Get nose to nose with a gentle giant: This will be one of the
fondest adventures you'll ever experience!
Floating in the shallow, clear waters of the Crystal River in Citrus County,Florida, You will be face to fuzzy muzzle with a 500-pound beast that looks like the result of an illicit act between the Pillsbury Dough Boy and an oversized basset hound. The curious creature, will regard you with expressive black eyes as he propels his rolls of cuddly, algae-covered blubber towards you with two stubby gray paddles. As you gurgle through your snorkel while this giant greets you, rubbing his undulating, elephant like hide beneath your outstretched hands, your thoughts will only be to exclaim..."WOW!
When the winter wind blows, manatees seek shelter in warm-water sanctuaries like King's Bay. These slow-moving marine mammals look huge, but don't worry, they are among the gentlest members of the animal kingdom. After decades of human contact, the harmless vegetarians have grown accustomed to people. But before you swim with the sirenians, learn a few things about their behavior. Manatees spend most of their time eating, sleeping and moving from one patch of weeds to the next. Like people, they have personalities. Some like humans, others don't. Be aware of this. If a manatee swims away, don't chase it. Use snorkel gear. Leave your scuba tanks at home, because air bubbles frighten manatees. If possible, wear a wet suit. You'll be more comfortable, hence more patient. You are more likely to have a pleasant encounter with a manatee if you don't rush it.
Give the manatee some space. If one does approach and you feel the urge to pet it, do so with an open hand. Don't grab it or hold it. Don't feed the manatees. There is plenty of hydrilla and other vegetation to satisfy their hunger. Don't separate a calf from its mother, or an individual from the herd.
Several dive shops in the Crystal River area offer organized manatee viewing trips. You can swim with the manatees on your own, but a guide is helpful if you are new to the area or uncomfortable in the water.
Get Wet with the Dolphins!
Swim With Dolphins
Watching a pod of dolphins cruise along just offshore is exciting, but actually swimming with them ranks high on the list of unforgettable moments. Dolphin encounters at Gulf World Marine Park in Panama City Beach put you in the water with its most popular residents.
If you want an even more in-depth experience, sign up to become a trainer for a day, shadowing real trainers, feeding the animals, and even joining in the Dolphin Show; (850) 234-5271. Marineland of Florida, south of St. Augustine, also offers Dolphin Encounters; (904) 460-1275 or 1-888-279-9194.
One of the most popular dolphin experiences waits at Discovery Cove, adjacent to SeaWorld Adventure Park Orlando. Before entering the water, you learn the hand signals that urge the 300- to 650-pound mammals to jump, chase a rubber toy, and wave a flipper. Reserve a spot in the new "Trainer for a Day" program, and you can work alongside animal experts and interact with dolphins and other creatures; toll free 1-877-434-7268 or www.discoverycove.com.
Swimming with the manatees is one of the most memorable and unique experiences you will ever have. This gentle giant will warm your heart and you'll come away with an understanding of the need to protect this loveable mammal.
Sunshine River Tours
Manatee Tours 10330 West Yulee Dr
Homosassa, Florida 34448
Toll Free 1-866-MILLSAP
Sunshine River Tours invites you to come Swim with the Manatees during the summer in the Crystal River and in the winter in the Homosassa River along the Nature Coast of West Central Florida. Manatees abound in our 72 degree (year around) spring fed waters. Get close to these gentle creatures and they may roll over and allow you to scratch their belly.
The Crystal River Florida manatee and dive tour like all of our guided tours, is a safe for all from the experienced diver to the willing non-swimmer. Our highly trained Dive master and Instructors will not only guide you to the best locations for viewing the manatees on your manatee tour, but also help you to interact with them in a manner that is safe and fun for both you and the Florida Manatees. The dive master will also videotape both the manatee snorkel and the Crystal River Florida dive portions of your manatee tours.
Start the morning snorkeling with the curious and playful manatees in the 72 degree Crystal River Florida springs. These wonderful, gentle giants, the Florida Manatee, come up to the surface during the tour for a friendly petting and even an occasional belly rub. After enjoying the incredible experience with the manatee, Snorkel in the King spring, the Main head spring of the Crystal River Florida, or enjoy the optional scuba dive into 30 ft. of open water at the Kings Spring to top off your manatee tour. An abundance of fish hang outside the entrance of the King spring cavern where the divers proceed on the adventure with the dive master into an open cavern that has fish, crabs, fossils and the maximum depth is 50'. A great adventure that is safe and fun even for the novice right here in Crystal River Florida.
If Scuba Diving is your favorite, Crystal River Manatee Tour & Dive offers a variety of dive trips for the beginner to the most seasoned diver! From scuba diving the numerous 72-degree flowing springs in the Crystal River headwaters to offshore dives in the tropical waters of the Gulf of Mexico Nature Coast, we offer it all! To those of you that desire the feel of catching the "Big" one, whether by hook & line or spear fishing (offshore), we offer deep sea, inshore, and bay trips.
Life is an adventure. Don't miss this one. Swim with the Manatees in the pristine, clear waters of the Crystal River on the Nature Coast of Florida. This area, along with Homosassa, is home to the largest concentration of manatees in the world. It is not necessary to be an experienced diver to enjoy swimming with the manatees.
Experience the magic of the Key West wild bottled-nosed dolphins!
Captain Sheri Sullenger will guide your journey through the sparkling waters of Key West. On your adventure experience the natural wonders of our coral reefs, back country mangrove habitat, diverse bird populations, and local marine life-- including of course the resident dolphins. Enjoy an opportunity to learn about the social behavior, physiology, healing and spiritual aspects of the dolphins. Witness the behavior of these incredible mammals in their own habitat. Snorkel and swim in the waters of the dolphin playground.
Swim with the Dolphins in an Up front and personal dolphin experience. A One on One Swim with curious Bottle Nose dolphins. In this swim, contact is guaranteed with the dolphins. It is not a snorkeling program, and participants should be good swimmers and comfortable in deep water over their heads.
A wild dolphin watching ecology tour and swimming snorkeling trip to Key West Florida's beautiful shallow water back country and Gulf of Mexico coral reefs. Watch Key West Florida's resident pod of wild Atlantic Bottle-nosed Dolphins in their natural habitat on your tour aboard the CORAL REEFER, a fast twin engine 28' custom built boat.
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MOSI - Museum of Science and Industry
What is MOSI?
"2009 Winner of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service!"
MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry) is the largest science center in the south, and home to Florida’s only IMAX® Dome Theatre. The globally recognized IMAX® brand stands for the world's most important and successful theatrical platforms for major event Hollywood films, with IMAX theatres delivering the world's best movie presentations.
THE "NEW" SAUNDERS PLANETARIUM:
The Saunders Planetarium now features a new projection dome and a state-of-the-art star projector—the GOTO Space Simulator Chronos projection system—capable of recreating the night sky from any time in less than 20 seconds from the past, present, and future from anywhere on the planet! In addition, the new interactive planetarium is capable of playing movies, ultra 3D graphics and live videos from NASA.
MINDBENDER MANSION: - "Think Outside the Box With MOSI's New Exhibit!"
Mindbender Mansion is an exhibit full of brain teasers and interactive challenges guaranteed to test the brainpower and problem-solving skills of even the most experienced puzzlers! Join the Mindbender Society by gathering hidden clues and secret passwords scattered throughout the mansion. Clues and passwords are revealed by solving select brainteasers and group challenges.
MOSI’s newest permanent exhibition, Disasterville featuring Bay News 9 WeatherQuest, combines education and interactive fun on the remarkable science behind natural disasters. Located in the 2nd floor exhibit gallery, the 10,000 square foot exhibition will immerse you in nine disaster genres that occur within the U.S. and throughout the world!
THE AMAZING YOU:
The Amazing You is a state-of-the-art, 13,000-square-foot exhibition about health and wellness of each developmental life stage. In this informative, educational, and interactive exhibition, guests will have the opportunity to explore the intricate world of the human body. Within each developmental life stage, guests will explore what’s amazing about each stage, identify developmental milestones, and learn what it takes to stay healthy at each stage and how to return to wellness, Guests will learn about medical conditions and diseases including which are most prevalent during each developmental stage of life.
MOSI also includes "KIDS IN CHARGE! " The newest and largest children’s science center in the nation.
THE MOSI CAFE:
The MOSI Cafe is a great oasis and fun place to eat for the whole family! Take a break during your visit and enjoy terrific family favorites or our amazing Daily Chef's Special. Fridays are seafood day - a treat you don't want to miss with creations by Tampa's own Chef John Sellers of Chef Images. Making a visit to the The MOSI Cafe is a perfect recipe for lunch or a snack.
CATERING & FACILITY RENTAL:
Download Facility RentalMOSI, The Museum of Science & Industry, will make a dramatic impact with your guests. Visualize their arrival and seeing their reception under our dinosaurs, a sit down dinner in Our Florida Exhibit, or a soda bar set up in our 50s diner.
Whether you are hosting a social gala or a corporate event, MOSI will make your experience a memorable one!
For more information, contact our Special Events department at (813) 987-6065.
Tampa Bay Automobile Museum
The Tampa Bay Automobile Museum features a unique collection of vintage vehicles, including pioneering front wheel drive and rear engine cars from the 1920's and 1930's. Each vehicle was chosen based on the engineering achievements that made it an important part of the evolution of the automobile, setting the standards for the engineering of automobiles today. Visitors enjoy a provocative blend of art and science in 12,000 square feet of gallery space.
The history of the automobile is one of the greatest showcases of man’s
creativity and imagination. The collection of the Tampa Bay Automobile
Museum in the Tampa Bay area of the west central coast of Florida is
perhaps one of the most succinct statements of that premise to be seen
anywhere. Housed in the museum galleries are many of the finest early
approaches to aerodynamic shapes and packaging, front wheel drive and
rear engine-rear drive engineering, unibody construction, pioneering
uses of materials like cast aluminum, pressed steel and more.
The collection additionally presents the concept
and history of shared technology and trade in the early twentieth
century through the presence of the Tracta
front drive system on a variety of makes, Daimler’s sleeve valve engine
driving a variety of European and American cars and the American Budd
Corporation’s patented pressed steel methods appearing on both sides of
If you are a Vintage Car buff, this will be a thrill of a lifetime...
What are the museum hours?
We are open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, Wednesday through Saturday
Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday
Closed Tuesday and holidays.