The following post is sponsored by Citrus County Florida. All opinions and images are 100% mine and Chef Dennis Approved!
Have I mentioned lately how much I love Florida? In case you missed that point, what I’m trying to say is that discovering Florida has become the highlight of my life and getting to visit Citrus County was an unexpected pleasure during my adventures in paradise.
Earlier in the year I was asked to speak at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism and got to meet with a lot of fun people in the state’s tourism industry. It’s there that I made friends with the folks from Citrus County.
If you’re not familiar with Citrus County you’re one of many that haven’t found one of Florida’s Best Kept Secrets. But don’t worry because I’m going to share my experiences with you so you can see what awaits you when you visit the Nature Coast.
I really didn’t know what to expect on my first trip to the Nature Coast, but believe me when I tell you it was so much more than I could have imagined. As I drove up to the Plantation on Crystal River I was greeted by the stately columns of this “Old Florida Resort” and was immediately taken back to another point in time, when life was easier and the fish were always biting. That’s Old Florida, my friends.
Of course it isn’t hard to slow yourself down and relax when you can step outside your door to paradise. Can you believe this was the view from my porch! I have to admit that I didn’t slow down fast enough upon arriving at the Plantation and didn’t discover what was on the other side of my bedroom’s sliding glass doors until the next morning when I opened up my curtains. Imagine my surprise to discover what was a few steps outside my door.
This was my view to the other side…..sigh. The dive shop at the Plantation was just a short walk away.
You can take one of the Plantation’s tour boats out to one of the area’s springs and get an up-close and personal look at the Manatees, or go out on a guided fishing trip and have the chef at the Plantation’s Restaurant (West 82º Bar & Grill) cook up what you caught that day. Let me tell you seafood never tasted so fresh!
If you like to Kayak you can rent one and go out exploring on your own.
Just be careful because you never know when you’re going to run into one of these guys. And Manatees are protected, so be respectful and enjoy the experience. Manatees are very curious creatures and they may come up on their own to say hello. I got to see three just cruising around, enjoying life.
But if you’re more of a “relax by the pool person” and don’t necessarily want to catch your own food, you can depend on the Plantation’s West 82º Bar & Grill to offer delicious dining options, from fresh seafood to perfectly cooked steaks.
And of course, make sure to make your way outside to the Tiki Bar for a Plantation Punch or your favorite beverage. The Plantation Punch was OMG delicious and is definitely Chef Dennis Approved!
Relaxing by this beautiful pool is always an option. At sunrise I found guests swimming and then enjoying the hot tub. I think Florida law requires all visitors to enjoy some beach or pool time during their visit…. (well maybe it’s not a law but it’s a great idea!) and the Plantation pool is beautiful.
Of course the Plantation is just one destination in Citrus County and to learn more about this undiscovered jewel of Old Florida, check out their website Visit Citrus.
“Find Florida’s soul in their warm Gulf waters, spring-fed rivers, gentle manatees, fantastic fishing and bountiful lakes. Their affordable hotels and motels include riverside inns and full-service resorts, and charming bed and breakfasts and campgrounds are ready to welcome you. Come experience Citrus County’s unspoiled natural surroundings, championship golf, unique shops, abundant history and endless aquatic adventure”
Looks like a great place to hang out. We visited the area while camping near Cedar Key and really enjoyed watching the Manatees.