Nestled near the historical Homosassa state park on the Gulf Coast of Florida lies the 50 year old Plantation on Crystal River, a replica plantation-style inn on Kings Bay - the only place in Florida that you're legally allowed to swim with Manatees! I had the privilege of staying at the Plantation on Crystal River a while back as part of a press trip, and I had an amazing time! As a local fisher in South Florida, I've seen manatees in the wild throughout my life...but to go to a place where you're actually allowed to SWIM with them?! It was amazing!
About Plantation on Crystal River
Plantation on Crystal River is an eco-friendly property surrounded by the springs of Kings Bay, with over 25,000 acres of lakes and rivers, as well as wildlife refuges and state parks.
Plantation offers a full-service family-oriented dive and tour marina, a 27 hole golf course designed by Mark Mahannah, an Aveda® spa, restaurants that offer fine dining, as well as a fun pool area.
There are also boat slips, so guests can bring their own boats, or simply charter a fishing charter, rent a pontoon boat, or hire a tour to swim with the manatees!
Swimming With Manatees at the Plantation on Crystal River
There is also a golf school and scuba certification classes available!
Kings bay in Crystal River is one of the largest aquifers in Florida and home to more than 400 West Indian manatees! It was the perfect place to use as our base of operations while we experienced the area firsthand. It was rainy when we visited the area, so we didn't have the absolute best visibility in the water, but it was still quite the experience!
Photo courtesy of MommyMusings.com.
Dining at Plantation on Crystal River
The 19th Hole Sports Bar & Grille is the perfect laid-back atmosphere for those nights when you just want to watch the game, grab a drink or a nice appetizer.
The West 82º Bar & Grille is your go-to spot for fine dining at Plantation on Crystal River! We had a feast on our first night there!
Activities available at Plantation on Crystal River include:
- Scalloping (seasonal)
- Giant Chess and Checkers
- Sand Volleyball
- Beach Shuttle with Beach Chairs and Umbrellas
Overall, it was a relaxing, peaceful stay and I would recommend the Plantation on Crystal River if your family wants to explore a different side of Florida on your next vacation!
You can find out more about the Plantation on Crystal River here!