Where Can I See Manatees?

Manatees During the winter months, manatees head for warm waters, such as springs and power plant discharges. For the remainder of the year, manatees are widely dispersed. The following is a list of some of the places where you can see the endangered Florida manatee in captivity or in the wild.

Manatees in captivity/rehabilitation

1. Disney's Epcot Center - (407) 824-4321
Orlando, FL
--Manatees are found at the Living Seas exhibit.
Entrance fee required.


2. Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park - (352) 628-5343
Homosassa, FL
--The Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park has an underwater viewing area at the main spring where visitors may see manatees up close. Wild manatees are now able to enter the headwater area during the winter months.  Park staff or volunteers present daily educational programs about manatees. Entrance fee required.

3. Lowry Park Zoo - (813) 932-0245
Tampa, FL
--Lowry Zoo is a manatee rehabilitation facility. Manatees may be seen throughout the year.  Educational kiosks available.
Entrance fee required.

4. Miami Seaquarium - (305) 361-5705
Miami, FL
--The Miami Seaquarium is a manatee rehabilitation facility.  Staff are available to answer questions at the viewing area.
Entrance fee required.

5. Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium - (941) 388-2451
Sarasota, FL
--Mote Marine Lab has two manatees and numerous other aquatic wildlife at their research facility.  Entrance fee required.

6. SeaWorld - (407) 363-2613
Orlando, FL
--SeaWorld is a manatee rehabilitation facility.  Also includes a theme park manatee program. Staff available at viewing area.
Entrance fee required.

7. South Florida Museum - (941) 746-4131
Bradenton, FL
--The Parker Manatee Aquarium at the South Florida Museum is the home of Snooty, the oldest captive manatee in Florida.
Entrance fee required.

Manatees in the Wild (Winter Viewing)

To help protect Florida's wildlife, FWC encourages you to watch wildlife from a distance and use binoculars or zoom lenses to extend your view.  Florida's manatee population needs the wildlife sanctuaries, springs and warm water sites to survive during the winter months.  If you visit any of the wild manatee viewing areas, please give the manatees the space they need and do not disturb them if they are resting.  Remember to "Watch" Florida's wildlife today so that future generations can "SEE" them in their natural environment. Please review the Manatee Viewing Guidelines.

8. Blue Spring State Park - (386) 775-3663
Orange City, FL
--Blue Spring State Park is a popular wintering spot for Florida manatees in the St. Johns River in Volusia County. The park schedules manatee programs throughout the day. The majority of manatees at this location are "known individuals," recognizable by their unique scar patterns. Entrance fee required.

9. Crystal River and
Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge - (352) 563-2088

Crystal River, FL
--Boats are required in order to reach the King's Bay Manatee Sanctuary. Visitors to the site should know safe boating precautions and remember to not harass the manatees in this area. Boat rentals available. Call the refuge for information packets before visiting. Please review the Manatee Viewing Guidelines.

10. Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park - (850) 926-0700
Wakulla Springs, FL
--Home of one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world, this park plays host to an abundance of wildlife, including alligators, turtles, deer, birds and manatees. Daily guided Wakulla River boat tours provide a closer view of wildlife. Manatees may be seen throughout the year either at the headwaters, spring run or in the Wakulla River along the boat tour route or downriver from the park. In the cooler months, visitors may climb the swim area dive tower to observe manatees in the spring headwaters. The Wakulla Springs State Park and Lodge is listed on the Natural Register of Historic Places and is designated as a National Natural Landmark. Located 14 miles south of Tallahassee on State Road 267 at the intersection with State Road 61.
Entrance and boat tour fees required.

11. Fanning Springs State Recreation and Conservation Area - (904) 488-3701
Fanning Springs, FL
--Manatees occasionally are present in Fanning Springs, particularly Big Fanning Spring.  They can be found at similar areas up and down the Suwannee River.

12. Manatee Springs State Park - (352) 493-6072
Chiefland, FL
--Manatees make frequent appearances around the mouth of the Manatee Springs run during the cooler winter months, and occasional appearances the rest of the year. Park entrance fee required.

13. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge - (321) 861-0667
Brevard County (Merritt Island), FL
merrittisland.fws.gov
--Manatees may be viewed from the platform on the Haulover Canal.

14. Manatee Observation and Education Center - (772) 466-1600, ext. 3333
Moore's Creek/Ft. Pierce, FL
--Manatees may be occasionally viewed from the Manatee Observation and Education Center at this site.

15. Lee County Manatee Park - (239) 694-3537
Orange River-FPL discharge canal, State Road 80, Ft. Myers, FL
--Visit the Lee County Manatee Park during the winter.  Manatees use the discharge canal as a warm water site. Volunteers available to answer questions.  Parking fee.

16. Spring Bayou/Craig Park
Beekman Lane
Tarpon Springs, FL
A small community park with a freshwater spring welcomes manatees from November through May.

17. Tampa Electric Company (TECO) - (813) 228-4289
Ruskin, FL
--TECO provides a visitor center, an overlook and walkway so that visitors can see the manatees directly over the discharge canal.  Winter viewing only.

18. Wakulla River and the St. Marks River - (850) 925-6412
St. Marks, FL
--Manatees may be seen by boat or canoe on these scenic rivers during the summer months.
Canoe rentals available.

Map

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