Manatees, the gentle giants of the sea, are no doubt a delight to watch whether you witness them for the first time or tenth! Often found swimming and playing around the waterways of Florida, these creatures continue to draw crowds who are thrilled to witness them cuddling up in the state’s warm waters. Although there are plenty of places where Manatees can be found, we’ve picked five popular spots where you are sure to find Manatees at their best in Florida!
Blue Spring State Park
Located west of Orange City, Blue Spring State Park is a popular tourist destination that offers lots of outdoor activities that range from hiking to fishing and wildlife watching. The consistent 72-degree waters of the St. Johns River that rest at the center of the park are home to hundreds of manatees that gather here especially in the colder months. Open every day, the park is one of the most ideal locations to watch the gentle giants at play.
Manatee Springs State Park
Manatee Springs is one of Florida’s many springs, popularly considered a first magnitude spring, pumping gallons of fresh water daily. The clear blue water here too remains at a constant 72 degrees throughout the year and connects into the Suwannee River. The manatees can be viewed from boardwalk or while kayaking. It is advised to keep at a distance so they are not disturbed and can be observed while they play around in the temperate waters of the spring.
Manatee Sanctuary Park
The Manatee Sanctuary Park in Cape Canaveral is one of the most peaceful and enjoyable places to view manatees. The park spans more than 10 acres of natural beauty on the Banana River. This park serves as a protected manatee habitat and visitors can enjoy viewing them grazing along the seagrass from the boardwalk along the river.
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
This is another beautiful spot where you can enjoy a chance to spot manatees all year round. The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is a 140,000-acre wildlife refuge built on Merritt Island. Also on the island is NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and visitor complex and because of limited access, this remains mostly undisturbed. It is home to a lot of birds, reptiles, fish, and of course – our gentle giants who remain safe and happy in these waters.
Fanning Springs State Park
The Fanning Spring State Park also contains a first-magnitude spring that produces 65 million gallons of water every day. Its waters are home to several wildlife species, including the West Indian Manatees that can easily be sighted from the boardwalk overlooking the Suwannee River or while on boat.
If you want to see for yourself how enjoyable it is to watch manatees in their natural habitat, playing and rolling around in the water, consider Daytona Beach boat tours for your next vacation. Our scenic cruises aboard The Manatee are a perfect way to view the gentle giants of the sea and make memories along with the whole family!