January 25-31, 2023
featuring The Plantation at Crystal River and Clearwater Beach
- Roundtrip non-stop airfare from Salt Lake City (flights can be arranged from other cities)
- Deluxe private motorcoach transportation
- 4 nights hotel accommodations at the beautiful Planation at Crystal River
- 2 nights hotel accommodations at the Fairfield Inn by Marriott Clearwater Beach
- 12 meals (6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 5 dinners)
- Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
- Three Sisters Springs – home of the Manatees
- Visits to Heritage Village and World Shell Treasure Chest
- Crystal River with the Manatees
- Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with Mermaid Show, Ranger program and River cruise
- Time at Tarpon Springs
- Ferris Grove
- Free day with plenty of choices of of complimentary activities
- Sunset cruise at Crackers
- Clearwater Beach Jolley Trolley pass
- Clearwater Aquarium
- Starlight dinner cruise
- Tour Manager to accompany the group
- Plus much more!
$2310 per person/double occupancy
$2220 per person/triple occupancy
$2130 per person/quad occupancy
$2840 single occupancy
Call Knight Tours and Cruises (435) 563-5874
The secret is finally out. After years of planning we are so delighted to share this unique ‘one-of-a-kind’ tour to Florida. You’ll love the resort we have selected at Crystal River – it is beautiful.
January 25-31 , 2023
Wednesday, January 25th – Our nonstop flight from Salt Lake City will have us arriving in the Sunshine State of Florida ready for an amazing week of fun and warm weather.
Our private chartered motorcoach will whisk us away to our beautiful resort hotel for the next four nights. The Plantation at Crystal River is a hidden gem tucked away on Florida’s Nature Coast. Here you can enjoy almost every imaginable aquatic adventure, surrounded by fantastic scenery and some fascinating wildlife. We’ll have comfortable accommodations, great amenities, superb casual dining and a magnificent location on beautiful Kings Bay – what more could you ask for?
Thursday, January 26th – Welcome to the Manatee Capital of the World. Manatees are naturally curious and they are as affectionate and playful as a golden retriever. From mid-November through the first week of March, water warmed by Crystal River’s natural geothermal springs (constant 72-74 degrees) attracts the largest concentration of manatees in the world. During peak season there are as many as 900 manatees wanting to show off just for you!
A full breakfast buffet is included at the resort each morning. After breakfast today we will join our Florida Tour Host and first visit the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. Here visitors can see West Indian manatees from the park’s underwater observatory. This remarkable state park also showcases native Florida wildlife including black bears, bobcats, white-tailed deer, American alligators, American crocodiles, river otters and, of course, the manatees.
Next up is the Three Sisters Springs Visitor’s Center and Refuge in Crystal Springs where a docent will narrate as we walk along a horseshoe boardwalk to see the gentle giants in their natural habitat. The vivid turquoise water in the Three Sisters Springs glows and glitters and offers a color impossible to capture on film, but it holds the kind of radiant beauty that grips your heart and captures your soul.
You’ll have free time for lunch and shopping at Heritage Village nestled among the canopied oaks, palms and magnolia trees in Crystal River. This Cracker town, still today, carries the reputation of a Fisherman Village from days gone by (come and learn more about the fascinating history of Florida’s Cracker Towns).
Later this afternoon we will enjoy a one-hour cruise around the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge where the captain will share the history of the area all while you are keeping your eyes on the look for dolphins, otters, turtles and manatees. Dinner this evening is at Cracker’s Restaurant, a “local favorite”. (breakfast & dinner included today)
Friday, January 27th – Enjoy the breakfast buffet this morning before we head out to the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. Weeki Wachee Springs has captured the imaginations of people of all ages with its spectacular beauty and fun things to do. Be sure not to miss one of the special shows, “The Little Mermaid,” performed live in the submerged 400-seat auditorium and where the mermaids perform underwater. A box lunch is prepared for you to enjoy in the spectacular state park setting.
In 1931, L.G. “Doc” Ferris began planting citrus trees in the rich, hammock soil of Duval Island, in historic Floral City, Florida. The trees took root in the fertile ground, and for decades the land has produced all varieties of Florida’s finest citrus. Come, step back in time and enjoy Ferris Groves. Barry will even buy you a delicious fresh orange shake.
This evening we will have a short, leisurely drive along the Ozello Trail. Bask in the landscape of Old Florida: with views of saw grass, bridges, and fantastic marshland that is filled with the perfect combination of small islands and saltwater. Dinner will be at Peck’s Old Port Cove where they specialize in fresh seafood (beef and chicken options are available for landlubbers). Save room for the banana split pie or key lime pie. (breakfast, lunch and dinner included today)
Saturday, January 28th – Today is all about you and the multitude of options that are available to you. How about a game of shuffleboard or a friendly pickle ball match? Other complimentary activities at the resort include: golfing (yes, free), complimentary driving range, horseshoes, croquet, tennis, corn hole and giant chess. Of course, there is the heated pool with beach chairs, umbrellas and towels.
At noon there will be transportation to the Fort Island Gulf Beach for those who want to spend time at the beach. This curved, 1000-foot Crystal River beach is far enough off the beaten path that you’re unlikely to stumble onto it. It boasts a roped-off swimming area, and its waters are calm and shallow so everyone will be comfortable. It offers covered pavilions and picnic tables. So, grab a sack lunch from the resort and bring it along.
Other activities on site for nominal fees include: river tours, scuba lessons, fishing charters, boat rentals, kayak and stand-up paddle boards, bike rentals, space service and last but not least – swim with the Manatees (highly suggested!!!!). You will be provided with a wet suit (to protect the Manatees). Advanced reservations are needed.
Dinner tonight will be onsite at the Plantation outside by the gazebo surrounded by the gorgeous scenery. (breakfast and dinner included today)
Sunday, January 29th – Late this morning we will say farewell to the Plantation at Crystal River and travel down the road to Tarpon Springs. Located on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, Tarpon Springs was named for the fish found in abundance in nearby waters. But it also is known as the “sponge capital of the world,” its Greek heritage, and for its 51 miles of waterfront allure. You’ll have time in this quaint bohemian little town for shopping and lunch.
Then it is onto Clearwater Beach where your comfortable accommodations will be at the Fairfield Inn by Marriott which is just off of the waterfront and a 3-minute walk to the sugar white sands of Clearwater Beach. Here at Clearwater Beach, you’ll be able to drain away any stress and tension as you sit back, relax and enjoy the white-sand beaches and gorgeous sunsets Clearwater is known for.
Are you ready for a dazzling dinner and night out? StarLite Majesty Dining Yacht offers great dining, live entertainment and dancing with some of the best waterfront views in all of Clearwater Beach. No buffet here, this is full restaurant-style with a menu featuring continental cuisine prepared fresh onboard. (breakfast and dinner included today)
Monday, January 30th – Good news! This is our day for relaxation. No group events are planned during the day so this way you can unwind on Clearwater Beach. Clearwater Beach was named the #1 beach in the United States by TripAdvisor in 2015 and 2016 and today it continues to hit the top of the charts. We also have included a Clearwater Jolley Trolley pass for you to use today. You will have on and off privileges throughout the day to explore the miles of Clearwater Beach waterfront with interesting stops. The Trolley leaves from just outside of the Fairfield Inn.
Tonight we will be treated to a farewell dinner at Jimmy’s Fish House and Iguana Bar. This waterfront restaurant is known for its mouth-watering surf and turf entrees. The sunsets here are stunning so bring your camera along. (breakfast and dinner included today)
Tuesday, January 31st – After breakfast it is off to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. This is not exactly like the aquariums you may have visited in the past (this is not a One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish facility). This marine aquarium exists to rescue marine animals (dolphins, sea turtles, river otters, etc.), rehabilitate them from sickness or injury, and release them back into their natural habitats whenever possible. You may have seen the movie, “A Dolphin Tale,” about Winter the Dolphin. It was here that Winter was rehabilitated, lived and where the movie was filmed.
Then we will make our way to Orlando for a lunch stop before arriving at the airport for our nonstop flight home. (breakfast included today)
A note from Wende Knight:
Forget Florida’s amusement parks – my favorite part of Florida is the many amazing springs. Our daughter and her family once lived in nearby Gainesville, Florida and we loved to visit them as well as the many fascinating State Park Springs. It has been my dream to share these hidden secrets of Florida with our tour groups. Come and discover for yourself the wonders of Florida’s springs.