Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Crystal Springs, FL

  • Published 2022/09/08

Crystal Springs is a census-designated place (CDP) and a hydrological spring in Pasco County, Florida.

The CDP has a total area of 5.6 square miles and a population of slightly over 1,000.

Crystal Springs is only 30 minutes northeast of Tampa, making big city conveniences accessible to the quiet countryside.

Despite its size, Crystal Springs and its nearby areas offer fun activities and attractions, including an eponymous nature preserve.

Here are the best things to do in Crystal Springs, Florida:

Explore Crystal Springs Preserve

Crystal Springs Preserve is a sanctuary spanning 530 acres committed to environmental education and conservation of Florida’s ecology.

It presents visitors with a wide variety of outdoor experiences.

The park’s prominent feature is the Magnitude 2 Spring System, which discharges 30 million gallons of water daily.

Crystal Springs Preserve’s programs provide everyone with engaging, practical learning experiences.

The preserve’s Nature Center and Learning Lab contain modern science tools.

These tools improve the outdoor Living Laboratory and protect various native Florida amphibians and reptile species.

Likewise, the preserve aims to mix environmental science and technology.

These enriching opportunities include wildlife viewing, river boardwalks, forest trails, and butterfly gardens.

Have a beautiful time in nature and help people make eco-friendly decisions for the betterment of the future.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Drop by the Zephyrhills Train Depot Museum

A train caboose displayed on the grounds of Zephyrhills Train Depot Museum

P. Allison /

Situated four miles north of Crystal Springs is the Zephyrhills Train Depot Museum, a rail museum you and your family are welcome to visit.

The City of Zephyrhills acquired the historic 1927 Atlantic Coast Line Depot from CSX Railroad in 1989.

The train depot was moved 200 feet west of its original location.

Exterior of the Zephyrhills Train Depot Museum

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

In 1997, Zephyrhills restored the 2,700-square-foot structure with funding from the State Department of Transportation.

The Zephyrhills Historical Association and the Historical Preservation Committee worked together to make this restoration possible.

After dropping by the Zephyrhills Train Depot Museum, relax in the surrounding park with a playground, benches, and gazebos.

Take the Dogs Out to Gunner Paw Park

Gunner Paw Park is a 5.66-acre dog park in Zephyrhills, slightly over four miles north of Crystal Springs.

The park offers an off-leash area for both large and small dogs and a children’s playground.

Additional features include a multipurpose trail, park benches, and wooded areas, ideal for passive recreation.

Due to Gunner Paw Park’s off-leash area, dog owners and park visitors assume all risks associated with using the park.

Restrooms and trash bins are also available.

Watch a Movie at Zephyrhills Cinema at 10

Zephyrhills Cinema 10 is the top theater choice for first-run movies in Crystal Springs, Zephyrhills, Plant City, Dade City, Wesley Chapel, and the North Lakeland area.

It has the most up-to-date stadium seating, the best projection technology, and cutting-edge audio technology, including DTS sound and Dolby Digital.

The theater offers traditional seating for past prime movies, which most people prefer.

Their auditoriums are cozy, modern, and well-appointed, and the lobby features a charming collection of varied art.

Zephyrhills Cinema 10 also offers Assistive Listening and Closed Captioning devices upon request.

This theater is ten minutes away from Crystal Springs.

Book a Tour at Roos and Coos Farm

Spend time at Roos and Coos Farm, a livestock dealer and sanctuary for exotic animals in Plant City, about seven miles from Crystal Springs.

The farm’s concept is “animals from around the world;” hence, most of the animals come from outside the country.

As a USDA and FWC-licensed farm, Roos and Coos Farm grow livestock in addition to rescuing and housing exotic animals.

Meet the llamas, raccoons, black-nose sheep, highland cows, watusi cattle, kangaroos, tortoises, and more.

At Roos and Coos Farm, adults can gain just as much enjoyment with the entire farm experience as kids do.

Shop for Local Goods at the Plant City Farm & Flea Market

Located ten miles south of Crystal Springs, the Plant City Farm & Flea Market offers various supplies for your groceries or your neighborhood business.

In 1979, the flea market officially opened with six acres of space.

After adding a farmers’ market, the market stretches more than 40 acres.

Then, they purchased more land.

It is a large wholesale market with over 100 fruits and vegetable vendors occupying over 10 acres, with some items only sold in small quantities.

With truckloads of produce delivered to the market every year, the Plant City Farm & Flea Market has become one of the South’s major independent farmers’ markets.

Nearly 90% of the products sold here supply restaurants, supermarkets, and numerous fruit and vegetable roadside vendors.

Go Horseback Riding at Lower Green Swamp Nature Preserve

Lower Green Swamp Nature Preserve is a 12,800-acre nature preserve 11 miles southeast of Crystal Springs in the northeastern part of Hillsborough County.

You can enjoy nearly 20 miles of open and sunny trails, ideal for hiking, walking, and horseback riding.

The preserve does not offer horseback riding rental services, so those interested in riding here must bring their horses.

Its pine flatwoods and wetlands give homes to several wildlife species, such as barred owls, Southern fox squirrels, white-tailed deer, and wood storks.

Formerly the Audubon Ranch and Cone Ranch, the Lower Green Swamp Nature operated under the county’s Public Utilities Water Department from 1988 to 2010.

Today, it’s part of the Jan K. Platt Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program.

Numerous restoration initiatives have aided in restoring more natural habitats and improving the preserve’s hydrology system.

Go Hiking at Blackwater Creek Nature Preserve

Blackwater Creek Preserve is a conservation area spanning over 2,000 acres in Hillsborough County, only four miles south of Crystal Springs.

This preserve offers trails for walking or hiking and opportunities to view wildlife.

Visitors can see cypress domes, pine flatwoods, hardwood hammocks, and wet prairies along Blackwater Creek.

Some of the wildlife in the area include deer, dusky pigmy rattlesnakes, Eastern bluebirds, gopher tortoises, Sherman’s fox squirrels, and turkeys.

Hillsborough County acquired Blackwater Creek Nature Preserve between 1997 and 2003 through the Florida Communities Trust and the Jan K. Platt Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program.

Watch Sports at Samuel W Pasco Recreation Complex

Samuel W Pasco Recreation Complex is an outdoor recreation park three miles north of Crystal Springs in Zephyrhills.

This park is a great place to take the kids for a lovely afternoon, with lots of green spaces, sports fields for baseball and soccer, a basketball court, and a playground.

Watch sports league practices and tournament games.

This family-friendly park is also ideal for picnics and get-togethers.

The Zephyrhills Parks Department maintains Samuel W Pasco Recreation Complex, which is accessible to the general public.

Shop for Harry Potter Items at Mad Dragon Studio

Are you in for some magic and sorcery?

Mad Dragon Studio, a hidden gem only four miles north of Crystal Springs, will give you a dose of enchantment from the magical world of Harry Potter!

Harry Potter fans or “Potterheads” will feast their eyes on the assortment of handmade goods Mad Dragon Studio has to offer!

Despite being a small shop, Mad Dragon Studio sells handmade wands, magical trinkets like feathered quills, cosplay costumes, accessories, and gift items.

These things will surely delight the hearts of any Harry Potter fan.

You can check out more items like the Marauder’s Map, a fireplace with hanging Hogwarts letters, quidditch goggles, snitch pendants, Tom Riddle’s diary, the Sorting Hat, and more.

Are you a collector of anything Harry Potter?

Don’t miss the Mad Dragon Studio if you’re in the area!

Go Free-Falling with Jump Florida Skydiving

Don’t put off skydiving any longer by going to Jump Florida Skydiving in Crystal Springs!

Jump Florida Skydiving is one of the best places for first-time skydivers in Florida.

Traveling from Crystal Springs to their Plant City location will only take five minutes.

For beginners, the best way to feel the rush of free-fall for the first time is the tandem skydive with a United States Parachute Association-certified instructor.

If you’re interested and ready to put your skills to the next level, Jump Florida Skydiving welcomes you to their community of professional skydivers.

Jump Florida Skydiving flies one of the fastest skydiving aircraft in the industry, allowing you to jump as high as 18,000 feet for your epic tandem skydive.

With over 75 years of experience and over 125,000 jumps, Jump Florida Skydiving invites you to see why it’s one of the state’s premier skydiving destinations.

Dine at 2 Minutes Restaurant

Located five minutes from Crystal Springs, 2 Minutes Restaurant is one of the popular must-try restaurants near the community.

It’s a great local family restaurant that serves American favorites.

Their extensive menu should please locals and visitors alike, serving breakfast through dinner, from classic eggs, sausages, burgers, soups, and sandwiches to steak, seafood, and desserts.

With great food, huge portions, reasonable prices, and a friendly atmosphere, 2 Minutes Restaurant won’t leave you unsatisfied.

Set up Camp at Upper Hillsborough Preserve – Alston Tract

Wander nature at Alston Tract, a segment of the Upper Hillsborough Preserve, a nature preserve and wildlife habitat in the Hillsborough River Greenway region.

Upper Hillsborough Preserve – Alston Tract is only about three miles from the heart of Crystal Springs, approximately seven minutes away.

Choose from the park’s many recreational activities, including 16 miles of multi-use trails, great for biking, hiking, and horseback riding, camping sites with grills and picnic tables, and large pavilions.

If you want peace, this is a great area to relax.

In addition, you may even encounter some wildlife at Upper Hillsborough Preserve – Alston Tract if you’re lucky!

Interact with Farm Animals at Granma’s Hug-N-Farm

Are you looking for a family-friendly weekend destination in Crystal Springs?

At Granma’s Hug-N-Farm, visitors of all ages can interact closely with farm animals!

You can find several animals, including chickens, cows, ducks, donkeys, horses, rabbits, turtles, and more, on this 20-acre farm.

The farm owners will spend some time discussing the upkeep of these animals and other fascinating facts about the farm.

Tour Granma’s Hug-N-Farm by taking a hayride pulled by their old tractor to round off the adventure!

Grab a Bite at Joanne’s Family Restaurant

Visit Joanne’s Family Restaurant for delectable American cuisine prepared country-style.

This small, country kitchen family restaurant is on Paul Buchman Hwy.

It’s an excellent place for regulars and deserves a try for people visiting the area.

The simple interior gives off a homey vibe, and the reasonably priced, excellent food makes it well worth the money!

Joanne’s Family Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Final Thoughts

Just a short 30-minute drive from Tampa, Crystal Springs will surprise visitors with plenty of outdoor opportunities.

Anyone who enjoys a small-town, rural atmosphere with plenty of picturesque sights will find Crystal Springs a wonderful family-friendly getaway.

Plan your trip today and discover the best things to do in Crystal Springs, Florida!

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