A June 2007 trip
to Spring Hill by MARecycle
Quote: We visited the Gulf Coast of Florida around Spring Hill (about 60 miles north of St. Petersburg and a few miles from the Gulf). We investigated snorkeling in the Gulf, but the visibility doesn't lend itself to any good snorkeling spots. We had to be satisfied with the inland springs.
Hotel | "Hampton Inn"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 29, 2007
Hampton Inn Spring Hill
1374 Commercial Way
Spring HIll, Florida 34606
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 29, 2007
3192 Shoal Lane Blvd.
Restaurant | "Bern’s Steakhouse"
Bern’s lived up to its reputation as a world-class steakhouse and fine eatery. I had been once before almost 15 years ago, but it’s an experience that sticks with you. The steak is unsurpassed and the wine list, which comes out of a cellar of several hundred thousand bottles, is one of the features of this eatery. The wine we had was a 1983 Mayacamas Zinfandel, only $40 as many of the most unusual oldest wines in the cellar. With over 10,000 selections to choose from, it’s not an easy task.It’s a very unusual restaurant, having grown building by building over the years. It is quite large and features a number of different dining rooms. In addition to the fine dining that you will experience at Bern’s, one has the opportunity to visit the kitchen and the wine cellar and partake of the desserts in an upstairs special area. It’s more than just eating; it’s a dining experience.One unusual thing we discovered was that with the steaks, there is a fixed menu. If you desire any of the other, more interesting and special appetizers, you pay fully for them and get no credit for the standard appetizers and vegetables that you don’t want – one of the strange things about the restaurant.
Bern's Steak House
1208 South Howard Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33606
628 Dodecanese Blvd
Thai Cuisine Restaurant
11078 Spring Hill Drive
Spring HIll, Florida 34608
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on June 29, 2007
Cravings on the Water
614 NW Highway 19
Crystal River, Florida 34428
Attraction | "Snorkeling on the Chassahowitzka"
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 29, 2007
Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
1502 S.E. Kings Bay Drive
Crystal River 34429
We took a guided tour with native vacations to see the manatees in Crystal River (www.nativevacations.com), phone (866) 466-2848. This small operation, run by Captain Tracy Wood, was recommended to us by another captain who is very sensitive about the environment and manatees in the Crystal River area. Her trip was a little more expensive at $37/person, but was more personable and we had better service. One the day we went, we were the only two snorkelers on her craft. Tracy was very pleasant, knowledgeable, and truly loves the manatees that she takes people out to see.
The most disappointing thing about the whole trip was that the visibility in the Crystal River area was less than two feet! This really limited our experience. Although we got to play a few times with a small series of manatees (even though it’s the summer, approximately 50-80 manatees stay all year long; the largest concentration of manatees are in the winter). We had to almost be on top of them to see the manatees because of the reduced visibility. It was obvious to me that the lower water quality is due to the high-density population and septic tanks in the area. Something must be done about it or this attraction will suffer greatly.