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Witness the colorful wildlife of Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park
Enjoy a boat ride through Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park
Visit Tarpon Springs, the sponge capital of the world
Enjoy lunch at the famous Hellas Restaurant
Enjoy a live performance at the Derby Dinner Playhouse

Backroads of Sunny Florida — Value Tour 2017

Featuring three nights at Plantation Resort on Crystal River

8 DAYS • 12 MEALS Unwind in warmth of Florida without the crowds and hassle. See a side of the Sunshine State made up of literary notables, abundant wildlife, great food and even better sunsets.
This tour departs from Wisconsin

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The Mayflower Tours Way
  • Free home, local or regional group pickup and return
  • Fully escorted with deluxe motorcoach transportation
  • 12 meals (3 dinners, 2 lunches and 7 breakfasts)
  • At Marjorie Rawlings Historic State Park, step back in time to see how folks lived in 1930s Florida. Ms. Rawlings wrote The Yearling and other great works.
  • On our Crystal River stay enjoy the many fun activities our lodging for three nights, the Plantation Resort, affords us. We’ll ride their boat into manatee country, The Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, and enjoy these mammals close up. The strong of heart can even make arrangements to swim with the manatees. Shuffleboard, fishing, golf, a spa, tennis, croquet, horseshoes, indoor and outdoor bar and grills, nature walks, or just relaxing at their great swimming pool with its sun-bathing facilities are all available.
  • Homosassa State Park is just down the road. Here you may see West Indian manatees in the park’s underwater observatory. Other native wildlife is showcased – including bears, bobcats, deer, alligators and river otters. Ride a boat to the park entrance.
  • Tarpon Springs, on Florida’s “Nature Coast” awaits us. This famous Greek community features a taste of Greece right here in America. Visit their shops, enjoy the Sponge Factory, and have lunch at Hellas, Tarpon Springs’ most famous restaurant.
  • Farewell dinner and live show at the Derby Dinner Playhouse featuring top-notch entertainment.
Days One and Two — Home to Tennessee and Georgia Let’s go on a trip to the natural wonder and beauty of West Central Florida. Our two days of travel takes us first to Clarksville, Tennessee, where a get acquainted dinner is held. Our second day of travel finds us in Macon, Georgia, in the heart of the South. Dinner and breakfast Day Three — Marjorie Rawlings Home and the Plantation on Crystal River Arriving in Florida we visit the Marjorie Rawlings homestead located in the state park named after her. Ms. Rawlings wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Yearling, along with many other great works. You will walk back in time to the 1930s and see how folks here lived and worked in the tiny town of Cross Creek. Later, we arrive at the Plantation Resort on Crystal River. Time to relax, put your feet up by the pool, or take advantage of the many things to do at the Resort. There are several activities you are sure to find to your liking. Try your hand at river fishing, poles and bait are available. Use their spa to relax and unwind. Shuffleboard, tennis, croquet, golf, and more are right on the grounds. There is even an activities director on hand to help steer you to areas of interest. Hopefully, our get acquainted dinner can be served outdoors tonight, but if not, the inside of the Resort has great views. Breakfast and dinner Day Four — Homosassa Springs and Manatee Nature Cruise We will spend a full day exploring. First, a visit to Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park. Here we experience the true Florida – stepping back in time before early (and later) settlers came to populate this part of America. Take a boat ride to the Park entrance and get ready to enjoy nature at its finest. Animals, birds, fish, manatees, alligators and more will come into view. We enjoy a delightful included lunch at Seagrass Waterfront Restaurant. Back to the Plantation for some free time before we embark on a boat cruise on the Crystal River with a naturalist to guide us. Later today there is an optional transfer to Heritage Village, a grouping of quaint shops, close by our Resort. Breakfast and lunch Day Five — Tarpon Springs and Hellas Restaurant Today, we visit delightful Tarpon Springs. Nestled close to the Gulf of Mexico, it is a must-visit on the Nature Coast. Tarpon Springs is a Greek community that specializes in industry similar to that which the settlers knew back in Greece – and no activity is more prevalent than that of sponge diving. We will go to the Sponge Factory for a better feel of the intricacies in harvesting these products of the sea. Lunch is included at Hellas Restaurant, probably the most famous dining experience in Tarpon Springs. Back to the Plantation with its wealth of things to do. There will be another optional transfer to Heritage Village. Breakfast and lunch Days Six through Eight — Derby Dinner Playhouse and Home A day of travel takes us to our lodging in Marietta, Georgia. The next day finds us in Louisville, Kentucky. Our final evening is celebrated at the Derby Dinner Playhouse, where we will see a current performance, while enjoying one of their great meals. We arrive home on day eight, filled with memories and lasting impressions of the remarkable Backroads of Sunny Florida. Dinner and three breakfasts
Day One Best Western PLUS, Clarksville, Tennessee Day Two Courtyard by Marriott, Macon, Georgia Days Three through Five Plantation Resort on Crystal River, Crystal River, Florida Day Six Drury Inn, Marietta, Georgia Day Seven Four Points by Sheraton, Louisville, Kentucky
The Plantation Resort on Crystal River
The Plantation Resort on Crystal River logoThe Plantation Resort on Crystal River is a unique reminder of times long gone. Crystal River is the only place in the world where you can mingle with the manatees in their natural habitat. The Resort is situated about eight miles from the Gulf of Mexico, which is accessible by boat on the Crystal River. It is located in the West Central part of Florida, 95 miles from Orlando, and 65 miles from Tampa. The Resort, situated on 232 acres, offers fine dining, golf, tennis, a 96,000 gallon heated pool with sundeck, an AVEDA spa, pontoon (and other) boats for rental. There is complimentary internet, and a host of guides to steer us in the right direction. Truly a great way to Feel The Warmth!
The Plantation Resort on Crystal River activities

Tour Activity Level
LEVEL 2: Average physical activity on this program requiring the ability to climb stairs and walk reasonable distances, sometimes over uneven surfaces.