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“Another site worth a second visit” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Manatee Park

Manatee Park
Ranked #8 of 111 things to do in Fort Myers
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Look for the West Indian manatee.
Level Contributor
69 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Another site worth a second visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2013

We had visited here last year and it was worth another trip. This time we saw a baby and mother manate swimming together. We heard the naturalist give a talk and show us soem interesting aspects of manatees. You only pay for parking so please share by giving a donation.

Visited February 2013
Thank Artist5320
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Manchester, NH
Level Contributor
123 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“No manatees today”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2013

The big negative was that there were no manatees when we went. As someone else commented, it would be nice if there was some notification via a website if there wasn't much chance to see a manatee. It is a long trip from Fort Meyers for nothing. It is inexpensive, but you get what you pay for. There were only two presentations, and the "ranger" was horrible. Small and cheesy gift shop. Big let down. If you get to see manatees, it will be worth the trip.

Visited February 2013
2 Thank NCHS80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
59 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Small attraction but fun especially for younger kids”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2013

My brother took us here and I'd never heard of it in my 14 years of visiting Ft. Myers! My 7-year-old really enjoyed it. There is no fee to get in, there is a small parking fee though. There are lots of labeled plants and other things to see but of course the main draw is the manatees, so I suppose your experience would really depend on whether or not there were any to see. We saw a few brief peeks of a few manatees near the FPL power plant, just briefly sticking their noses out and then going back under, but as we kept walking through the park, we arrived at a sort of inlet which was just LOADED with manatees, all mostly napping or resting or whatever manatees do! They apparently spend more time there when the Gulf water is colder than 68 degrees -- it was 62 degrees the day we visited so perhaps that is why they were so plentiful. My daughter really enjoyed seeing the baby manatee and there was a park worker handing out informational posters (my daughter has already decided this will be the basis of her upcoming non-fiction report for school). There was also a playground area with both a small and larger play structure, which most kids will enjoy. This is a fun thing to do if you've got an hour or two to spare.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank anniebob29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bonita Springs, Florida
Level Contributor
49 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“no manatees”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2013

You must go when the weather is cold. The manatees come to the warm water when it is cold. We went on a warm day and there were no manatees to be found. I have been there when it is cold outside and there were lots and lots of them. The park is very nice with walkways and picinic tables,kayake rentals and informative talks at certain times. Nice place to spend a cold afternoon.

Visited February 2013
Thank Carolyn240
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
158 reviews
71 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
“Fun and educational!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2013

This is a reliable park to see lots of manatees when the weather and water temperature is cold. Usually the best months are January and February and sometimes March and December. The small park is usually crowded then with visitors, but there are many points from the path by the water where it is easy to get a good view of the manatees. The Park (run by Lee County) has great educational signs about the manatees and often has interpreters there to interact with visitors and help answer questions about manatees. There is also a talk "All About Manatees" at 11am and 2pm each day from Nov. through March. Manatees gather there in cold weather to swim in the warm water emitted from the FPL power plant into the Orange River. The best time to visit is just after a cold front goes through the area, and morning is usually best. Also there are beautiful native plant gardens, a small gift shop, restrooms, and a fun playground for the kids. In addition a paddling concession is based there where you can launch your own or rent kayaks to paddle in the Orange River. The entrance/parking fee is $5 per vehicle, so very affordable. Plan to spend at least an hour there for just walking the trails and watching the manatees.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank Lifeisagr8adventure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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