4150 S Suncoast Blvd., Homosassa, FL 34446
Payment options: Credit cards accepted
Admission: $13, $5 ages 6-12, 5 and younger free.
More in this neighborhood: Citrus County
A 45-foot deep natural spring is the centerpiece of this more than 210-acre park. It's home to a whole host of animals, including native birds, alligators, crocodiles, red wolves, bears, bobcats, cougars, snakes, turtles and more.
And did we mention the hippo? He's somewhat of a local celebrity. Lu (formerly known as Lucifer) was starring in movies when the springs were an exotic animal park. Local residents took a liking to Lu and often visited him between movies. When the park went to strictly native species, Lu was supposed to be transferred. But after a campaign to grant his permanent status in the park, he was allowed to stay.
Lu celebrated 50 years at the park in 2010. Read about it here.
There are also manatees that can be viewed up close through the floating underwater observatory inside the springs. Park admission is $13 per adult.