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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Tropical Island Getaway-Dolphin Watch
Half Day Eco Cruise featuring dolphin watch, snorkeling, shelling, sightseeing at the old Spanish Fort on Egmont Key or Shell Key. Dolphins jump and play behind the mono-hull boat - collect shells that washed on shore on the secluded palm tree lined beaches, snorkeling over the ruins, take pictures of this tropical island getaway - and visit our website to see more at www.tropical-island-getaway.com or Call 727-345-4500 for more details. This is a great trip while you're in town visiting St Petersburg, Tampa Bay, Clearwater, Sarasota, Anna Maria Island, Orlando, etc.
Plaza Beach Hotel- Beachfront Resort
Your search for the perfect beachfront vacation is over...
THE PLAZA BEACH HOTEL- BEACHFRONT RESORT is directly on the Gulf of Mexico in St Pete Beach.This exclusive boutique resort offers a private beach, large heated pool, rooms with full kitchens, 32”television with DVD, private balconies, high-speed Internet access, laundry facilities, business center, cabanas and daily housekeeping.Approved by "Superior Small Lodging" and "AAA" and designated as a "Green Lodging Property" by the State of Florida.The Plaza Beach is within walking distance to shops and restaurants; centrally located on the beach.This exquisite property is a family owned and operated property since 1988.
Our resort is a member of Superior Small Lodging and is AAA approved offering a large heated swimming pool, shuffleboard, barbeque grill, mini-golf, foosball and more. We are a 39 unit family owned and operated property since 1988. Come experience the warm sun and white sandy beaches, soothing Gulf breezes, unlimited recreation and great location with awide range of dining, entertainment, shopping and sightseeing options, all within walking distance.
With this in mind, if there is anything that we can do to make your visit more memorable and enjoyable, please don't hesitate to contact us...
Read what some of our friends who have stayed with us have to say...Here!