Meet a Manatee

5 Fun Ways to Meet a Manatee

  1. On a Paddleboard. Head over to Manatee Paddle in downtown Crystal River, paddleboard rentals and tours are available. Head out on your own or with one of their guides.
  2. Step into the Fishbowl. Visitors to Ellie Schiller’s Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park can see manatees 365 days a year in their natural setting. The park is located at the mouth of the Homosassa River.  Step into the Fishbowl, a large glass underwater observatory, if you are lucky you can get nose to nose with the gentle giants.
  3. Take a walk… Several parks in and around the Westside of the county have water access, visit Kings Bay Park or Hunter Springs located in Crystal River. Both offer waterfront views and during the cool winter months manatee spotings are standard.
  4. Go on a river cruise. Manatee tours are available from a wide variety of outfits all winter long. Visitors can book a relaxing river tour and be able to see manatees and other local wildlife.  Don’t forget your cameras!
  5. Take the plunge! The best way to meet a manatee is to take the plunge and swim with them.  Make sure to pay close attention to the rules and “Manatee Manners”.  The same outfits that offer river cruises also offer swimming excursions.