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Unread 16 Jan 20, 03:48 PM  
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sarahly
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Mobile Crystal Springs followed by night in Clearwater, good plan?

Ive got a trip planned for October this year, myself and my 17 year old daughter for 19 nights. This will be a one off trip for us so I was hoping to fit in a little bit of real Florida as well as the theme parks. We wont have a car for the full trip but the plan is to hire one for a few days to fit in a couple of trips outside of Orlando.

I love the idea of swimming with manatees and Ive read lots of good reviews of Crystal Springs, I also would like to take my daughter on a dolphin watching boat trip and to a Florida beach.

I was thinking an early start and drive to Crystal River for a morning swim. Is there anything else recommended to do/see in the area?

Then drive down to Clearwater where we can have dinner, hopefully see a lovely sunset, stay overnight and then spend the next day at the beach before driving back to Orlando.

Is there a scenic route to take between Crystal River and Clearwater? Any nice places to stop along the way?

Does this sound like a good plan?

Would planning this for a weekend be a good idea or not? Ive read dibbers planning to avoid the theme parks at the weekend so was thinking maybe we could hire a car to include the weekend as a way of doing this. But would Crystal River and Clearwater be less enjoyable because of more visitors at the weekend too?

Would anyone anticipate it would be an issue to drive from Clearwater back to Orlando in the dark? For someone who isnt familiar with the area?

Any advice much appreciated!
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Unread 16 Jan 20, 05:16 PM  
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vampiress88
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Im not so sure about some of this as we have only been to Clearwater and we only drove there and stayed about 5hours. We went direct from our villa. It took 2 hours it was an easy drive but not really scenic. Although I did like going over what was basically just a road in the middle of the ocean that was nice having sea at both sides.
We also didnt drive at night or in dark but it was a very easy drive so I wouldnt have said it would be any worse than normal drive over here in the dark.
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Unread 16 Jan 20, 06:04 PM  
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greekgranny
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If driving down the US19 you could stop at Tarpon Springs the Greek town.
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Unread 19 Jan 20, 12:33 PM  
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sarahly
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vampiress88 and is a normal drive over there in the dark okay? I'm sure it will be fine, I've driven in Europe with no issue, but not so much in the dark as its always been summer.

Is Tarpon Springs a nice place to visit greekgranny? I love Greek food so its sounding appealing based on that alone!
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Unread 19 Jan 20, 12:59 PM  
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Lisbon
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You have to get up early for the manatee swim, maybe think of going the day before and book a hotel - you could also go kayaking the day before.
We went with a company that only had 6 divers which was much better that some of the tours which had lots more
If you're using a satnav it may have an option to avoid tolls and interstates to give you a scenic route
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Unread 19 Jan 20, 01:30 PM  
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greekgranny
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Originally Posted by sarahly View Post
vampiress88 and is a normal drive over there in the dark okay? I'm sure it will be fine, I've driven in Europe with no issue, but not so much in the dark as its always been summer.

Is Tarpon Springs a nice place to visit greekgranny? I love Greek food so its sounding appealing based on that alone!
visitstpeteclearwater.co...tarpon-springs

Yes, It is different and genuine. Plenty of Greek pastries and restaurants. Mamas Greek cuisine is good but not overlooking the harbour as Mykonos is. Both have authentic greek food.

mamasgreekcuisine/

facebook/pages/categ...0668624612086/

hellasbakery/company-info...-retail-bakery
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Unread 19 Jan 20, 02:39 PM  
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vampiress88
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Driving over there was easier than here even in the dark. Only thing that threw me off was the rain as its definitely harder than here in that.

I drove in dark loads cos hubby had a beer.
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Unread 19 Jan 20, 02:57 PM  
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Ive not been to crystal river..but looked at it often. For a reasonable priced hotel in great location at Clearwater Id recommend pier 60 hotel. Clear sky cafe is good for dinner. Boat ride of little toot for dolphins. Bait shack is quaint for lunch, etc. We always combine Clearwater with a day at Busch gardens. You could go to Busch on the second day then drive home from Busch... an hours drive (if staying championsgate type area in orlando)
We are going for 17 days in October too. Cant wait
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