By Kara Franker

A hidden gem along Florida’s Nature Coast, the Plantation on Crystal River offering two new packages that will give you the chance to swim with West Indian Manatees in Crystal River -- the only location in North America where you can legally swim and interact with these beloved sea cows in the wild.

Prime manatee viewing season usually runs from Oct.1 - March 31, depending on temperatures. The manatees enjoy the year-round 72 degree water of Florida’s second-largest spring system.

crystal river manatees

The scene during the winter months at Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River.

- Kevin Mims

Starting at $230 for two guests, the one-night Swim with the Manatees package includes:

  • Accommodations in a renovated garden view room
  • Manatee snorkeling tour for two from the Plantation Adventure Center with all equipment needed mask, snorkel, fins and wetsuit
  • Breakfast for two at West 82° Bar & Grill
  • Welcome bag with plush manatee toy, fun facts and manatee interaction guidelines

If you'd like to add a little more adventure and an additional night to your getaway, the resort is also offering a two-night Swim and Dive package.

In addition to all the amenities from the manatee package, you'll receive another night in the hotel as well as a guided tour for two to one of Florida’s most pristine rivers and fourth-largest spring system in Florida: Rainbow River. The Swim and Dive package starts at $540 for two people.

manatee viewing at crystal river florida

The public can now watch the manatees at Crystal River thanks to a new website.


If you go...
Plantation of Crystal River is located at 9301 W. Fort Island Trail, Crystal River, FL 34426. For more info call 800-632-6262 or visit Follow the hotel on Facebook and Twitter: @PlantationOnCR.


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