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“Long way to travel to see manatees” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center

Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center
6990 Dickman Rd, Tampa, FL 33572
813-228-4289
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Ranked #10 of 92 Attractions in Tampa
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas
Activities: Viewing wildlife
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Visitors come to this warm water viewing center to see manatees, an endangered species of marine mammals.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Tampa, Florida
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
110 helpful votes 110 helpful votes
“Long way to travel to see manatees”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

I will start with the fact I've lived in Florida for much of my life and have seen manatees in the wild many times. They are facinating, adorable creatures. For those of you who haven't seen them in the wild and don't want to go to the Lowry Park Zoo (where they have a great manatee exhibit and hospital), the Teco Viewing Center is an alternative.

The best part of the attraction is that it is free (thank you Teco). However, you have to time your visit to when it is cold. And don't base your decision to go entirely on the web-cams at the Teco website, because those cameras are not very close to the boardwalks that people are allowed on. We went toward the later part of the season. There were lots of manatees on the webcam, but when we got to the boardwalks all you saw was manatees breaking the surface of the water almost a full football field away. None were close to the boardwalk. This was a bit disappointing to drive as far as we did from North Tampa to see very little.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Athens, Georgia
Top Contributor
138 reviews 138 reviews
44 attraction reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“This place is one of a kind, totally worth the stop”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

Having never seen manatees in the wild before this place was amazing and nearly unbelievable. We saw 6 up close and 30-40 farther away. We were mesmerized and watched for nearly an hour. GO HERE when in Tampa

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Manatees & More”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

This is a wonderful experience and it's free! Once you get over the fact that you are in the shadow of the power station (which let's face it is why the manatees & other wildlife are there seeking warm water) there is a rich variety of wildlife. On our visit in early April 2013 (the end of the season) we saw 10+ manatees, stingray, small sharks, tarpon, fiddler crabs and many other fish. The site is great with a pier, raised viewing platforms, flower garden displays, plenty of car parking, exhibition area, several toilets, a small snack bar (we enjoyed corn dogs & nachos) and a manatee gift shop. We found it was a great place for a 1-2 hour stop if passing the Tampa area or a filler at the beginning or end of the day exploring the Tampa Bay area.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City
Top Contributor
131 reviews 131 reviews
29 attraction reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“CLOSED APRIL 15th - Nov”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

Closed now look at the website for details. Outdoor area is open but not the indoor facilities. Will not see manatees when weather is warm like it is now.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greensboro, NC
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Manatees galore when the weather is chilly”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

We visited on a chilly day in early March - approximately 43F before the wind chill. It was uncomfortable for the visitors but the manatees were lounging in the water by the hundreds! It is hard to do them justice in a photograph but it's worth a visit to check it out. We didn't expect much of a crowd on a Sunday morning but the place was packed. Parking is limited so be prepared for some parking lot circuits or be prepared to park out along the wide street. The visitor center is interesting but many of the activities were for smaller kids. However there are some interesting exhibits for adults as well. The place is off the beaten path since it's besides a big power plant but worth the trip. Our GPS got confused once heading south from I-275/I-4 but corrected itself once past the big IKEA store. Also - check out the online web cam so you can see if the manatees are in residence.

Visited March 2013
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