Family adventure for all ages is what I gear our trips towards. My goal was to find a great spot that would keep everyone happy all while making memories with a baby, two kids, and an outdoorsy husband. The adventure started by checking into our adorable two-story Villa right on the golf course fairway. The highlight of the trip was snorkeling with manatees but it included so much more and for under $700. Let’s dive into how I did it.
The Plantation on Crystal River is where we stayed and their villa was perfect. It’s truly a two-story townhouse with plenty of space for everyone with a full kitchen, living room and a separate sleeping area upstairs with two large beds. To save on food expenses, I brought all meals, snacks, and drinks in a cooler and loaded up the villa’s full kitchen. For dinner, we ordered a pizza from a local spot and had it delivered to the room. I was even able to find some alone time with my husband while enjoying a glass of wine, while watching the children run around the golf course playing tag. Let’s just say they slept well that evening.
The Plantation on Crystal River had an old charm feel with Spanish moss hanging from large oak trees. It hosted a large family-friendly pool, lawn games, live music, and a game room to keep everyone entertained. Snorkeling with the manatees was booked at the onsite dive shop. With having the baby, we took two separate tours and the staff was very accommodating to our schedules. They provide you with all the gear needed and even treated us to hot chocolate, coffee, or bottled water while on the boat. My six-year-olds were encouraged and supported the entire time while snorkeling and learning how to be up close and personal with a manatee. The tour also took us to the three sisters springs. Where we enjoyed swimming and learning about each spring. My husband and I challenged each other with a little friendly diving competition. Who says only the children can have fun?
I recommend taking the earliest tour spots allowing you to snorkel and swim with the manatees while the river is less crowded.
Manatee season is quickly approaching in crystal river! This was a trip my family will remember forever and it didn’t break the bank. Might just be a Fall must for your family too.