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.

 

It seems like every day you explore the natural beauty of Hernando County; you discover a hidden gem that you cannot find anywhere else. In a place so unique it is not hard to believe that the food and restaurants in the area are also one-of-a-kind. Below is a list of absolute must-try dining experiences in Hernando County that will leave you wanting more!

 

• Becky Jack’s Food Shack – To some, the venue with its mismatched chairs and tables and funky, laid-back decor may not rate a second glance. But if visual aesthetics are your sole criteria for choosing a spot to dine out, you’ll miss out on one of the best-kept foodie secrets in Hernando County. Folks in the know have come to recognize Becky Jack’s as a comfortable, affordable regular stop where simple, flavorful home-cooked burgers, wings and seafood and tasty craft beers are king.

 

• Brian’s Place – This Spanish-Italian fusion restaurant is a rare treat that offers adventurous cuisine with perfect proportions at the right price. The restaurant specializes in seafood but has a variety of other fare. It’s a nice, casual place to savor a unique meal in a family atmosphere. Chef Brian intermixes French flavors with Italian and Latin ingredients to create a unique cuisine.  briansonthebeach.com

 

• Upper Deck – Kayak from the state park to the Upper Deck that has a spectacular views of the Weeki Wachee River. You might even see some manatee while there. upperdeckweekiwachee.com

 

• GlenLakes Country Club – Guided by accomplished Executive chef Mik Wagner, the Grill Room is a member favorite for expertly prepared lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. No staid menus here! Chef Mik is full of delicious surprises, serving up international buffets and even sharing his expertise with demos. Daily Happy Hour, after-dinner drinks and a casual bar menu can be enjoyed at the Main Bar, which also doubles as a sports bar—complete with a special menu—during football season. Glenlakes.com

 

Located in the heart of Weeki Wachee, and just minutes from all of these foodie havens, GlenLakes is right where you want to be. Natural springs, lakes, the Weeki Wachee River, the Gulf of Mexico and 85,000 acres of Florida nature preserve provide a pristine habitat for wildlife and year-round opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.

 

All this and you’re only minutes away from the white sand Gulf Coast beaches and excellent shopping, restaurants and medical facilities. It’s little wonder that GlenLakes is consistently named “One of the Best Places to Retire” by Where to Retire Magazine, as well as a “Top 50 Community” by Ideal-Living Magazine.

 

When you are a resident at GlenLakes, you are a member of a fabulous club. Private club amenities include a 35K clubhouse for social engagement, dining and fitness, including a junior Olympic-size pool. Clay tennis courts, bocce ball courts, four pickleball courts, and a championship, private golf course defines GlenLakes’ relaxed, yet very active, country club lifestyle. Residents rest easy knowing that maintenance and security are taken care of in this private, gated community. With the community constantly growing, the club is a great way to meet neighbors, make friends and socialize, right in your own backyard.

 

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. Click here to learn more about the GlenLakes lifestyle and everything it 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.

The natural beauty of Florida’s Adventure coast is immediately recognizable with the serene sunsets fading over the untouched mangroves and tranquil water. Residents of the famed coast, from Brooksville to Weeki Wachee, are able to experience the best of old Florida’s naturalistic charm, and live a luxurious new Florida lifestyle in country club communities like GlenLakes. “The Chaz” is the perfect embodiment of the “old Florida” nature experience and allows residents to unplug, unwind and travel back to a much simpler time.

Referred to as the “Chaz” by locals, the Chassahowitzka River is fed by several tributaries and springs appropriately designated as an Outstanding Florida Waterway. The combination of salt marshes, hardwood swamps and crystal-clear springs make it one of the most memorable experiences in the state.

Surrounded by the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge comprising over 31,000 acres, those who visit the Chaz are often a serious lot of anglers, crabbers, and eco-tourists ready to experience a true “wilderness.” While you don’t have to be serious, you’ll be in awe of this very special slice of “real” Florida. Whether you go for a day, or plan an extended stay, you will enjoy old Florida on the Chaz.

After a peaceful day paddle boarding through the mangroves and natural springs, GlenLakes is the perfect retreat to call home. Located in Weeki Wachee, Florida, part of Florida’s Nature Coast, GlenLakes is right where you want to be. Natural springs, lakes, the Weeki Wachee River, the Gulf of Mexico and 85,000 acres of Florida nature preserve provide a pristine habitat for wildlife and year-round opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.

When you are a resident at GlenLakes, you are a member of a fabulous club. Private club amenities include a 35K clubhouse for social engagement, dining and fitness, including a junior Olympic-size pool. Clay tennis courts, bocce ball courts, four pickleball courts, and a championship, private golf course defines GlenLakes’ relaxed, yet very active, country club lifestyle. Residents rest easy knowing that maintenance and security are taken care of in this private, gated community. With the community constantly growing, the club is a great way to meet neighbors, make friends and socialize, right in your own backyard.
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. Click here to learn more about the GlenLakes lifestyle and everything it has to offer.

There are so many great family-friendly communities tucked away in Hernando County that combine nature with modern amenities that it can be difficult to choose which one is perfect for you. Places built by forward thinkers who wanted to create planned communities that preserved the beautiful Florida environment while creating places for people to live, work, and play. Weeki Wachee is one such community and with a new home at GlenLakes, you’ll enjoy ready access to an award-winning community and much more.

The Homes Make All The Difference
A GlenLakes home gives you more time to enjoy life. Quality construction and top-rated materials ensure that your home will be beautiful and maintenance-free for years to come. Energy-efficient features such as a quick-recovery hot water heater, high-efficiency heat pump and insulation, and Energy Star–rated appliances help keep energy costs in check.

Ensuring that your lawn and subtropical landscaping stay healthy and green in the consistent Florida sun, automatic sprinklers are included with every home.
For true maintenance-free living, GlenLakes detached villas include lawn and exterior maintenance including painting.

Addison Custom Homes, the exclusive builder at GlenLakes since 1997, offers an outstanding portfolio of homes designed for easy living and gracious entertaining. 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.

Tour a model home and then choose the perfect site for your new home. 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 views and plenty of room for a gracious home and private garden space. Opportunities are limited for the GlenLakes crown jewel of neighborhoods.

GlenLakes Residents Enjoy All The Above

Year after year, GlenLakes has been named a “Top 50 Community” by Where to Retire and Ideal-Living magazines.

Neighborhoods of gracious single-family homes line pedestrian- and golf cart-friendly streets. Beautiful landscaping complements the many water features and endless preserve views. Miles of trails and nature preserve provide refreshing outdoor escapes.
Private club amenities include a clubhouse for social engagement, dining and fitness including a junior Olympic-size pool. Tennis courts, bocce ball courts, four brand-new pickleball courts, and a championship golf course define GlenLakes relaxed, yet very active, country club lifestyle. Residents rest easy knowing that maintenance and security are taken care of in this private, gated community.

Starting from the low $200s, GlenLakes homes offer beautiful views of the golf course, lake and much more. Click here to learn more about the GlenLakes lifestyle and everything it has to offer.

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. With so much to do and see, GlenLakes residents especially enjoy these outdoor activities now that the weather is starting to cool.

Once mined for lime rock, the preserve’s lakes are 45 to 60-foot-deep rock quarries filled with freshwater from the Upper Floridian Aquifer. The lakes are the main attraction at the preserve and a sight to be admired. Although the stunning beauty of these lakes is pretty to look at, what they’re really made for is protection. These lakes protect the locals of Weeki Wachee from flooding and tropical storms. The great thing about living in a natural habitat is that the Earth is crafted to lend a helping hand when we need it, and these lakes do just that and more.

The preserve lakes are a protective goldmine, but now that you’ve been educated, it’s time to have some fun! The lakes are open to the public for natural recreation at its finest. Get out your canoes, kayaks and rowboats and take on the freshwater for some sporting fun. Licensed fishing is also permitted, so if you love to reel in the big ones, find a spot on the water and take in the views while you relish in one of your favorite hobbies. Unfortunately, swimming is not permitted. So, no cannon balls in these waters.

The preserve is a beloved spot for hikers and cyclists to test their skills on its rocky to terrain as well. The trails are marked and expect to see wildlife along the way. They’re nature trails so enjoy the company and take in the views along the way. If you’re quiet enough you might even see deer creeping out of the brush, racing across the open terrain. Lucky you!

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. To become a GlenLakes resident or simply explore the neighborhood, click here for more.