The Nature Coast is full of natural springs, lakes, rivers, the Gulf of Mexico, thousands of acres of nature preserve, — and plenty of other year-round opportunities where outdoor enthusiasts can hike and explore. Check out these five day trips where the fun remains wild and natural:

 

Weeki Wachee Springs

Each day more than 117 million gallons of fresh 74-degree water bubbles up out of subterranean caverns. From the springs, the Weeki Wachee River flows over 12 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. The translucent water and shallow sandy bottom of the river create a dazzling experience. Visitors can take a riverboat cruise, watch an underwater mermaid show, and check out Buccaneer Bay, Florida’s only spring fed water park.

 

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Visitors can see West Indian manatees every day of the year from the park’s underwater observatory in the main spring and visit with black bears, bobcats, white-tailed deer, American alligators, American crocodiles, and river otters. Recreational opportunities include picnicking, nature study, and bird watching.

 

Homosassa Butterfly

Flutter over to Homosassa Butterfly, the largest butterfly attraction and educational facility on the Nature Coast. Stroll through the natural butterfly habitat filled with hundreds of colorful winged wonders feeding on flowering nectar plants while hearing the peaceful sounds of nature.

 

Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge

The Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge encompasses over 31,000 acres of saltwater bays, estuaries and brackish marshes at the mouth of the Chassahowitzka River. Perfect of bird watching, the park is home to over 250 species of birds as well as 50 species of reptiles and amphibians and at least 25 different species of mammals including the endangered West Indian Manatee.

 

Crystal River

Spring is scalloping season in Crystal River. Take a cruise out on the Gulf of Mexico where the scenery is beautiful and the scallops are plentiful. Upon your return, take a swim with the manatees. On land, Crystal River is an archaeological site that houses Native American burial grounds.

 

GlenLakes

Every day brings a new adventure and an appreciation for Florida’s ecosystem, and GlenLakes is in located the heart of it all. Wake up each day enjoying your cup of coffee and take note of your natural neighbors. Adjoining the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge, which borders the Gulf of Mexico, GlenLakes literally borders on wild. Nature lovers, fitness aficionados, golfers and those who love an action-packed social life—GlenLakes is it! 

 

To explore our scenic location, please click here to view our interaction map.

 

Fourth of July is just around the corner!  Get in the spirit with this year’s events that are jam-packed with red, white and blue fun and right around the corner.  We have everything from mind-blowing firework shows to patriotic picnics, so gather your family and friends and join in on the fun!

 

Independence Day Patriotic Picnic On The Water: This (free) event is located at Craig Park in Tarpon Springs and includes live entertainment, games, prizes, paddleboat rides, a water slide, food, drinks and multiple contests to choose from. Fireworks will even be set off from Sunset Beach. Snag a seat at nearby Fred Howard Park Beach, where the parking fee has been waived for the day, for the best viewing.

 

All Day Celebration at GlenLakes:  The residents of GlenLakes definitely have the best views, especially this time of year. Golf tournament, backyard BBQ party complete with all the fixin’s and fireworks will all be happening on Monday, July 3rd.  This is a celebration you won’t want to miss. For reservations, visit GlenLakes.com or call 597-9200.

 

July 4th at the Florida Aquarium Firework Cruise: The boat will depart from the Aquarium at 7:30 p.m. for a sunset cruise around the Bay and then returns to the Channel for the most spectacular views of the fireworks. The cruise includes one drink ticket and hors d’oeuvres. Additional drinks will be available for purchase. Aquarium general admission is included in Fireworks Cruise ticket rate.

 

Firework Show Aboard The American Victory Ship: The American Victory Ship offers “the best view in Tampa.”  On top of an amazing firework display, this year’s Family Fun Fest features musical entertainment, a Kid’s Zone and plenty of food trucks to choose from. Where else can you celebrate our country aboard a real-life World Work II victory ship? Click here for more information.

 

Whether you are picnicking on the beach or watching fireworks with the dolphins, the residents of GlenLakes are not far from it all.  Want to stay in for the long weekend?  Enjoy a tasty meal at the GlenLakes Grill Room or gather a few friends for a cocktail at the clubhouse bar and lounge to celebrate.

 

GlenLakes is the perfect place for venturing out or not leaving your backyard.   With country club amenities and a relaxed, yet active atmosphere, residents always have something new to explore. Click here to see what GlenLakes has to offer.

 

The trees, shrubs and plants outside your home might offer something more than just pretty scenery. A new study found that living in, or near, green areas can help you live longer and improve your mental health.

Researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital examined more than 108,000 women enrolled in the Nurse’s Health Study — a nationwide investigation into risk factors for major chronic diseases in women — from 2000 to 2008.

They compared risk of death with the amount of plant life and vegetation near the women’s homes and found that women living in the greenest areas had a 12% lower death rate than women living in the least green areas. The study suggests that several factors might play a role in reducing the death rate, including improved mental health, which was measured through levels of depression and estimated to explain 30% of the benefit from living in greener areas. Increased opportunities for social engagement, increased physical activity and lower exposure to air pollution may also play important roles, according to the study. Click here for the full story.

Everyone knows that Weeki Wachee is no stranger to natural wonders, and at GlenLakes, you get to enjoy all the beauty Weeki Wachee has to offer right in your own backyard. Our area’s 11,206-acre preserve is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exploring this nature lover’s paradise. The preserve is of the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s many protected lands and one of Hernando County’s prime recreation spots. It lies just south of the Weeki Wachee River.

The Weeki Wachee preserve is open daily from sunrise to sunset, so you can use the natural habitat however you desire. The preserve is a go-to spot for GlenLakes residents and a great place for locals to stay fit, or simply relax among the scenic views. At GlenLakes we encourage a love for natural living and with nature all around in Weeki Wachee, you’ll discover the natural curiosity within you.

Choosing your Florida dream home is easier than ever.  Ranging from 1,620 to more than 3,000 square feet of air conditioned space, every home is filled with features that wow: volume and tray ceilings, ceramic tile, spectacular island kitchens with granite and designer finishes throughout the home.  Starting from the low $200s, GlenLakes homes offer beautiful views of the golf course, lake and much more. To learn more about the GlenLakes lifestyle and everything it has to offer, visit www.glenlakes.com.

While many parts of the country are still experiencing the cold, rain and even snow, residents of the Nature Coast in Florida are blessed with the warmth of sunshine and outside fun year round. Don’t miss these upcoming outdoor events:

Weeki Wachee Egg Hunt
The annual egg hunt at Buccaneer Bay continues this year on Saturday, April 15 from 11am-2pm. Bring the kids and grandkids to celebrate Easter in true Florida style- finding eggs in the natural springs. Don’t forget an Easter egg basket and swim suit! The event is included in the price of admission.

Old Florida Celebration Of The Arts Festival
Historic Cedar Key, ranked among the coolest small towns in the United States, is the place to be April 8-9! The 53rd annual arts festival is a juried art show featuring more than 100 unique artists representing all media- oils, acrylics, ceramics, jewelry-making, photography, sculpture and origami. The festival features children`s art activities, live music, and food vendors serving up culinary delights from fresh local clams to crab cakes, refreshing lemonade and desserts ranging from smoothies to unique key lime cones.

Suncoast Boat Show 2017
The 35th annual Suncoast Boat Show takes place in downtown Sarasota on April 21-23, 2017, at Marina Jack’s, #2 Marina Plaza, in Sarasota,. Enjoy the great outdoors while pricing and comparing hundreds of boats from the Gulfcoast’s leading boat dealers. See various types and styles all in one place.  Cruisers, Runabouts, Bowriders, Sportfishers, Center Consoles, Motor Yachts, Inflatables and more. Shop tents full of electronics, accessories, jewelry, art and clothing all in a festive atmosphere with food, drinks, music and much more. Plenty of downtown parking. There is no better time than right now for a new boat!

6th Annual Florida Blueberry Festival
Visit the historic downtown streets of Brooksville to enjoy Fresh Florida Blueberries, Fresh Blueberry Pies, and Tasty Festival Fare on April 22-23. Have a glass of Blueberry Wine at the Island Grove Wine Café. Meander through the art exhibits and listen to entertainment by tribute bands along with an array of other talented musical and entertainment acts.

When you live at the community of GlenLakes on the Nature Coast all of these fun activities are at your fingertips. Nestled in the heart of GlenLakes is the newest neighborhood of estate home sites. Located between the 10th, 11th and 12th fairways and sparkling Cypress Lake, each estate home site offers outstanding nature views. Click here for a GlenLakes homebuyer’s guide.

If you thought mermaids were just the lively imaginings of lonely sailors, think again — and come to Weeki Wachee Springs, the City of Live Mermaids, on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Weeki Wachee is more than just a mark on a road map. It is home to natural springs, lakes, the Weeki Wachee River, the Gulf of Mexico and thousands of acres of nature preserve provide a pristine habitat for wildlife, flora and fauna—and year-round opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. It also has bragging rights housing the 85,000-acre Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge. This adjoins GlenLakes Country Club where nature lovers, fitness aficionados, golfers and those who love an action-packed social life call home.

Weeki Wachee is an enchanted spring — the only one of its kind in the world — and one of Florida’s oldest and most unique roadside attractions. For almost 60 years, the fun, family oriented park has lured in visitors with beautiful mermaids who swim in the cool, clear spring waters. Weeki Wachee Springs is a magical entrance into a mysterious blue underwater world of mermaids, manatees, turtles and bubbles. Sitting in the Mermaid Theater, visitors feel like they are inside the flowing spring, and are transported back to simpler times, before super theme parks and super highways appeared. So come to Weeki Wachee Springs and see a splendid side of Florida lore, where dreams really do come true.

Although Weeki Wachee has long been known as the home of the mermaids, this pristine natural area on the Florida Gulf Coast has become home to many nature lovers who have discovered the beautiful natural surroundings. Crystal clear springs draw visitors from around the globe for kayaking, hiking and swimming with the gentle manatee.

The Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge surrounds the gated golf community of GlenLakes, providing immediate access to secluded trails that lead to pristine beaches that are protected in perpetuity. Bird watching, boating and a variety of eco-tours create an enviable address for homeowners seeking a slice of Florida paradise that will remain in its natural state.

For more information on entertainment in the GlenLakes’ area click here to preview the interactive map.