I was provided a complimentary stay at The Plantation on Crystal River. All opinions are my own.
Sometimes you just want to vacation somewhere quiet, relaxing and that will allow you to leave the hustle and bustle of life behind for a while. The Plantation on Crystal River resort in Crystal River, FL offers just the escape for those looking to experience something new.
With a 50 year history, this 232-acre eco-friendly resort is just the ticket for kicking back and enjoying nature. Sitting right alongside Crystal River, the resort offers amazing insights into the beautiful wildlife that makes Florida unique.
The bay in Crystal River is one of the largest aquifers in the state and happens to be home to more than 400 West Indian Manatees that migrate each year to enjoy the warmth of the springs.
Besides being able to view Manatees in their natural habitat, the resort also offers activities such as golfing, boating, swimming with Manatees, fishing, Manatee river tours and more.
We had the pleasure of experiencing a stay at the Plantation on Crystal River this summer. The resort certainly offers a sense of old-world charm and the pristine river setting adds to the allure. Driving up to the property you’re greeted by overgrown trees and the American flag waving proudly in the wind. The white-columned exterior of the resort gives off an old southern feel and the smell of nature all around just makes you want to stop and take it all in.
Upon checking in we were greeted by warm wood floors, a grand piano and a fabulous staircase in the front lobby. Also accessible from the lobby is their in-house restaurant, West 82º Grill. A full-service spa and gift shop also accompany the restaurant within steps of the lobby with easy outdoor access heading to the pool, marina and outdoor activities.
Once checked in we headed to our room. It was obvious the resort was going through a renovation process but that didn’t take away from its beauty. It was nice to see that room was large and offered a door with access to the back of the resort where the pool, river and other activities are.
The bathroom offered a large sink outside of the tub and toilet area which offered a sliding door for privacy. The only things we felt could be improved upon where that the sliding bathroom door was a bit hard to operate and the toilet/tub area was very small. We also noticed that the door to the patio only hard a dead-bolt style lock on the inside of the door and didn’t offer a room-key lock on the outside. This meant that we weren’t able to head towards the pool this way because there would be no way to lock the door behind us. These are little issues, but ones I’m hoping they will address during the renovation.
The view from our room and patio was beautiful and offered a perfect, serene look at the river that runs alongside the resort. There were 2 chairs outside for us to use and the pool and outdoor activities were just a short walk from our door.
While visiting we took in a few swims at the pool. The pool area is very large and the pool itself can accommodate quite a group of people. I really like that that pool was relatively shallow, offering a large 3ft area and another 5ft area. This was great for our kids since it let them swim more safely and gave me a good space for our 3-year-old to play.
We also liked that there was plenty of seating in the area and we were able to grab lunch and drinks at the outdoor Plantation Tiki Bar. They offered a wide selection of food and drink items, including kid-friendly food. We tried out the chicken salad, chicken tenders and hamburger meals, all of which were very satisfying!
One of the activities we experienced while staying at the resort was taking the Manatee Tour. The tour offers guest the ability to seek out the local Manatees throughout the river and the bay area while taking in the sights and sounds of the area. We met our pontoon boat at the marina and headed out to look for Manatees!
My kids and I loved floating along the river and trying to spot manatees. Our tour guide was great at showing us where they would most likely hide and gave us some interesting facts about the animals and the area.
Unfortunately, the Manatees weren’t out for us that day, but we had a wonderful time exploring on the tour. The resort also offers guest the chance to swim with Mantatees! While my kids weren’t old enough for it, I’m hoping I’ll be able to try it on our next visit.
A Perfect Family Getaway
In summing up our experience at the Plantation on Crystal River, it was certainly a fun, beautiful and quiet getaway. The resort offered us a view of Florida that many don’t think about when visiting and we really enjoyed how much they embrace the wildlife around them.
The amenities offered to families give them a chance to enjoy each other and bond over outdoor games and activities. You truly feel the need to leave your technology in the room and just have fun sitting by the pool or relaxing near the river.
The staff was friendly and their willingness to make your stay as great as possible was evident every time they said hello. The Plantation on Crystal River is a wonderful resort for families looking to make memories and would be a great place for reunions.
If you’re wondering where in Florida to visit next, I would highly suggest placing the Plantation on Crystal River in one of your top spots!