Post Tagged with: "manatees"

Curious manatee at Manatee Park, Fort Myers, on the Orange River, Feb. 14, 2015

Manatee Park & the Orange River: Fort Myers kayak trail ideal for winter day

When it’s chilly, you can see dozens of manatees at this free park. Even without manatees, the Orange River is a beautiful kayak trail through Old Florida scenery.

January 2018 manatee festivals: Orange City and Crystal River

January 2018 manatee festivals: Orange City and Crystal River

Two large manatee festivals celebrate Florida’s beloved manatee every January – one in Orange City and one in Crystal River. These two locations are probably the best places in the state to see manatees well and in great numbers. First up: Jan. 13 and 14 in Crystal River.

Where to see manatees in Florida; best places to see manatees

Where to see manatees in Florida; best places to see manatees

If you’re lucky, you can see manatees in lots of waterways around Florida, but here are a few locations where, in winter, you can reliably admire these charming creatures — and even kayak with them.

Crystal River manatees: How to see, kayak or swim with manatees

Crystal River manatees: How to see, kayak or swim with manatees

The magic of manatees draws thousands to the Crystal River on the Gulf Coast each winter. Here’s a practical guide to manatee experiences in Three Sisters Springs and Kings Bay — kayaking with manatees, swimming with manatees or admiring them from a boardwalk.

Near the north end of the beach at Lovers Key State Park, Fort Myers Beach. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Lovers Key State Park: Great beach plus kayaking, manatees & birds

It’s not the best known destination in southwest Florida, but there are a lot reasons that make Lovers Key State Park so lovable: A 2.5 mile beach lined with natural vegetation that is perfect for beachcombing and bird watching, and mangrove-lined waterways that are draws for both manatees and kayakers.

Blue Spring State Park: Manatees in winter; swimming & tubing in summer

Blue Spring State Park: Manatees in winter; swimming & tubing in summer

The park is beautiful, and the paddling opportunities are numerous, but the campground is just fair. The spring is a great place to swim when you seek to escape the summer heat, but you can’t swim here in winter because its overrun by manatees seeking safe haven.