The cottages at Chinsegut Hill Retreat offer a peaceful, off-the-beaten-path alternative from which your family or group can explore the attractions on Florida’s Nature Coast. Contact us to find out more about availability, rates and how you can mix mermaids, manatees and museums with a Manor House for a memorable vacation in a natural setting.
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
Chinsegut Hill Retreat is a short drive from Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, where people come from all over the world travel to marvel at the inhabitants of The City of Mermaids. These comely sirens of the sea have entertained adults and enchanted children for more than six decades as they perform in an underwater theater that is arguably the most famous of Old Florida’s roadside attractions.
The mermaids’ home is the headwaters of a pristine, first-magnitude spring that feeds the Weeki Wachee River, a popular place for canoeing and kayaking in Hernando County. The caverns beneath the springs also are among the deepest in North America, where certified SCUBA divers may arrange for group explorations through approved dive shops.
For more wet-and-wild fun in the sun at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, there is Buccaneer Bay, the only spring-fed water park in Florida that has water slides, a floating dock in the swimming area, picnic pavilions, volleyball courts, snack bar, gift shop, a riverboat cruise and an educational wildlife show.
Boyett’s Citrus Grove & Attraction
Boyett’s Citrus Grove & Attraction is a quaint roadside attraction that includes an orange grove, an Old Florida citrus-packing operation, a small zoo, an ice cream parlor and an adorably kitschy souvenir shop that will be a hit with you and your children.
May-Stringer Heritage Museum & 1885 Train Depot Museum
Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
Another attraction that is an easy drive from Chinsegut Hill Retreat is the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. Visitors to this Citrus County park can see the creatures that, as the legend is told by sailors who may have been at sea too long, are the mermaids’ less-attractive cousins – West Indian manatees.
Manatees are endangered mammals that captivate the imagination of more than lonely sailors. Some of these gentle giants are residents of the park and may be viewed underwater at the fish bowl observatory. Some have been injured and are being rehabilitated. Wild manatees usually can be seen at the adjacent Blue Waters area. This is a fun and educational trip for the whole family, and also offers nature trails, narrated boat tours and concessions.