The Ultimate Three Day Itinerary to Crystal River, FL and nearby Springs

For as long as I remember I have dreamed about swimming with Manatees. The coastal town of Crystal River in Florida is home to over 400 manatees that migrate to Kings Bay every winter. Crystal River is the only place in the US where you are legally permitted to swim with manatees.

Fanning Spring

Crystal River is easily accessible from Tampa, Gainesville and Orlando. Crystal River is the perfect destination for a day trip or for a week of adventures swimming with manatees, enjoying the beautiful springs and beaches nearby. We recommend renting a car and drive down to Crystal River and use it as a based to discover the region.

When is the best time to visit Crystal River?

The best time to visit Crystal River is during the winter, between November and March, as the temperature is cooler, and you have a better chance of seeing manatees. If you want to swim with manatees make sure to travel between December to February, as it is when manatees are most likely to be seeking out the warmth of the springs.

Day 1:

Breakfast at West 82 Bar and Grill

Breakfast is at the West 82 Bar and Grill, in the lobby of Plantation on Crystal River, daily from 6AM to 11AM. We loved the variety of options we had each morning for breakfast.

Our favorite dishes are the Hickory Smoked Salmon with Capers, Ripe Tomato, Red Onion, Bagel and Cream Cheese, the Manatee Pancakes with fresh fruit and whipped cream and maple syrup, and the Buttermilk Pancakes: Chocolate Chip, Blueberry or Plain with Maple Syrup.

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

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