Plantation On Crystal River – Fine Dining and Luxury Resort

What do you do after a fun filled day swimming with Manatee? Go for a fine dining night out to celebrate such a unique and truly one-of-a-kind experience.

Searching for the finest dining establishment in Crystal River was one of the easiest searches I have ever had to do. Plantation On Crystal River was always number one.  First of all, it is without a doubt the most luxurious resort of the area. So with luxury comes quality and class. But no need to dress up. You can still keep your casualness which is a big deal for families traveling.

Plantation On Crystal River – Dining and Fun

The restaurant was about a five minute drive from our hotel (as is with most things in Crystal River). And as we turned off the main road to the Inn it seemed that everything was owned by Plantation. The property was enormous.

They owned golf courses, real estate and docks. Once you arrive to the main hotel area with the restaurants you are instantly transported to an old Southern Plantation.

plantation inn crystal river

The main restaurant is West 82º and we were the first to arrive. Ideally, we were hoping to sit outside and enjoy the property.

plantation inn

But the cold front made it completely unbearable to be out, even in Florida. So I was super grateful that we were the first to arrive and my kids were able to be kids without us worrying that they are bothering others who were there for the full fine dining experience. Which sometimes people take way too seriously.

fireplace at plantation inn

We visited the restaurant on a Thursday. And do you know what the means for Plantation Inn goers? It’s Martini night. And by the looks of it, they certainly specialized in Martinis and we enjoyed tasting all the different types they had. (This was my favorite part of the night by far).

Plantation Inn, West 82 Bar and Grill, Crystal River, Florida - martini night

The restaurant offers a great menu but doesn’t forget about kids, with a good kids selection. Manatees made my oldest hungry and he had a double portion.

Plantation Inn, West 82 Bar and Grill, Crystal River, Florida - kids menu

Now for our tasty selections:

Artichoke and Spinach Dip – this could have literally been my entire dinner. It was heavenly and truly filling

artichoke and spinach dip

Caesar Salad – my oldest doesn’t like salads too much but does like a good Caesar.  The way to test out if the salad is good, first give it to him and if he eats it, it’s a winner. And he had half of mine.

caesar salad

Beef Soup – or otherwise called ‘the soup of the day’ is the way to start off a meal when the weather makes you shiver

Beef Soup - soup of the day -plantation inn

My husband got the signature Shrimp and Grits (typical southern dish) and it was delicious. We never eat grits since it is so not a Central American thing. This way whenever we saw it on the menu it was always something we needed to order.

Shrimp and Grits signature Dish - plantation Inn

And I got the Seafood Mornay Pasta which came with huge scallops, lobster and shrimp. Scallops is another food that never seems to make it to our neck of the woods. Most people who live in Central America have never even heard of it. My husband couldn’t think of the Spanish word for it. That’s how rarely it comes into their lives. And having scallops the size of small hockey pucks was a huge treat for me.

Seafood Mornay Pasta - scallops, shrimp and lobster in cream sauce

Video Fun

Fun History Facts About Plantation and How it Started

  • The Inn was constructed in 1962
  • After its construction in the 1960’s, the Plantation on Crystal River stood alone along Florida’s “Nature Coast” as a testament to elegance, southern hospitality, and natural splendor.
  • In 1975, Will Caruth purchased the property and added an assortment of upgrades, while still maintaining its charm.
  • More improvements were done in 1998, since then $2.5 million are invested in upkeep every year.
  • In 2010 it was purchased by investors lead by Scout Real Estate Capital LLC.
  • Scout and its partners have invested more than $3 million in renovations, completed in January 2012.
  • Caruth created a foundation that to this day gives millions of dollars seeking cures for diseases and donations to municipal police departments.
  • The eco-friendly Plantation on Crystal River is surrounded by the natural springs of Kings Bay and more than 25,000 surface acres of pristine lakes and rivers, as well as wildlife refuges and state parks.


About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

4 Responses to Plantation On Crystal River – Fine Dining and Luxury Resort

  1. Looks like a fantastic place to relax!
    Kenin Bassart recently posted..The Canadian Brewhouse – A Calgary Staple for Food and FunMy Profile

  2. Eileen says:

    Loved this restaurant at the Plantation for good food and the only place for elegant dining in Crystal River. But the renovation ooks disappointing to me. Too casual. It used to be elegant with tablecloths and linen napkins

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