seafood

Weekend Getaway: The Upper and Middle Keys

There’s no place like home here at the Villages of Citrus Hills, but it’s nice to get away every now and then, and when the time comes there is nothing quite like a getaway to the Florida Keys.

While we have already covered all kinds of great places to stay, things to do, and outstanding restaurants in Key Largo and Key West, there are also dozens of spots in between those destinations that also make for a great weekend getaway.

So, let's explore the Upper and Middle Keys.

Where to Stay

Islamorada is one of the most popular places to stop for many tourists making the journey from the mainland all the way down to Key West, but it is also a destination in and of itself. Here you will find the Postcard Inn Beach Resort & Marina, which offers every bit of the paradise you would imagine exists in the Keys. With all of the resort amenities offered at the Postcard, this is a one-stop shop for a weekend getaway.

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If you are looking for a more secluded getaway, Duck Key could be the perfect destination for you. The place to stay here is the Hawks Cay Resort, which offers standard hotel-style rooms, as well as more private villas.

If being as close to the beach as possible is important to you, then the Rainbow Bend Fishing Resort in Marathon should be on your short list. This is also the place to stay if you are looking to spend the weekend fishing, which is one of the many ways to enjoy yourself in the Keys.

Things to Do

Craft beer lovers will be thrilled to know that there are two different breweries located right in Islamorada. Both the Florida Keys Brewery and the Islamorada Beer Company Brewery and Tasting Room offer up a fantastic selection of local beer in a traditional Florida Keys atmosphere.

Another fun way to spend a weekend in the Keys is to get right into the water. In Duck Key, you will find swimming with dolphins, scuba diving, and chartering your own fishing expedition. No matter what you are looking to do on the water, there are plenty of choices in the Keys.

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Marathon for animal lovers is The Turtle Hospital.  They have been rehabbing injured sea turtles and educating the public about them since 1986, and it is consistently recommended among the top places for animal enthusiasts to visit in all of the Keys.

Places to Eat

When you are heading out to eat in the Keys, the atmosphere is almost as important as the food. One of the best places to find that environment in Islamorada is the Islamorada Fish Company, where you will find a massive outdoor restaurant with a menu full of great seafood. We recommend trying the Grouper Reuben!

Whether you are staying there or not, the place to eat in Duck Key is Alma, which is located on the property at Hawks Cay Resort. This high-end restaurant divides its menu evenly between local seafood dishes and excellent cuts of meat, and everything is delicious.

In addition to all of the excellent seafood, you will also find plenty of Cuban restaurants throughout the Keys. One of our favorite spots is La Nina Restaurant in Marathon. It might not look like much from the outside, but this little restaurant will blow you away with their Cuban pork and beef dishes.

You can find ways to spend an entire weekend exploring any single town in the Upper and Middle Keys. You can also have a blast cruising from key to key in search of specific destinations. Whatever your idea of a great weekend might be, you can make it a reality in the Florida Keys.

5 Romantic Ideas for Valentine's Day near the Villages of Citrus Hills

The most romantic day of the year is right around the corner, and if you don’t already have something planned for your significant other, you are already behind the eight ball. But don’t worry, because we have got you covered with some of the best local and not-so-local options for a romantic dinner out on the town.

Vintage on 5th, Crystal River

If you are looking to stay local and have a romantic meal, Vintage on 5th in Crystal River is going to be one of the top options on your list. This former church building has been completely renovated into a warm and inviting restaurant. And on top of the wonderful ambiance, you will also find some truly fantastic meals here.

The main focus of the menu is fresh fish and hand-cut beef, so you are going to have plenty of choices from both land and sea. There is also a delicious list of side dishes like fried green tomatoes. And in the event, that you don’t want to go all out with a formal meal, you could also opt to hang at the wine bar and order from their awesome tapas menu.

Katch Twenty Two, Lecanto

Another great new restaurant that is also close to home is Katch Twenty Two, located in Lecanto. Chef Richard Wiggins has only been operating here since 2016, but he brings with him a lifetime of experience making some of the most delicious cuisine.

Seafood is the name of the game at Katch Twenty Two, and Chef Richard puts his own unique twists on a wide range of a constantly evolving menu. No matter what you order here, you are sure to get a flavor experience that you will not soon forget.

Motor City Pasta Company, Inverness

For some couples, the only requirements for a romantic Valentine’s Day celebration is a large margherita pizza, a bottle of wine, and a great movie. If that sounds like you, then you probably already have a few bottles of wine and a Netflix subscription, so all that’s missing is a great pizza.

Located right up the road in Inverness, Motor City Pasta Company is one of the best spots for pizza in all of Citrus County, and it is close enough to the Villages of Citrus Hills that you can pick up your pie and make it home before it cools off.

La Cuisine French Restaurant, Ocala

Part of the romantic experience of a fabulous dinner date is the conversations that you will have with your partner on the way to and from the restaurant. If you would like to allow plenty of time for those conversations to percolate, a venture out to Ocala is the perfect choice, and La Cuisine French Restaurant is one of the best restaurants in town.

If you are craving a classic French dish like Duck à l'orange, you can definitely find that on Chef Patrice Perron’s menu. But there is also Hand Cut Beef Filet and Breaded Grouper on the menu.

Cuvee 103, Clearwater

Nothing says romance quite like an overnight trip to a coastal town, and if you are planning a trip like that, Cuvee 103 in Clearwater is the perfect place to make dinner reservations for that special evening.

They are running a great three course prix fix menu for Valentine’s Day that is sure to delight your taste buds, ranging from duck breast and Chilean sea bass to surf ’n turf and lobster-stuffed beef tenderloin.

Whether you are looking for something close to home or an overnight trip complete with a romantic dinner, there are more than a few fantastic choices surrounding the Villages of Citrus Hills.

In addition to all of the great restaurants surrounding our community, keep in mind that both Skyview Restaurant and The Grille are also planning fabulous menus for your Valentine’s Day celebration.

 

 

 

February Activities and Events at the Villages of Citrus Hills

Just like that, the first month of 2017 is already in the books and we are rolling into February. As usual, the activities and events calendar is filled with all kinds of exciting things that are happening around our community this month. 

Whether you are interested in getting together with friends, learning something new, competing at golf or tennis, or taking advantage of one of our excellent dinner specials, we have got you covered with all of the information you need to plan out the coming month so that you don’t miss out on any of the fun! 

Social Events 

The Big Show Series is taking the leadoff spot this month with their next big performance scheduled for Thursday, February 2 when Beginnings: The Ultimate Chicago Tribute Band will be taking the stage in the Activity Center Auditorium. Tickets for this event are $33 for members and $38 for guests, and there will be show times at 6 pm and 8:15 pm.

This year’s Super Bowl will take place on Sunday, February 5, and everyone is invited to the party at the Tiki Bar to watch the Atlanta Falcons take on the New England Patriots. The Tiki Bar will have food and drink specials ready to go for the big game, but seating is first-come, first serve, so make sure that you get there early! 

The Little Black Dress Club will be sponsoring a Valentine’s Day Fashion Show in the Hampton Room on Monday, February 13. The event starts at 11 am, and there will be a lunch served while fashions from the Inverness store Karma are modeled.

The Big Bang Team were the winners of last month’s Trivia Challenge, and the next one is scheduled for Tuesday, February 21. This month, the menu will include Sausage & Peppers and Baked Haddock.

For the second installment of the Big Show Series in February, the Activity Center Auditorium will roll out the red carpet for Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon and Gary “US” Bonds. Tickets for this event are $44 for members and $49 for guests, and that also included an opening performance by Rocky and the Rollers.

Speaking of Rocky and the Rollers, they will also be performing for the 50’s Sock Hop in the Hampton Room on Tuesday, February 28. The doors open at 6:30 pm for this party, and there will be music and dancing from 7 pm to 10 pm.  

Arts & Education 

Throughout the month of February, Dr. Joe Coffee will be continuing his Great Decisions lecture series that provides a forum for the discussion of world affairs. This event is held in the Activity Center Auditorium every Wednesday night from 6:30 pm to 8 pm.  

If you are looking to get involved with one of the many clubs here at the Villages of Citrus Hills, there will be an Activities Club Showcase on Wednesday, February 15 in the Hampton Room. Representatives from many of the various clubs will be on hand to answer any questions you might have.  

For those people who absolutely adore their pets, you are also going to want to mark down the first Saturday in March on your calendar. There will be a group of residents heading out to the Paint Your Pet event at the Crystal River Mall on that morning at 10 am.  

Golf & Tennis

If golf is your game, there is plenty of action heading your way in the month of February. The action will kick off with the Valentine’s Open on The Oaks course on Saturday, February 4.

Then the intensity will really start to heat up with the Skyview Men’s Senior, Super Senior, Legends, and Super Legends Tournament on February 6 and 7, the Citrus Hills Men’s Club Championship on February 16 and 17, and the Skyview Men’s Member-Guest Tournament on February 24 and 25.

If your game isn’t quite ready for that level of competition, you should make a point to attend on of the many free golf clinics that golf pro Wayne Larsen will be hosting throughout the month. There will be clinics for beginners on February 6, 7, and 8. Then the intermediate level clinics will be held on February 14, 21, and 28. 

If tennis is your game, you can hone your skills at the Free Beginner Tennis Clinic on February 14 at 11 am. After a few weeks of practice, you might even be ready to compete in one of the exciting tennis tournaments that are planned for March and April. 

Dinner Specials

Our friends at Skyview Restaurant will be pulling out all of the stops to serve a fabulous Valentine’s Day Dinner on Tuesday, February 14. Then they will close out the month on February 28 with a Catch of the Seas dinner that will feature a wide range of great seafood options.  

If you are heading to see the Big Show Series on Thursday, February 2, make sure you stop at The Grille first for their Big Show Buffet. They will also be having a Sweetheart Valentine’s Dinner on February 14, and a Taste of New England dinner on February 28.  

BellaVita Spa 

BellaVita Spa is also going above and beyond for the month of February. So, if you are able to find any time for yourself this month, you are surely going to want to take advantage of the Wild Rose Facial and Shellac Spa Manicure specials that they will be running all month long.

If you have any questions about any of the events happening throughout the month, don’t hesitate to contact someone at the Activity Center Service Desk. They will either be able to help you directly or put you in touch with someone who can! 

 

For all the activities and events happening around the Villages of Citrus Hills click below into the link below for our Connections Club Newsletter for February 2017. 

http://www.citrushillsgolfandcountryclub.com/userfiles/file/February%202017%20Connections_ONLINE.pdf

 

Sushi for Days: Nearby Sushi Restaurants

Over the past decade, sushi has been one of the fastest growing cuisines for people who like to eat out on a regular basis. Sushi is delicious, and is typically on the healthy side of the food spectrum, and if you know what you are doing it doesn’t have to cost a fortune either! 

Whether you prefer the flavors of raw salmon and tuna, crunchy tempura battered shrimp, or just a simple California Roll, there are multiple choices for getting sushi within a short drive of the Villages of Citrus Hills.  

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Sushi-O is a unique experience that takes the time to think of new ways to incorporate a number of different local ingredients in with their traditional Japanese flavors. You will find them in a little plaza off of West Norvell Bryant Highway in Lecanto.

Zesty Edamame Salad

Zesty Edamame Salad

An entire page of the menu is devoted to their impressive selection of specialty rolls, where you will find classics like the Kamikaze Roll and Rainbow Roll. They also have some creative twists on the classics like their Tempura Philly Roll. 

If you’re looking for sushi in the Crystal River area, Ginger Asian Bistro is the first place you are going to want to stop. They’re located on Highway 19 and offer a great mix of Chinese and Japanese cuisine.  

Part of the massive menu includes a long list of specialty rolls. Try their Crystal River Roll, which includes shrimp tempura with avocado. 

Ginger Asian Bistro also has excellent lunch specials. Take your pick of two or three classic rolls along with soup or salad.

Fuji Asian Bistro, Homosassa 

Located along Suncoast Blvd in Homosassa, Fuji Asian Bistro is the real deal when it comes to Asian-style seafood here in Citrus County. Their menu features a dynamic selection of Chinese, Thai, and Japanese cuisine where you will find plenty of great sushi.

Szechuan Snapper

Szechuan Snapper

If you are looking to try something outside the box, their Gator Roll is one of the best sellers on the menu! And if you are heading out with someone who isn’t a sushi fan, the sweet and sour chicken here is excellent as well.  

Three More Options in Ocala

If you are on a serious quest to find the best sushi around, you will also want to plan a few trips out to Ocala. There you will find three fantastic options in Asian Pop, Edo Sushi & Japanese Steakhouse, and Grace Sushi.

Each of these restaurants offer a slightly different type of atmosphere, but at their core they are all built around serving up some of the most delicious sushi rolls you have ever tried.

With three great choices, right here in Citrus County, and three more in nearby Ocala, the sushi lovers of Citrus Hills are well-equipped to dine on their favorite combinations of raw and fried seafood pretty much every day of the week if they like.

 

 

Enjoy!