Citrus County Courthouse
Historic Citrus County Courthouse in Inverness

Citrus County is located along the Gulf of Mexico in west central Florida. Citrus County contains 584 square miles of land area and 189 square miles of water surface. The county seat is Inverness. Originally, this was part of Hernando County and was separated by the Florida Legislature in 1887. The county was a large producer of citrus fruit until the Big Freeze of 1894-1895 wiped out most of the county's citrus trees. After that, phosphate mining played a large part in the local economy until most phosphate mining was moved down to the Bartow area (east of Tampa) after the end of World War I. These days, Citrus County sees a lot of business revolving around retirees and snowbirds coming to Florida to escape the cold winters of the northern states and Canada.

About 2,500 years ago, a tribe of Native American mound builders created the site that is now known as the Crystal River Archaeological Site. Citrus County also contains the Crystal River Preserve State Park, Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge and a good part of the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge and Wilderness.

Citrus County has only 2 incorporated towns but close to 90% of the county's population lives in one or another of 17 Census Designated Places (all unincorporated). The original county seat of Mannfield is now a ghost town.