Winter Months Prime Time to Swim with Manatees at Plantation on Crystal River


WHO: The Plantation on Crystal River – a hidden gem along Florida’s Nature Coast, just 80 miles north of Tampa.

WHAT: Crystal River, Fla. is the only location in North America where you can legally swim and interact in the wild with the endangered West Indian Manatee.  Manatee tours are offered year-round, but in the winter time guests are guaranteed to see these gentle giants. This winter, the newly-renovated Plantation on Crystal River is offering a chance to swim with the manatees, and fully experience the resort, with prices starting at just $224* for two people. This special manatee package includes:

  • One-night stay in a renovated garden view room
  • Welcome bag with plush manatee toy, fun facts and manatee interaction guidelines
  • Manatee snorkeling tour for two from the Plantation Adventure Center
  • Breakfast for two at West 82⁰ Bar & Grill
  • All equipment needed (mask, snorkel, fins and wetsuit)
  • Hot Chocolate and Coffee on boat
  • Enclosed boats for warmth
  • Hot shower facility

During prime manatee season, guests will experience the truly unique travel adventure of swimming with up to 350 manatees as they play, eat, and socialize with one another in the year-round 72⁰ F waters of Florida’s second largest spring system – relatively warm considering manatee season is in the winter. An experienced tour guide provides fun facts about manatees, as well as the history and natural surroundings of Kings Bay and Crystal River. Tours leave directly from the dock at Plantation’s very own Adventure Center. Snorkeling gear and wet suits are provided.

WHEN: Prime manatee viewing season usually runs from Oct.1-Mar. 31, but depends on the Gulf and Crystal River water temperatures.  Package is available year-round.

WHERE: The eco-friendly Plantation on Crystal River is surrounded by the natural springs of King’s Bay and pristine lakes and rivers, as well as wildlife refuges and state parks.  On site, the Plantation features a full-service marina, 18-hole golf course, 9-hole executive course, Aveda spa, delectable dining and inviting accommodations.

Guests have the unique opportunity to swim with manatees, rent a pontoon or Jon boat, relax by the riverfront pool, enjoy a game of croquet, or hire a guided fishing charter.  With more than 1,600 feet of seawall, overnight guests can tie up their boats at any of over 80 spaces.


Source = Plantation on Crystal River
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