bit deeper.
If boating is your thing, the park also has a boat ramp where you can launch your boat, wave runner, canoe, or kayak. Once again, this is one of the best locations for residents of the Villages of Citrus Hills because it is so close to home. Launching your boat from here will allow you to explore the mouth of the Crystal River and much of Crystal Bay.
Like many of the beaches along the Gulf Coast, Fort Island Gulf Beach is a great location to watch a dramatic Gulf Coast sunset. With nothing but open water to the west of the beach, you will be amazed by the way the sun sinks right into the water in the evening. There is also a good chance that you will see dolphins off the coast as well!
Whatever beach activities you are looking for, Fort Island Gulf Beach is a great option because it is both close to home and somewhat secluded. If you are looking for an easy trip to the beach that won’t take an entire day, this is a great place to visit!