What's not to love about nature and wildlife? The adorable faces of animals as they enjoy the lush landscape and warm waters in sunshiney paradise is almost too cute for words — especially when it comes to manatees. Manatee viewing season starts tomorrow at this spot near Tampa & you can actually visit for free.

When the salty depths start to cool as winter rolls in, manatees migrate to Florida's southern waterways to stay warm & prevent themselves from contracting cold-related diseases. The simple biological nature of these big ocean babies is why we often see them gather at inland springs & near power plants.

This is why places like Tampa Electric's Big Bend Powerstation had their Unit 4's cooling discharge canal federally mandated as a manatee sanctuary, opening a viewing station for folks like us to enjoy these gentle giants up close. The best part? It's free to the public.

You can walk the boardwalk and cherish these vulnerable species that were once endangered. Thanks to strict regulations regarding viewing manatees in the wild they've been moved to the threatened list, with hopes that continued protection efforts like Tampa Electric's sanctuary will keep population levels on the rise.

Tampa Electric's Manatee Viewing Center will open for its 34th season starting tomorrow, November 1st, 2019. You can walk the boardwalk to view the flocking manatees as well as wander a beautiful nature trail.

You can even unlock your inner Steve Irwin at their stingray touch tank. Sometimes they even swim up to visitors for attention, like this particularly needy one.

The viewing center's hours will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily until April 15th, 2020. If you don't happen to see any manatee during your visit (they are free wild animals after all), there are still plenty of places to view manatees this winter. Check out 6 of the best Florida spots to see & swim with wild manatees.

If you're looking for more experiences with nature, this jungle-like state park near Orlando is actually inhabited by wild monkeys, you can hand-feed giraffes on this off-road safari in Tampa & this secret road will take you on a hidden wildlife ride in your car.

An overview of The Manatee Viewing Center's 34th season can be seen below.

The Manatee Viewing Center's 34th Season

Price: FREE

When: Nov. 1st, 2019 through Apr. 15th, 2020.

Address: 6990 Dickman Rd Apollo Beach, FL 33572

Why You Need To Go: A chance to admire manatee up close! Walk the boardwalk and see them swim in The Bay, soaking up the sunshine state's rays & enjoying our warm waters for the winter season. You can also walk on a beautiful nature trail & pet stingrays at the touch tank.


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.


There are stories everywhere! If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityUSA on Facebook and Instagram.


Comments are now closed.
Account Settings
Notifications
Favourites
Share Feedback
Log Out

Register this device to receive push notifications