Are you looking for the best places to see manatees in Florida? These are the best places in Florida to spot these gorgeous animals!
Whether you call them sea cows or sea mermaids, manatees are adorable, loveable creatures and they are quite the sight to behold.
These sweet-tempered marine mammals are endangered, so it is quite difficult to catch them just swimming about. However, Florida is one of the best places to see these little bundles of joy, as they tend to swim into Florida’s rivers looking for food and warm water. Here are the best places to see manatees in Florida!
Homosassa Springs State Park
First on my list of the best places to see manatees in Florida, it’s Homosassa Springs State Park!
Homosassa Springs State Park gives you both an access to a boat ride up Pepper Creek to its Wildlife Park. From here, you can see deer, wolves, otters, alligators, and the famous manatees who flock to this area during the cold winter months!
This park is home to an underwater observatory where you can find unparalleled views of the manatees and the in-park rangers offer great information on the lovely sea cows! This is a great place to see manatees in Florida!
Blue Springs State Park
Next on my list of the best places to see manatees in Florida, it’s Blue Springs State Park! Swimming and boating are prohibited in this area during the winter, so it’s a great place to catch the manatees that are foraging for food and looking to sleep.
There are plenty of overlooks and boardwalks here, so you can explore the park whilst manatee-spotting if you wish to. If you can’t make it down to the manatees during the colder months, you can actually catch these beauties via a live manatee webcam! Yeah, you heard that right…
TECO Manatee Viewing Center
TECO is the nest suggestion for the best places to see manatees in Florida! Tampa’s Manatee Viewing Center is a dedicated manatee sanctuary to which large numbers of manatees flock annually. Viewing platforms and walkways are well-placed here and there is also an environmental center located on this massive facility.
Lee County Manatee Park
Fort Myers’ Manatee Park is another wintertime classic spot where large concentrations of manatees can be seen, so it’s a great choice for the best places to see manatees in Florida. From November to March, you’re sure to see great swathes of manatees making their way to Fort Myers for its lovely warm waters.
This is a particularly good place to see the manatees up close, and with a range of guided walks and fun activities on offer, it’s a fabulous day out.
The Manatee Lagoon is my next suggestion for the best places to see manatees in Florida. Located in Riviera Beach, this lagoon is a free educational attraction with a dedicated area for viewing the manatees up close.
The waterfront center features hands-on exhibits for guests and teaches them about the importance of these threatened sea cows. On cold days, the observation deck is the perfect place to see manatees basking in the warm waters!
Lovers Key State Park
The nest suggestion for the best places to see manatees in Florida, is Lovers Key State Park. An awesome place for manatee spotting due to less-crowded nature, it’s the perfect place to get up close and personal. You can even kayak here whilst manatee-spotting, so it’s great for those adventurers amongst you!
A great place to spot manatees year-round, Merritt Island is a great place to see Manatees in Florida. This national refuge for wildlife is actually thanks to NASA! They purchased the land to build the Kennedy Space Center and used this leftover land to create a wildlife preserve. Over time, all kinds of wildlife have settled here, so you’ll spot more than just manatees at this one! This is a great place to see manatees in Florida!
Manatee Springs State Park
About an hour’s drive from Gainesville, Manatee Springs State Park is my next suggestion for the best places to see manatees in Florida. It sure lives up to its name.
A warm refuge for manatees in the winter months, you’ll see plenty of hefty mermaids here! You can either spend the day manatee spotting or grab a canoe or a kayak and hit the waters. With hiking trails, a children’s playground and BBQ sets, this particular spot is a great family day out.
Three Sisters Springs
Last on my list of the best places to see manatees in Florida, it’s Three Sisters Springs.
A year-round favourite for manatee spotting, Three Sisters Springs is an amazing place to go. With more than 100 manatees being visible at one time, it’s probably the most highly concentrated manatee hangout around. You’re best viewing the manatees from the boardwalk, as you’ll understand that with such a high concentration of manatees, there’s a high concentration of visitors too.