Skip to site content
The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

What else is new in 2012?

Photo courtesy the Plantation on Crystal River

CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. — The only place in the United States where guests can legally swim with wild manatees is getting a makeover.

New owners are investing $3 million in the Plantation on Crystal River, a resort 80 miles north of Tampa, surrounded by the natural springs of King’s Bay.

Work to the 196 guest rooms was expected to be completed at year’s end. A  restaurant and lobby renovation will be finished in mid-January.

The 2,304-square-foot Palm Room above the lobby, part of the resort’s 12,000 square feet of meeting space, is also being refurbished.

In addition to a full-service dive and tour operation that handles the manatee swims and boat rentals, the resort has an 18-hole golf course, a nine-hole executive course, an Aveda spa and a riverfront pool. A golf school, scuba certification classes and fishing charters are also available for hotel guests.