52 Great Florida
Crystal River is the "winter home" of the largest concentration of manatees in North America. In this area, the wild manatees allow humans to swim among them, and the Plantation Inn Dive Shop features several programs for guests to see manatees up close and personal. Fed by 13 freshwater springs at a constant 72 degrees the Crystal River is a hugely popular freshwater dive site. A full-service marina connected to the dive shop has rental boats, snorkeling and scuba equipment, experienced guides and complete docking and boat-launching facilities.
For anglers, the Crystal River is one of the state's best fishing areas, with trout, redfish, and bass the most popular catches. A favorite activity is to fish all morning, accompanied by a guide, and eat your catch for lunch on a nearby island.
When you're ready to take a dive into golf, an 18-hole championship course, designed by Mark Mahannah, and 9-hole executive layout comprise the Plantation Inn's golf complex. The courses weave around dozens of natural lakes and loblolly pines. For those who don't mind venturing off the property, Plantation Inn has play agreements with 10 area courses, including World Woods, with two Tom Fazio courses; Twisted Oaks, a new Karl Litton course; and Southern Woods, A Hale Irwin design.
The Plantation's white-columned inn conjures up images of Southern hospitality --and that's just what you get at this folksy, 40-year old resort. Accommodations include 126 guest rooms, 12 golf villas, and five condominiums.