Discover Crystal River, Florida on this week’s Making the Magic podcast. Amanda and Martin chat with local expert Terry.
Nowhere else will you find more manatees in winter months than in this part of Florida, Homosassa, and the waters of Citrus County.
Crystal River is the only place in the United States where you can legally swim with manatees. Their local tour guides are trained to make sure we treat this beloved, threatened species with the utmost care and respect. They will ensure that everyone on their tour are practising their best “Manatee Manners.”
There are options for everyone to see manatees in their natural environment, from swimming with manatees to kayaking and stand up paddleboarding, to visiting the incredible boardwalks at Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River and the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park in Homosassa.
Learn all about Manatees in Crystal River
Manatees are mammals, like walruses and seals, which they most closely resemble in shape, but they are not related. In fact, the manatees closest living relative is… the elephant! They have very thick skin, sometimes over an inch thick, and even have three to four toenails, like the elephant. The manatee snout is a shrunken version of the elephant’s trunk. The use their prehensile lips to grasp and pull food into their mouths similar to the way elephants use their trunks.
Most manatees live 30 to 40 years. Not Snooty. He was the oldest known manatee when he died in July 2017 at age 69. He lived most of his life in captivity, which may explain his extraordinarily long life, since he was safe from boat strikes in the South Florida Museum.
Both of us can’t wait to visit Florida to swim with Manatees ourselves.