Embark on a journey with us that takes you from Miami’s sun-kissed beaches to Tampa’s dynamic urban beat, delving deep into the heart of Florida’s west coast. This guide unfurls a meticulously planned 10-day road trip, guiding you through idyllic coastal towns and spirited cities, each radiating its distinctive charm.

Journeying through the west coast is akin to turning pages of a richly illustrated book, where every chapter reveals new vistas. From storied landmarks that echo Florida’s diverse history to the serene beauty of state parks and beaches, every day promises an array of unforgettable experiences.

But this voyage isn’t merely about feeding the soul; it’s about indulging the palate too. Expect to dive into a culinary world that dances between timeless Southern delicacies and avant-garde gastronomy. While this guide lays down a roadmap, it’s also an invitation: to be inspired, to explore, and to be enchanted by the myriad wonders that line the route from Miami to Tampa.

Table of Contents

Driving times

  1. Miami to Naples: About 2 hours.
  2. Naples to Fort Myers: About 45 minutes.
  3. Fort Myers to Venice: About 1 hour 15 minutes.
  4. Venice to Sarasota: About 30 minutes.
  5. Sarasota to Anna Maria Island: About 40 minutes.
  6. Anna Maria Island to St. Petersburg: About 1 hour.
  7. St. Petersburg to Tampa: About 30 minutes.
  8. Tampa to Crystal River: About 1 hour 30 minutes

Day 1: Miami

Start your day in sunny Miami, a bustling city teeming with rich culture, exotic cuisines, and stunning ocean views.

Things to Do

Your first stop should be the vibrant neighborhood of South Beach, known for its Art Deco architecture, boutique shopping, and white sandy beaches. Rent a bike and ride along Ocean Drive, where you’ll be greeted with the classic Miami sights of pastel-colored buildings and swaying palm trees. Along the way, make sure to stop at the iconic Miami Beach lifeguard towers, each with its own unique design and color.

South Beach, Miami Beach, United States

A trip to Miami isn’t complete without exploring the diverse culture of Little Havana. Feel the Cuban influence as you stroll down Calle Ocho, listening to the rhythm of Latin music echoing from local shops. Visit Maximo Gomez Park, or Domino Park as it’s locally known, where residents gather to play fierce games of dominos.

Next, immerse yourself in Miami’s thriving art scene by visiting the Wynwood Walls, a collection of large-scale murals by international graffiti artists. The nearby Pérez Art Museum and the contemporary Rubell Museum also offer captivating art collections.

Wynwood Art District, Miami, FL, USA
Wynwood Art District, Miami, FL, USA

Where to Stay

Accommodations in Miami cater to various budgets and styles. For a luxurious stay, consider The Miami Beach EDITION or Fontainebleau, both known for their opulent decor, beachfront views, and top-tier services.

If you’re after a boutique experience, The Betsy South Beach offers a colonial-style retreat right on Ocean Drive. For budget travelers, the Freehand Miami provides chic, comfortable lodgings and features one of the best cocktail bars in town, The Broken Shaker.

The Betsy Hotel, South Beach

Where to Eat

Miami is a gastronomic paradise with a mix of Latin American, Caribbean, and American flavors. For breakfast, head to Zak the Baker in Wynwood, known for its freshly baked bread and pastries.

When lunchtime rolls around, Versailles in Little Havana is an iconic spot for traditional Cuban cuisine. Try their classic Cuban sandwich or the Ropa Vieja, a dish made of shredded beef in a tomato-based sauce.

Dinner calls for a visit to Joe’s Stone Crab in South Beach, a city institution serving up succulent stone crab claws, key lime pie, and more. Alternatively, for a taste of Miami’s upscale dining scene, make a reservation at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in the Design District, where James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz serves farm-to-table American dishes.

Once your Miami adventures wind down, prepare for the drive towards Naples via Tamiami Trail. The scenic journey offers the opportunity to explore the beauty of the Everglades National Park along the way.

Day 2: Naples

As you arrive in the luxurious city of Naples, known for its high-end shopping, world-class culture, and sophisticated dining, prepare yourself for a day of exploration and relaxation.

Naples, Florida

Things to Do

Start your day with a visit to the Naples Pier, a landmark that extends out into the Gulf of Mexico and provides the perfect spot for people-watching, fishing, or simply enjoying the stunning sunrise. With its white sandy beach and clear blue waters, the Pier also serves as a popular spot for picnicking and swimming.

Next, make your way to the Naples Botanical Garden. Spanning 170 acres, the garden features a variety of subtropical and tropical plants from around the world, including a captivating Brazilian Garden, a vibrant Caribbean Garden, and a peaceful Asian Garden. Be sure to check out the butterfly house, where you can witness hundreds of butterflies fluttering about in a lush, tropical habitat.

Naples Pier

Clam Pass Park is another must-see in Naples. You can take a complimentary tram ride through a dense mangrove forest before arriving at a three-mile-long beach. Here, you can relax on the sand, swim in the clear waters, or explore the tidal bay area which is teeming with diverse wildlife.

Where to Stay

Accommodation options in Naples range from beach resorts to boutique inns. The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, is a luxurious beachfront resort that offers exquisite service, comfortable rooms, and a world-class spa. Naples Grande Beach Resort, located near Clam Pass Park, is another excellent choice for its spectacular gulf views, chic rooms, and a range of dining options.

Naples Grande Beach Resort

For budget-friendly accommodations, consider staying at the The Capri Inn, a boutique hotel located in the heart of downtown Naples. The hotel offers comfortable rooms and is just a short walk away from Fifth Avenue South, a popular shopping and dining district.

Where to Eat

Naples offers a vast array of dining options. For breakfast, Jane’s Garden Cafe on 3rd is a popular spot. This enchanting garden cafe offers an extensive breakfast menu featuring locally sourced ingredients.

For lunch, venture to the historic Naples Dock where you can enjoy fresh seafood at the Dock at Crayton Cove. This laid-back restaurant offers beautiful waterfront views along with a menu full of fresh catches and classic Floridian dishes.

As evening falls, reserve a table at Truluck’s Seafood, Steak, and Crab House. Situated in the heart of Naples, this upscale establishment is renowned for its fresh seafood and exquisite steaks. Don’t miss their famous stone crab or the delectable filet mignon.

After a fulfilling day in Naples, it’s time to unwind and prepare for the next leg of your journey, to the historical city of Fort Myers. As you reflect on your day, the opulent charm of Naples leaves you with memories of a tropical paradise brimming with natural beauty, culture, and elegance.

Two-Hour Stopover: Naples to Marco Island

Only a short 30-minute drive from Naples, Marco Island promises a condensed but unforgettable taste of Florida’s Gulf Coast charm, making it a perfect pitstop.

Begin your limited-time exploration at Tigertail Beach. This spot is more than just a beach; it’s a nature enthusiast’s dream. With its unique tidal lagoon, it’s not uncommon to spot herons, sandpipers, and even ospreys during a short stroll.

Dedicate a half-hour to the Marco Island Historical Museum. Though a whirlwind visit, it’ll provide a quick insight into the island’s rich history, from the ancient Calusa tribe to its modern transformation.

Before heading back to Naples, make a brief stop at South Marco Beach. Dip your toes in its pristine waters, snap a few pictures, or just breathe in the salty air to immortalize your brief visit.

Even with just two hours, Marco Island’s allure is undeniable. As you drive back to Naples, you’ll carry with you a snippet of its coastal splendor, perhaps promising yourself a longer visit in the future.

Day 3: Fort Myers

As you leave Naples behind, set course for the charming city of Fort Myers. Known for its historical sites, tropical gardens, and a relaxed pace, Fort Myers promises a delightful day of exploration.

Fort Myers Beach, Florida

Things to Do

Begin your day with a visit to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, the historic winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Explore the 20-acre site that includes the Edison Botanic Research Laboratory, a museum filled with inventions, artifacts, and special exhibits, as well as the estates’ beautifully maintained botanical gardens, which host more than 1,700 plants.

Afterward, head to the IMAG History & Science Center, a family-friendly educational center. It features over 60 interactive exhibits, a 3D theater, a touch tank, a living lab, and early learning programming. It’s an engaging and exciting experience for children and adults alike.

For outdoor enthusiasts, make sure to visit Manatee Park, a non-captive refuge for the Florida Manatee. The best time to see these gentle giants is between late December and February, but the park offers plenty of recreational activities all year round.

Where to Stay

Best Western Fort Myers Waterfront 

Fort Myers has a range of accommodation options to suit every budget. For a luxurious experience, consider booking a room at the Luminary Hotel & Co., which offers chic rooms, a rooftop bar, and a location in the heart of downtown.

For a more boutique experience, The Hibiscus House Bed & Breakfast offers charming accommodations in a beautiful setting. If you’re on a budget, consider the Best Western Fort Myers Waterfront, which offers affordable rooms with impressive views of the Caloosahatchee River.

Where to Eat

Begin your day with breakfast at the Heavenly Biscuit, a local favorite known for its cinnamon rolls and egg-filled biscuits. For lunch, visit the historic downtown and enjoy a meal at the Veranda, serving Southern regional cuisine in an elegant setting.

Heavenly Biscuit

In the evening, consider dining at the waterfront Pinchers, a casual seafood joint known for its locally sourced crab. For a lavish dining experience, head over to Blu Sushi in Fort Myers. This sophisticated spot boasts an impressive selection of fresh sushi rolls and Japanese-inspired dishes. Pair your meal with a sake or a cocktail from their curated list for a memorable evening out.

After a fulfilling day exploring Fort Myers’ historical sites and savoring its delicious cuisine, it’s time to rest and rejuvenate for your next destination: the charming city of Cape Coral.

Two-Hour Stopover, Option 1: Fort Myers to Sanibel Island

A stone’s throw away from Fort Myers, Sanibel Island emerges as a jewel of the Gulf Coast, renowned for its shell-laden beaches and tranquil ambiance. Even with a tight schedule, a two-hour detour here can feel like a day’s escape.

The journey to Sanibel from Fort Myers, typically taking around 30 minutes, is a visual treat with views of mangroves and the shimmering bay. As you cross the Sanibel Causeway, pull over at one of the causeway islands. These islands offer panoramic vistas of the Gulf and are a prime spot for a quick photo session.

Sanibel’s fame largely rests on its shells, and Bowman’s Beach is a great spot for this. During a brief 40-minute visit, scour the beach for unique shells — a cherished keepsake of your trip. The beach is also a great place to stretch your legs and take in the serene environment.

Dedicate the last segment of your visit to the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Though vast, even a quick drive through this sanctuary can reward you with glimpses of its rich birdlife and alluring mangroves.

Two-Hour Detour: Fort Myers to Cape Coral

Just a short drive from Fort Myers, Cape Coral offers a refreshing change of pace with its maze of waterways, local arts scene, and lush parks. A quick two-hour stopover here can provide a delightful taste of what the “Waterfront Wonderland” has in store.

Begin your brief journey in Cape Coral with a visit to the Yacht Club Community Park. This beachfront park offers stunning views of the Caloosahatchee River, a fishing pier, and a relaxed ambiance. Spend around 30 minutes absorbing the scenic surroundings and watching boats drift lazily by.

Immerse yourself in the local arts and culture scene at the Cape Coral Arts Studio. Located within the Rubicond Park, the studio showcases an array of local artworks, from fine crafts to vibrant paintings. A 40-minute walkthrough provides a glimpse into the city’s creative pulse.

Before heading back to Fort Myers, take a quick tour of the Rotary Park Environmental Center. Meander through the boardwalks and nature trails, possibly catching sight of some of Florida’s iconic bird species. The park’s butterfly house is also a must-visit, offering a chance to see a flurry of colors up close.

Day 4: Venice

Venture into Venice, Florida, affectionately dubbed the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World.” This picturesque town, with its Italian Renaissance-style architecture and pristine beaches, offers a laid-back vibe, making it a perfect oasis for those seeking relaxation combined with a touch of history and nature.

Things to Do

Commence your journey at Venice Beach, a serene location ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and searching for prehistoric shark teeth. The beach’s gentle waves and pale sands make it a haven for both sun-seekers and fossil collectors alike.

For a stroll infused with history and charm, head over to the Venice Historic District. Admire the Northern Italian architecture and explore boutiques, galleries, and quaint cafes that line the avenues.

If you’re in the mood for some nature immersion, the Venice area audubon rookery is a must-visit. Especially popular during the winter months, this site allows bird enthusiasts and photographers to observe various bird species, including herons, egrets, and anhingas, in their natural habitat.

Where to Stay

Accommodations in Venice provide a blend of modernity and historic charm. For a luxurious experience, the Venice Beach Villas offer well-appointed lodgings right by the beach, ensuring you wake up to the soothing sounds of the waves.

In the heart of the historic downtown, Inn at the Beach promises comfort with its spacious rooms and proximity to local attractions. Budget-conscious travelers can find solace at the Island Breeze Inn, combining affordability with a touch of vintage charm.

Where to Eat

Venice’s culinary landscape combines classic Floridian flavors with global touches. Begin your day with a wholesome breakfast at Suncoast Cafe, renowned for its fluffy pancakes and freshly brewed coffee.

For a seaside lunch, Sharky’s on the Pier offers a delightful menu featuring seafood delicacies like the Blackened Mahi Mahi Sandwich and Gulf Shrimp Pasta.

Dinner at Cassariano Italian Eatery promises a delightful journey into Italian cuisine. With its ambient setting and mouth-watering dishes like Risotto al Limoncello or Vitello alla Milanese, it’s the perfect way to end your culinary tour of Venice.

After relishing Venice’s treasures, gear up for the following adventures as you continue your Florida exploration. It’s time for Sarasota.

Day 5: Sarasota

Depart from Fort Myers and make your way to Sarasota, a city known for its cultural institutions, stunning beaches, and beautiful architecture.

Siesta Key, Florida

Things to Do

Start your day with a visit to The Ringling, an impressive estate that includes the Ringling Museum of Art, Ca’ d’Zan Mansion, the Circus Museum, and a beautiful rose garden. The museum hosts an extensive collection of European paintings, while the Circus Museum will take you back to the golden age of the circus in America.

Circus Museum

After immersing yourself in art and history, it’s time to soak up some Florida sunshine at Siesta Key Beach, renowned for its powdery white sand. Whether you prefer lounging with a book, building sandcastles, or diving into the clear blue water, there’s something for everyone at this pristine beach.

If time allows, pay a visit to the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium. This center offers the chance to see a variety of marine life up close, including sharks, manatees, sea turtles, and over a hundred species of fish.

Where to Stay

Sarasota offers a variety of accommodations to suit every traveler’s need. The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota offers luxury rooms and amenities, along with a private beach club. The art ovation hotel, located downtown, provides boutique accommodations with an art-inspired theme. For those on a budget, the Best Western Plus Siesta Key Gateway offers comfort and convenience near the beach.

Best Western Plus Siesta Key Gateway

Where to Eat

In Sarasota, there’s no shortage of fantastic eateries. For breakfast, stop by Sun Garden Cafe on Siesta Key for a variety of creative dishes made from fresh, local ingredients.

Lunchtime calls for a visit to Duval’s Fresh. Local. Seafood. Here, you can savor sustainably sourced seafood in an elegant setting. The lobster bisque and Duval Street Shrimp are local favorites.

As evening falls, dine at Indigenous, a cozy restaurant known for its farm-to-table cuisine and charming atmosphere. The menu changes based on what’s in season, but the dishes are always inventive and delicious.

After an engaging day in Sarasota filled with art, beach relaxation, and delicious cuisine, you’ll be ready for a restful sleep to recharge for the journey to a special barrier island on Florida’s Gulf Coast

Day 6: Anna Maria Island

Step into the world of Anna Maria Island, a barrier island on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Known for its soft sandy beaches, clear turquoise waters, and a friendly local community, it offers an idyllic respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Things to Do

Your Anna Maria adventure should invariably start at Bean Point. This hidden gem at the island’s northern tip offers unparalleled views of the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa Bay, and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Its quiet shores are perfect for leisurely walks, sunbathing, and dolphin spotting.

History enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the local Historical Society Museum. Delve deep into the island’s past, learn about its founding pioneers, and see a historic jail that’s rather intriguing!

For those looking to explore the marine life without getting wet, the Historic Bridge Street Pier provides not only picturesque views but also a chance to see local fishermen’s catch of the day. It’s a great place to observe pelicans, herons, and occasionally, a manatee.

Where to Stay

Lodging in Anna Maria Island ranges from charming beachside cottages to upscale resorts. Cedar Cove Resort & Cottages, located right on the beach, offers a rustic yet luxurious stay with its tropical-themed accommodations.

Cedar Cove Resort & Cottages

For travelers looking for a boutique experience, the Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club combines modern amenities with classic coastal design. If you’re on a budget, anna maria motel offers clean and comfortable lodgings, ensuring a restful night after your island adventures.

Where to Eat

Anna Maria Island boasts a diverse culinary landscape that mirrors its coastal charm. Kick off your day with breakfast at Ginny’s & Jane E’s Cafe and Coastal Store. This quirky spot serves delicious cinnamon rolls and croissant sandwiches in a setting adorned with eclectic art.

For a beachside lunch, The Sandbar Restaurant is a must-visit. With tables on the sand, savor dishes like the Grouper Sandwich or the Island Lobster Bisque while listening to the lapping waves.

As dusk approaches, the Beach Bistro offers an upscale dining experience with its Gulf-front location and a menu featuring delicacies like Bouillabaisse and Filet Mignon.

After soaking in the tranquility and coastal allure of Anna Maria Island, prepare yourself for the next captivating destination on your Floridian journey, St. Petersburg.

Day 7: St. Petersburg

Welcome to St. Petersburg, often referred to as the “Sunshine City” for its impressive record of sunny days. Located on the Pinellas Peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, St. Petersburg beckons with its artistic vibe, waterfront parks, and a rich mosaic of culture and history.

St. Petersburg

Things to Do

Begin your exploration at the renowned Dali Museum, which houses the most extensive collection of Salvador Dali’s works outside Europe. Its distinctive architecture, spiral staircase, and avant-garde collection make it a St. Petersburg must-see.

Wander through the Sunken Gardens, a 100-year-old botanical paradise in the heart of the city. Revel in its cascading waterfalls, lush tropical displays, and the exotic plants from around the world.

For those with an inclination towards fine art, the Museum of Fine Arts is a treasure trove. From ancient to contemporary, the museum showcases a diverse collection spanning continents and millennia.

St. Petersburg’s downtown waterfront (map) also offers a scenic stretch for a leisurely walk or bike ride, peppered with parks, cafes, and boutiques.

Where to Stay

Accommodations in St. Petersburg cover a vast spectrum. The luxurious Vinoy St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, a 1920s Mediterranean Revival architecture masterpiece, promises opulence and top-notch amenities.

Vinoy St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club

Those searching for a boutique hotel experience will find solace in The Birchwood, located in the heart of the downtown historic district. Budget travelers can look at the Hollander Hotel, which provides comfort without breaking the bank and includes a boutique spa.

The Birchwood, St. Petersburg

Where to Eat

St. Petersburg’s dining scene reflects its cosmopolitan character. Kickstart your day at Black Crow Coffee Co., known for its artisanal brews and freshly baked goods.

For your midday meal in St. Pete, consider stopping at the Parkshore Grill. This renowned spot boasts a delectable menu that includes specialties like Seared Ahi Tuna and Short Rib Sliders. Pair your meal with a refreshing drink as you enjoy views of the nearby park from their outdoor seating area.

For dinner, savor the waterfront views and delectable seafood at Sea Salt St. Pete. With an oyster bar boasting selections from both Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and a menu that’s a tribute to the sea, it’s an experience to remember.

Sea Salt St. Pete

As night falls and the downtown comes alive with neon lights, set your sights on the next leg of your Florida adventure. Welcome to Tampa.

Day 8: Tampa

It’s time to embark on the journey to the vibrant city of Tampa, known for its cultural diversity, bustling downtown, and family-friendly attractions.

Things to Do

Begin your day by exploring Ybor City, Tampa’s National Historic Landmark District. Known as Tampa’s Latin Quarter, Ybor City offers a unique blend of cultures, architecture, and flavors. Visit the Ybor City State Museum to learn about the city’s rich history, specifically its roots in the cigar industry.

By Ebyabe – Own work, CC BY 2.5

Next, head to the Florida Aquarium, an excellent destination for families. This 200,000-square-foot aquarium is home to over 8,000 plants and animals. Walk through the wetlands exhibit to see roseate spoonbills and white ibis, then marvel at the coral reef display that recreates a 60-foot dive site.

If you’re a fan of art, don’t miss the Tampa Museum of Art located in downtown. It houses an excellent collection of Greek and Roman antiquities, as well as modern and contemporary art.

Where to Stay

In Tampa, accommodation options range from luxury hotels to charming bed and breakfasts. The Epicurean Hotel offers a unique experience for food lovers, with a state-of-the-art culinary classroom, a wine shop, and two fantastic restaurants. For a historic stay, try the Henry B. Plant Museum, originally the Tampa Bay Hotel, a Victorian railroad resort that has become a city landmark.

Epicurean Hotel

Budget-friendly options include the Hyde Park Hotel, conveniently located near Bayshore Boulevard, Tampa’s downtown area, and a host of eateries and shops.

Where to Eat

Start your day at Oxford Exchange, a local favorite for breakfast. Housed in a historic building, the restaurant offers a delightful menu with dishes like avocado toast and pumpkin pancakes.

For lunch, make your way to Ulele. Located in Tampa’s Riverwalk, this restaurant serves Native American-inspired dishes with a focus on fresh and locally sourced ingredients.

As the day winds down, head to Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City, the oldest restaurant in Florida. Serving Spanish and Cuban cuisine since 1905, it offers a fantastic dining experience. Don’t miss their signature dish, “1905” Salad, and traditional Paella “a la Valenciana”.

Day 9: Tampa, (2nd day)

On your second day in Tampa, dive deeper into the city’s cultural scene, enjoy its natural beauty, and continue to experience the excellent cuisine it has to offer.

Things to Do

Kick off your day with a visit to Busch Gardens, an African-themed amusement and wildlife park. With a variety of thrilling rides, live shows, and over 12,000 animals, Busch Gardens promises an unforgettable experience for the whole family.

Busch Gardens

For a change of pace, explore the tranquil beauty of Lettuce Lake Park, where you can hike scenic trails, go bird-watching, or kayak along Hillsborough River.

Round off your day with a stroll along the Tampa Riverwalk, a pedestrian trail offering stunning views of the city’s skyline and the Hillsborough River. Along the way, you’ll come across parks, restaurants, and public art installations.

Where to Stay

Tampa’s accommodation scene offers something for everyone. For a luxury stay with fantastic views, book a room at the Marriott Tampa Water Street, located on the waterfront in downtown Tampa. The Epicurean Hotel continues to be an excellent choice for food lovers.

Marriott Tampa Water Street

If you’re looking for budget-friendly options, consider the Sailport Waterfront Suites on Tampa Bay, which offers comfortable suites with kitchenettes and private balconies.

Where to Eat

Start your day at Datz, a popular comfort food restaurant known for its creative takes on American classics. Try their Monkey Bread or the Sriracha Egg Sandwich.

When lunchtime rolls around, head to Eddie & Sam’s N.Y. Pizza, a beloved local spot that flies in water from New York to make their pizza dough. For a light lunch, their Margherita pizza is a great choice.

In the evening, consider a dining experience at Rooster & the Till, a small but mighty restaurant located in the Seminole Heights neighborhood. Their farm-to-table menu changes frequently but always features fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Day 10: Crystal River

Today’s journey takes you away from the vibrant atmosphere of Tampa to the serene coastal enclave of Crystal River, a place renowned for its natural splendors, unparalleled wildlife experiences, and soothing vibes.

Crystal River

Things to Do

The calling card of Crystal River is undoubtedly its manatees. Begin your day with a memorable manatee tour. Several outfitters offer guided expeditions where you can snorkel or kayak alongside these gentle giants, ensuring an experience you won’t soon forget.

Your next stop is the Crystal River Archaeological State Park, recognized as a National Historic Landmark. This ancient site, dating back to pre-Columbian times, once served as a significant ceremonial center. Traverse its grounds to observe the age-old mounds and soak in the panoramic views of the river.

Given the time, make a detour to Three Sisters Springs (Temporarily closed until November). Renowned as one of the region’s most pristine natural springs and a vital sanctuary for manatees, its transparent waters beckon for swimming, snorkeling, or paddleboarding.

Where to Stay

The Plantation on Crystal River stands out for its opulence, providing cozy lodgings, a golf course, and a spa to indulge in. For those seeking a more intimate experience, Crystal Cove Bed and Breakfast, with its themed chambers and scenic riverfront setting, is perfect.

Budget travelers can find solace at the Best Western Crystal River Resort, conveniently situated close to the main attractions and offering pocket-friendly rates.

Best Western Crystal River Resort

Where to Eat

Kickstart your day with a breakfast feast at amy’s on the avenue, a cozy eatery celebrated for its substantial morning meals. Don’t miss out on their signature corned beef hash or the delightful Greek omelet.

When the hunger pangs strike around noon, Crackers Bar & Grill should be your destination. Overlooking the water, this seafood-centric joint is famed for its delectable fish tacos and the must-try grouper sandwich.

As dusk approaches, dine at Vintage on 5th. Housed in a refurbished 1940s Florida cottage, this eatery presents a menu brimming with fresh, locally-sourced dishes, like the Florida Grouper and Duck Two Ways.

Crystal River, with its harmonious blend of nature, heritage, and relaxation, is a haven for those seeking tranquility. As the tenth day draws to a close, you’ll find yourself enraptured by the town’s gentle rhythm and quaint allure, setting the tone for the concluding leg of your captivating Florida voyage.

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