Description - The Central West Travel Region is known as the cultural concentration of Florida. There is an assemblage of over 25 museums and historic locations featuring everything from America's early love affair with Ringling Circus to its painful reminders of the European Holocaust. This region boasts planetariums, opera houses, contemporary exhibits, aquariums, and more. A favorite natural feature is the scenic Hillsborough River that graces the semitropical landscape. Located along the coast, the area is home to some of the most beautiful stretches of pristine coastline presenting spectacular sunsets. Much of Citrus, Hernando and Pasco Counties have been preserved and are now managed by county, state and national park agencies focused on ecological maintenance and preservation of wildlife and plant life habitats. Several such areas are the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge that harbors bays, estuaries and marshes, choice habitat for black bear, American eagles and wood storks; The Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge is a barrier island, providing habitat for brown pelicans and migratory birds; and, Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park is the only park in the entire state where visitors can view manatee year-round. Historical attractions include Anclote Key State Park where lighthouse enthusiasts can observe the beacon that serves coastline mariners. At the northern tip of the region, Crystal River State Archaeological Site offers views of a pre-Columbian Native American burial site. Many other parks dotted throughout the Central West Travel Region offer camping, hiking, environmental education programs, canoeing opportunities and much, much more.
Copyright: Florida Division of Recreation & Parks
Honeymoon Island State Recreation Area
- Scenic waterways grace the Central West Travel Region. Meandering fishing and boating waters include the Withlacoochee, Homosassa, Pithlachascotee, Weeke Wachee, and Chassahowitzka Rivers. Semi-tropic conditions creating warm summer days and temperate winter days with year-round sunshine, entice water sport enthusiasts to the region's crystal-clear springs. Tourists will find a rich mixture of natural and cultural amenities. Cosmopolitan areas such as Tampa and St. Pete offer high-tech businesses and nightlife. Nationally recognized Honeymoon Island State Recreation Area and Caladesi Island State Park have been named two of America's best beach destinations. Throughout Central West, travelers will discover the explosion of world-class museums, fabulous retirement and resort communities, superb shopping, antiquing, fine dining, championship golf courses and much more.
Recreation - Rest and relaxation appear to be favorite recreations in the Central West Travel Region, especially at sunset. At twilight spectacular colors drape the evening sky. Day trips lend themselves to discovery of more than 25 museums and historic sites that satisfy all cultural tastes from contemporary to ancient. The region teems with exotic wildlife and plant life throughout the many national wildlife refuges and state parks. Visitors to the public lands will find hiking trails, environmental education programs, campgrounds, and historic features. Charter canoe trips, deep-sea fishing, sunbathing, ocean swimming, diving, snorkeling, biking and glass bottom boat tours can be enjoyed year-round.
Climate - Winters in west central Florida are normally mild with occasional temperatures dipping into the 30's and 40's Fahrenheit. However, averages range between 52 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit (11 - 18 Celsius). Summers are normally hot and muggy with temperatures and humidity usually exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Averages range between 81 and 83 degrees (27 - 29 Celsius). Precipitation for the central west area ranges between 52 and 56 inches per year.
The Central West Travel Region falls along the beautiful Gulf of Mexico shores with boundaries slightly above Crystal River running south to Englewood. Areas encompass cities as far west as Arcadia encircling major travel routes such as Interstate 75 and US 4. Lying the heart of this region are the urban destinations of Tampa and St. Petersburg.