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“Awesome, if you go at the right time” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Manatee Park

Manatee Park
10901 State Road 80 (Palm Beach Blvd), Fort Myers, FL 33905
239 690 5030
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Ranked #10 of 101 things to do in Fort Myers
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: Viewing wildlife
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Attraction details
Owner description: Look for the West Indian manatee.
Severn, MD
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“Awesome, if you go at the right time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2010

Your enjoyment of this park will depend on when you go. You need to take 2 things into consideration:

Water Temperature
There is no food source for the manitees in this inlet. The manitees are drawn to the warm water created by the power plant if the bay water is too cold. If the bay waters are warm, then the manitees will actually avoid this park as it would be uncomfortably hot for them. Winter, during a cold spell, will attract over 250 manitees into this small area. During long cold spells, mother manitees will actually leave their babies with baby sitters in the inlet while they return to the bay to feed and replenish their milk. When we visited, it was 50 degrees in Florida and the park was filled with manitees. However, I understand that it typically is home to about 50 manitees at a time for most of the winter.

Time of Day
Viewing the manitees is hard if the sun is reflecting off the surface of the water and shining in your face. Therefore, you want the sun behind you. Visit in the morning or noon when the sun is overhead. As you get into the afternoon, it will be harder and harder to see them under the water.

When I visited, there were tons of manitees to watch and they were easy to view.

This park screams of value. It costs only $1 per hour to park. There are no other fees. Even if you do not see a single manitee, the park is interesting. The park is also home to many butterflies and interesting flora.

I highly recommend you bring a bag lunch and sit in one of the covered picnic tables.

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Baltimore, MD
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Something cool to do if it's chilly in the Fort Myers Area”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2010

A prolonged cold snap forced my husband and I to go to plan B and find some things to do in the Fort Myers area that were not beach related due to the cold. We heard from a number of sources that the excessive cold had forced an unusually large number of manatees into this canal which is located next to a power plant. Warm water is discharged into the canal and is a safe haven for the manatees.

We arrived about 2 PM and the parking lot was busy but not overly so. We paid the $5 for all day parking and took the short walk to the viewing area located above the canal. There were large numbers of manatee and we watched as they glided and floated in the water peacefully.

There was a docent present and he answered the many questions happily and provided alot of local information in regards to the manatee and their relationship with people. The interpretive signage was well done and informative and in all it was a pleasent afternoon. Bring lunch as there are many, many areas to sit and eat while watching these beautiful creatures.

The bathrooms were clean and adequately stocked and the gift store had a number of manatee themed items for sale.

There are MANY, MANY signs around the area advertising that theft is a problem there and to not leave valuables in your vehicle. Heed this warning. Other than that - have a great time.

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Sanibel Island, Florida
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“Great Place To View Manatees”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2009

Wonderful place to view manatees close up but you must go in January or February when it is cold in Florida. Manatees come to the park which is right next to the hydro electric plant which warms the waters. It is a small park with a playground and picnic benches but the manatees are the main attraction. The volunteers are very helpful and informative. Kayaking is a real treat. Conveniently located right off of 75 and the fruit and vegetable stands on State Route 80 offer fresh Florida produce.

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Fort Myers
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great! But don't leave imp stuff in your car.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2009

My family loved the park. The park and the staff are great. We saw the manatees. Don't leave valuables in the car. We got robbed today. Worst experience in the world! But it's kind of overwhelming to have a good time and then see your car broken and your impt info on you don't know who's hands. My kids are terrified! Hope the police can do something about it : (

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Ottawa, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Fantastic - lives up to its name”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2008

Manatee Park is quite simply one of the best kayaking experiences ever. Whether you are an avid kayaker or a novice, you have the opportunity to see wildlife in a way that you would never experience on the shore. Take a trip with kayak-excursions.com where you get the best equipment, the best service and a fantastic overall experience. The manatee are in abundance and worth the trip, wherever you are coming from

Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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