Make a splash this summer by diving into our Outdoor Summer Series. Each week, we’ll bring you cool ideas for fun in the sun on the Nature Coast. With something for everyone, we’re sure these will keep the kids (or grandkids) busy and the adults loving life. What better place to explore the Florida lifestyle than right in our own backyard?

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 Water Park, 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 to bird watch, 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, American bald eagles and river otters. Recreational opportunities include picnicking, nature study, and bird watching.

Homosassa Butterfly Garden

Flutter over to Homosassa Butterfly Garden, 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, photographers, 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.