Enjoy some family fun this summer with a trip to Crystal River and a stay at the Plantation on Crystal River. Scalloping season has started and runs through September 24, 2020. While flying and traveling far distances may not be in the cards this year, an adventure just 80 miles to the north of Tampa to family-friendly Crystal River will have the entire family enjoying themselves. From scalloping, golfing or even pampering at the Aveda Spa, Crystal River Plantation delivers.
Plantation on Crystal River is surrounded by the natural springs of King’s Bay and more than 25,000 surface acres of pristine lakes and rivers, as well as wildlife refuges and state parks. On site, the Plantation features a full-service family-oriented dive and tour operation marina, 12,000 square feet of meeting and event space, 18-hole golf course, 9-hole executive course, Aveda spa, dining at West 82° Bar & Grill.
Guests have the unique opportunity to swim with the manatees, rent a pontoon or Jon boat, relax by the riverfront pool, enjoy a game of croquet on the manicured lawn, or hire a guided fishing charter. With more than 1,600 feet of seawall, overnight guests can tie up their boats at any of over 80 spaces. A golf school and SCUBA certification classes are also available to guests of the hotel.
Scalloping is like snorkeling, but with the simple addition of a mesh bag for storing the harvest. Most scallops can be found in the shallow grass flats of the Gulf of Mexico that range anywhere from three to six feet deep. Only two to three inches in length and located inside a fan-shaped shell, the scallops can be easy to spot with their 30-40 bright blue eyes, but provide a good chase, since all those eyes help them detect predators. Once daily scallop limit has been reached, they can be prepared by the hotel for a delicious cook-your-catch meal. Guests are asked to help protect the precious waters by not putting empty scallop shells back in the water.
The Plantation on Crystal River is offering a guided scalloping package
with rates start at $799* for mid-week stays for two guests and includes:
Two-night stay in a garden or water view deluxe room, patio room or golf villa
Guided scalloping tour including mask, snorkel and fins with one of the area’s top captains
Souvenir bag with mesh scalloping bag, scallop recipes and water
Chef-prepared cook-your-catch from the day’s harvest (scallops or fish) for lunch or dinner and serve with two sides**
For those bringing their own boat, rates for the unguided package begin at $419* for mid-week stays for two guests. This rate includes ramp launch, trailer storage and seawall tie. Seawall tie is first come-first serve.
If guests choose not to book a scalloping package, guests can still have their scallops cooked**. For just $14.95 per person, the chef at West 82° Bar & Grill will prepare guests’ shucked scallops during lunch or dinner one of four ways: scampi style, au gratin, sautéed in lemon butter or Chef’s choice.
*Price listed is for two people, two-nights mid-week with a guide in a Garden View room. Weekend pricing with/without guide also available. Subject to availability. Resort fee, taxes and gratuities not included.
**For meals, scallops must be shucked, cleaned, stored on ice, and delivered to the dining room a minimum of 2 hours prior to dinner or lunch reservation.
Visit PlantationonCrystalRiver.com or call 800-632-6262.