Manatees in the Sunshine State

  • by Catherine Tortorici
  • January 11, 2023

A great part about living in Florida is getting to see manatees (otherwise known as sea-cows). We have gathered some spots to view manatees while paddling, swimming, boating, and more! Please make sure to follow regulations wherever you decide to explore and leave the parks as you found them. Be sure to tag @904happyhour in your wildlife adventures! 

Three Sisters Springs

Explore the manatee capital of the world! The wintertime brings plentiful manatees in a large concentration. Just down the road is Homosassa Springs which may bring less of a crowd.

Where: Crystal River        

Silver Springs State Park

Silver Springs a glass bottom boat so you can view manatees below. You can also rent kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards.

Where: Ocala

Manatee Springs State Park

Manatee Springs offers an 800-foot boardwalk tha trunks through a magical cypress forest. True to the name, manatees can be spotted in the cooler months of the year.

Where: Levy County

Lee County Manatee Park

Located on the warm water discharge canal, Lee County Manatee Park offers several viewing areas including a butterfly garden and picnic shelter.

Where: Fort Myers

Blue Spring State Park

No boat, no problem! During the winter season the spring itself is closed, however you can see from afar with their overlooks and trails.

Where: Orange City

The Chassahowitzka River

Just 3 hours away from Jacksonville, the Chassahowitzka River is a paradise. Paddling, biking, hiking, and camping are among the top things to do. While exploring, keep your eyes peeled because there's a high chance you'll come across a manatee here!

Where: Citrus County

TECO Manatee Viewing Center

If you are interested in learning more about manatees, then this is the place for you. Enjoy viewing platforms, an educational center, and a 50 acre facility!

Where: Apollo Beach

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

The Haulover Canal connects the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River. The east side features an observation area with interpretive signs.

Where: Titusville

Manatee Lagoon – An FPL Eco-Discovery Center

Manatee Lagoon is a free educational attraction where you can view manatees up close. They educate visitors about the threats that manatees face and how to do your part in preservation.

Where: Riviera Beach

Learn More About Manatees Here


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