There’s a lot to do in Florida that you can’t do just anywhere – trophy fishing, competitive golfing,and strolling the miles of lapping waterfronts. At Plantation on Crystal River, you can do all of that, plus one more activity that you won’t find anywhere else in the world: swimming with West Indian Manatees.
The luxury resort offers Manatee tours in the underwater world of the Crystal River – the only place in the world where it’s legal for divers to interact with the endangered West Indian Manatee in the wild.
Equipped with the resort’s own wetsuits and snorkel gear, guests are invited to swim alongside the gentle giants as they play, eat, and socialize. If you’re staying at the hotel, your tour begins with breakfast downstairs before the adventure launches from the resort’s own dock. You’ll learn about the endangered species in a pre-tour educational session, then experience the underwater natural habitat that as many as 700 manatees call home for a portion of each year.
Photos and video of the once-in-a- lifetime experience can be included in any tour package, leaving you free to embrace each moment. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or first-time snorkeler, the team at Plantation will help you swim like a fish – or better yet, a manatee!
Plantation at Crystal River is nestled along Florida’s Nature Coast, surrounded by the Kings Bay Natural Springs and more than 25,000 surface acres of lakes, rivers, wildlife refuges and state parks. For more than 50 years it has played host to weddings, corporate retreats, family reunions and getaways for visitors from around the world
The green and eco-friendly hotel sits on 232 lush acres blanketed with emerald fields and dotted with grand oaks. Guests of the hotel enjoy a tiki bar, pool deck and hot tub all overlooking the water, as well as outstanding customer service with a down-home feel.
In addition to manatee tours, Plantation offers a wide variety of outdoor entertainment. The grounds are a birdwatcher’s paradise, home to hundreds of species of fowl including Osprey, Blue Heron, Red- and Yellow-Bellied Warblers, Neotropic Cormorant, Eagles and Grey-Horned Owls, to name a few.
And it’s not just birds flying through the air; golf balls whiz by regularly, too. Plantation is fully equipped with a challenging 27-hole competitive golf course designed by renowned course architect, Mark Mahannah. True to the traditional “Florida” style, the course features numerous water and bunker obstacles to keep players on their toes.
Anglers will find their paradise at Plantation as well. Grouper, trout, redfish and tarpon, as well as largemouth bass, bluegill, redar sunfish and black crappie fill the waters just outside the hotel’s luxurious accommodations. Guests can bring their boat in tow, rent one for their stay, or head out with a pro on a guided charter straight from Plantation’s own docks. The on-site marina also rents kayaks for a fun paddle around local waters.
So the next time you want a unique location for a personal, professional, or family getaway, look no further than Plantation at Crystal River. At just over an hour’s drive from Gainesville, this hidden gem will keep you coming back year after year.