Natural springs, lakes, rivers, 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. Here are 5 things to go wild about on the Nature Coast.

Weeki Wachee Springs
12 miles from the Gulf of Mexico the Weeki Wachee River traverses to the springs. Every year thousands flock to this picturesque destination to catch a glimpse of the legendary mermaids of Weeki Wachee. For those who want to get out on the water, canoeing and kayaking are permitted. When the family visits, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is also home to Florida’s only spring fed waterpark, Buccaneer Bay.

Homosassa Springs
Tour this beautiful park and enjoy all the wildlife surrounding you. A variety of Florida natives might cross your path: black bears, bobcats, white-tailed deer, alligators and river otters! Take the grandchildren to the education center and let their minds discover the hands on experience of Florida’s environment. You can also arrive by boat, dock at the visitor center and pack a picnic!

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. Citrus County is the only place in America that you can legally enter the water with these gentle giants. On land, Crystal River is an archaeological site, it also houses Native American burial grounds.

Cedar Key
The tiny enclave of Cedar Key is a quaint, old-fashioned, old Florida vacation spot – one that offers lovely beaches, productive fishing opportunities and lush natural preserves. It’s a place that’s short on traffic lights and long on relaxation. It’s easy to find a tasty clam chowder and a cold brew.

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. Home to over 250 species of birds, 50 species of reptiles and amphibians and at least 25 different species of mammals including the endangered West Indian Manatee. The preserve surrounds the GlenLakes community on three sides and trail heads are accessible from within the gated neighborhood.

Every day brings a new adventure and an appreciation for Florida’s beautiful natural scenery, and GlenLakes is in the heart of it all. Wake up each day enjoying your cup of coffee and take note of your natural neighbors. At GlenLakes, life truly borders on the wild. To explore our scenic location, please click here to view our interaction map.

 

With innovations enhancing the game of golf, plus the PGA Tour’s thrilling rivalries as the sun sets on the Tiger Era- Golf is hotter, healthier and better than ever. So let us count the ways!

  1. FITTED IRONS ARE A GAME-CHANGER

Fitters say the reason a lot of people hit it sideways is because they haven’t been custom-fit. Trying to figure out the swing with clubs whose length, weight, lie angle, shaft flex or grip size don’t match the body encourages players to make unnatural compensations that prevent them from developing proper mechanics.

  1. THE BENEFITS OF TECHNOLOGY

Many golf courses such as GlenLakes on the Nature Coast offer online tee time booking. Members can see what is available without having to talk to a person on the phone especially when the course is busy. There are also more golf apps than ever before such as thegrint.com to log scores, track your handicap, and even receive a revised index twice monthly.

  1. THE NUMBERS DON’T LIE

Stats gurus have made it easier for Tour pros and average Joes to shoot better scores. Consider: 18-handicappers leave 16 percent of their 10-foot putts below the hole, while Tour pros leave only 7 percent short from that distance. Improving your distance control on putts is a great way to lower your score.

  1. CAN’T READ GREENS? AT LEAST YOU CAN READ BOOKS!

Some great new golf titles including Lucky Boy, the coming-of-age golf novel by Cameron Morfit hit the shelves this year. Claudia Mazzucco tees off with Legendary Lessons, and the USGA’s Official Illustrated Guide to the Rules of Golf offers a new vision of the game.

  1. AFFORDABLE MEMBERSHIP

GlenLakes Golf Membership offers the privileges of a private club—without the typical private club price tag. Members enjoy unlimited tee times as well as the opportunity to play in tournaments and enjoy special events. Membership initiation fees are waived when you purchase a home through the GlenLakes realty office.

The 18-hole, 6,782 yard championship course is the crown jewel of GlenLakes. It’s challenging, beautiful and impeccably maintained. Mature stands of oak and pine, water features, undulating hills and sand traps provide endless variations of play. Complementing the course is an Aqua driving range. After every game enjoy camaraderie at “The 19th Hole”, the main bar & lounge at the clubhouse. For more information, click here.

Original Article.

The Nature Coast is a place where cute critters aren’t animated or mechanical, but are the real thing. A place where outdoor enthusiasts can hike and play among natural springs, rivers, and thousands of acres of nature preserve. 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.

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.

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.

Every day brings a new adventure and an appreciation for Florida’s ecosystem, and GlenLakes is in 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.

As Florida’s strawberry harvest winds down, the packinghouses turn their attention to homegrown blueberries. And like the strawberry harvest, the berry growers of West Central Florida hate to miss an opportunity for a party as the harvest celebrations shift from Plant City to Brooksville. Here are a few fun facts about the Florida Blueberry Festival April 16-17 in Brooksville’s downtown square:

  1. You may not think of Florida as blueberry country, but the state is now eighth in the nation in blueberry production. Brooksville is the center of 15 Florida counties that grow blueberries and all are participating in the festival.
  2. The festival offers more than just blueberries. There is something for everyone with over 20 food concessionaires, the Fresh from Florida Market featuring Florida grown blueberries and produce, a car show, street entertainers, 85 artisans in a juried show and 120 retail exhibitors. There is also beer gardens, wine bars, magic shows, dog shows and stilt walkers.
  3. During the week leading up to the festival, artists from across the Tampa Bay area will converge on Brooksville to paint scenes reflecting the natural beauty of Hernando County, somewhat akin to a “Day in the Life” project, only with a paintbrush instead of cameras.
  4. Even without the blueberry, Brooksville/Hernando County is the center of one of Florida’s greatest unspoiled natural regions. Nearby is the Withlacoochee State Forest, named by the World Wildlife Fund as one of the “10 Coolest Places in North America You’ve Never Seen.” The forest is home to what many argue is Florida’s prettiest river for kayaking and canoes, the Withlacoochee River and what may be its best paved bike trail, the 46-mile Withlacoochee Bike Trail.

Lucky for residents of GlenLakes in Hernando County the blueberry festival is a short drive away. GlenLakes homes are designed for easy living and gracious entertaining. Nestled in the heart of the community 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 views and plenty of room for a beautiful home. For more information on living the Florida lifestyle at GlenLakes, click here.

The Nature Coast is known as a popular eco-vacation destination north of Tampa, extending to the Big Bend area of Florida. Eight counties in all, the area remains one of the more pristine parts of the State where Mother Nature’s bounty flourishes. With sunny skies and the ability to have a year-long active lifestyle, snowbirds finding their way to Florida are enjoying the great outdoors. There is a treasure trove of ways to enjoy the pristine setting for nature lovers; here is a sampling of how you can enjoy your days:

Toes In The Water
We are taking beaches, although this might seem like no-brainer choice, when you consider the breadth and variety of beaches that ring the state of Florida you’ll see that there are many wonderful beach options to choose from. With Pine Island only a short drive away from GlenLakes, you can feel like you are at the end of the world in less than 15 minutes.

Look to the Skies
The Nature Coast State Trail is officially designated as part of Florida’s Statewide Greenways and Trails System. With so many species not regularly found anywhere else in North America, South Florida is a premier spot to watch your feathered friends. The combination of coastline and wetlands make for fertile bird habitat. Surrounded by the state-protected nature preserve, residents of GlenLakes enjoy trailhead access from within their local community, giving an entirely new perspective to taking an evening walk.

Scale it Down, or Not…
The Gulf is rich with fish of all types, and there are excellent fishing guides nearby to help you snag the big one. The area is world-famous for inshore and offshore fishing. Part of Florida’s Big Bend, you can catch the elusive redfish right at Cedar Key. Whether it is with a charter or just off shore, you are bound to enjoy the fishing, and catching, all around GlenLakes.

Paddle Away
Florida’s beaches might get the glory, but its crystal clear spring-fed rivers are equally stunning. Canoe or kayak and take in the natural world from the unique vantage point of the water. Among the newer outdoor activities you can enjoy in Florida, paddle boarding let’s you lightly surf the waves in a tranquil, relaxed way. With GlenLakes adjacent to Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge, the Chassahowitzka River is mere moments away. The river is a marriage of springs and tidal influx from the Gulf of Mexico just 6 miles south of the headsprings. Approximately 3 miles in length makes an average trip on the Chass anywhere from 6 to 12 miles round-trip. However the combination of exploring the many side creeks and springs can lengthen or shorten your adventure.

Rolling Hills, Majestic Oaks – Hit the Course!
Playing a round at GlenLakes is also an eco adventure. 18 memorable holes wind through beautiful stands of oak and pine and the wildlife are definitely at home on the course. Be prepared to take a few pictures during your round, as you’ll be in awe of the natural surroundings. If you want to step outside of GlenLakes, you are in luck. With a wide range of course types to choose from, with dozens of public and private golf courses within a 20-mile radius.

When you live at GlenLakes, all of these easy-access activities are at your fingertips. For more information on homebuying in Hernando County click here.