|The warm springs and grassy shallows make |
Citrus County a favorite wintering spot for manatees.
The author, Beverly Smirnis, snorkeling in Three Sisters springs.
The Plantation is a hidden gem on Nature’s Coast of Florida.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has grown concerned about the unprecedented traffic of kayaks, paddle boarders and swimmers sharing the space at Three Sisters Springs at the same time more manatees seek to use the spring for warmth. Proposed new rules will likely disallow watercraft into Three Sisters Springs during manatee season, and require swimmers to enter the spring from the boardwalk with a USFWS trained guide. The boardwalk also provides viewing of Three Sisters Springs from the shore. While Three Sisters gets the highest concentration of manatees during the season, there are many more springs in Kings Bay where manatees also gather. If you go in manatee season, you may be able to swim with manatees in these areas more freely.
Manatees are only one of the reasons to visit Citrus County. Water lovers enjoy 365 days a year of swimming, boating, fishing, kayaking and snorkeling in the springs, lakes and rivers of Citrus County. If you go between the end of June through September, diving for scallops is a not-to-be-missed opportunity. The county is also a supreme location for dolphin- and bird-watching. Golfers will also be content with the options in Citrus County. Withlacoochee State Forest Trail offers horseback riding trails, hiking trails and a 46 mile bicycle trail. Interesting stops along the way, including parks, restaurants and lodging options, make it possible to plan a multi-day ride. The trail runs through Inverness with a walkable downtown featuring off-the- beaten-track restaurants, sidewalk cafes, pubs and shops. Some 25 annual events keep Inverness teaming with activity year round. The less outdoorsy ones in your travel party can stay happy, too, exploring quaint little towns such as Inverness, just a quick ride from the Plantation—a 50-year-old luxury resort located right in the middle of all that King’s Bay has to offer.
Some may be content never leaving the Plantation’s 232 acres
|Scallops we collected by hand while|
snorkling in the bay were artfully
prepared by the outstanding
chefs at the Plantation.
See this article as it appeared in Dallas area's
Focus Daily News