The West Indian Manatee is one of the Earths more gentle creatures. It floats casually about the coast and inland water of Florida’s gulf coasts. In winter when this soft skinned creature gets too cold to stay in the cooler ocean waters, it returns inland to Florida’s spring feed rivers.
The constant temperature (72F) of the springs allows the manatee to thrive during harsh winter months. And Crystal River, Florida and the surrounding springs harbor manatees by the hundreds year round. Check out the best places to see manatees in Crystal River, Florida
Crystal River Manatee Tour and Dive
This awesome dive shop has all of the gear and equipment for checking out the manatees up close and personal. Located near Kings Bay on Citrus Ave. in downtown Crystal River, Florida, the Crystal River Manatee Tour and Dive shop is one of the premier tour groups that offers year round tours, dives, snorkeling trips, fishing guides, kayak rental and canoes-Whew! That’s a lot of stuff! Check out the website here for more details about setting up your manatee tour reservation.
Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
This place is the best state park in Florida for viewing manatees. The underwater “fishbowl” has been a Florida attraction for decades. Walk down the stairs of the viewing area and be transported underwater to look out the glass enclosed walls to view the manatees in the Homosassa Springs Wildlife Sanctuary.
Located off of US 19 south of the Crystal River Airport approximately 10 miles, this park has more than just manatees. Gators, birds, bears and even a hippo named “Lucifer”. Check out the official website here for more details on park hours and ticket prices.
Aardvark’s Kayak Manatee Tours
Are a great company to view the manatees up close, without getting too wet in the water. Get up close and personal with the manatees. The tour guide is a marine biologist and wildlife conservationist. One of the best tours on the nature Coast and beyond, Aardvarks website can be visited here.