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“Manatee Viewing Center”

Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center
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$160.00*
and up
Motorcycle Ride to Manatee Viewing Center
Ranked #5 of 198 things to do in Tampa
Certificate of Excellence
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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 young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed January 16, 2014

This is a great, fun, free attraction for the whole family. The volunteers are always friendly and will take the time to answer all of your questions about the manatees and the power plant. The best time to visit is when it is cool out, the cooler the weather the more manatees you see. You can also see a wide variety of fish and sharks, it seems that all of the local sea life loves the warm water! I live nearby and visit the center fairly often, I never tire of seeing these gentle giants. The facility is always clean and well kept and the staff does a great job !

Thank sheryljuhasz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,385 - 1,389 of 1,915 reviews

Reviewed January 15, 2014

Went on a cloudy day in December. Loads of manatees in the water, and very informative. But the best part were the many rays that were jumping out of the water. Fascinating. Also, husband thought he was catching a ray on camera, but ended up being a four or five foot shark jumping out of the water!

Thank helenann2k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2014

The day we went was absolutely perfect from a viewing perspective. The center had grown a lot since the last time I had been there, they added some nice grounds features and places to hang out and enjoy the center.

There were at least 70 manatee in the water while we were there, one even swam up under the dock center and let us have a nice view while others lazed around and others still would show their tail fins now and again.

The smell from the power plant is pretty horrid on some days, but not a lot you can do about that when it's the steam running next door. Definitely would recommend, especially on cooler days.

Thank Jennifer M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2014

The manatee viewing center provides a wonderful way to increase appreciation of these gentle creatures. As we approached the electric plant, I couldn't believe the number of cars that were parked in the lot and the road. Clearly, there's a lot of interest in seeing the manatees. Best of all, there is no charge to park or walk out on the pier.

At the time of our visit, the temperature of the inner harbor was 76 degrees while on the other side of the breakwater, it was 64. No wonder the manatees are attracted to the warm water near the electric plant. You probably aren't going to see an entire manatee but rather it's back, tail, or (with luck), it's face. At the time of our visit, there must have been 100 manatees at various points within the harbor. Additionally, visitors can see shore birds and a variety of fish.

From Tampa, the electric plant is easy to find - just head in the direction of the tall smoke stacks. In addition to the pier, there's a gift shop, a replica of a manatee, and settings for photos. A visit to the viewing center is enjoyable for young and old alike.

1  Thank Beatriz121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2014

Visited the TECO Manatee Viewing Center on a cool day (Jan 7) and there were hundreds of manatees! Awesome up close views from the boardwalk deck. Many volunteers around to answer questions. Great educational center. Reasonable prices at snack bar and gift shop.

1  Thank Terri E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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