Manatee Week at

Crystal River Manatee

I didn’t post last week because I was too busy looking for manatees in Florida. Mainly I was really surprised at how easy they are to see if you go to the right places (Homosassa Springs, Crystal River, Blue Springs, the Tampa power plant).

So for this week I’ll be reviewing the options animal tourists have if they want to see a big lug of a manatee, whether it’s by the swim-with or snorkel tours, renting a canoe, going on a kayak tour or just watching from shore. Pretty much you can see them up close from any of those options. The controversial part of manatee watching is whether you should be able to touch them on the swim-with-a-manatee programs. But I found a world of difference depending on which outfit you go out with.

We were there during some fantastic 80 degree weather, which was nice for our comfort but not so great for manatee viewing. Lagoon after lagoon, we kept hearing “oh, last week there were 300 here” or “you should have been here two weeks ago.” It was like going to a party and hearing you missed Bill Murray by five minutes. The manatees are drawn to the warm water of natural springs and power plants when water is cold. But once the water warms up, they don’t need the extra heat and disperse. So, that’s my first tip. The official manatee season is something like November to March, but the real peak seems to be January.

Where to Go See Manatees

Places to See Wildlife in Florida

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