Crystal River Manatee
Probably the easiest and most reliable way to see manatees on the Nature Coast in northeast Florida is at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, right off the main drag, route 19. You can see female manatees that can’t leave and young manatees that will be released someday getting fed at the Manatee Care Center. Plus, it’s one of the very few places in the area you might get to see wild manatees from the shore (easier on you and the manatees)–provided you show up in January or early February.
Like pretty much all the Homosassa manatee attractions, it’s hard to get your head around where the logistics. The wildlife park used to be a private zoo in Florida’s roadside zoo attraction heyday; the lone hold-over is the hippo, Lu, now 51. Otherwise, it now only takes native wildlife that can’t live in the wild because they were injured, sick or raised in captivity.
The park has a big parking lot and outpost on route 19 but the real action is closer to the shore. You either take a pontoon boat (they leave about every 15 minutes) or you walk. Or, you can just drive there. The park really begins deep in the pretty, winding Spanish moss covered roads of old Homosassa.
Captive manatees getting fed at Homosassa Wildlife Park
Some people will tell you the park only has captive manatees. Not true. Wild manatees visit the area. I heard varying accounts of
Keep reading Homosassa Wildlife Park: Manatees in rehab and wild in the river
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