Swimming with Manatees
(Virginia Beach, VA, USA)
Mom and baby in the spring...How cute!
In Crystal River, Florida you can actually swim with the manatees in the wild. Who knew?
We heard about this adventure while visting Orlando. We had swum with the dolphins before at Discovery Cove but on this trip it was just way beyond our budget.
At a restaurant some people we were talking to mentioned a company in Crystal River called River Ventures. River Ventures conducts tours to snorkel and swim with the manatees and they do it at a very reasonable rate.
We are a family of 6 and we all were able to take the 3-hour tour for the same amount of money that Discovery Cove charges for one person to swim with the dolphins.
The nice thing about this adventure is that it takes place in the spring-fed bay, so it is all natural, not a swimming pool.
The manatees are wild, yet they are harmless and friendly. Our kids had a wonderful time and they say it was the best thing that they did while on vacation. I think so too.
If you can make it to Crystal River (about 1 1/2 hours from Disney), you should definitely take a day trip over to swim with the manatees you will not regret it.
Note from FloridaAdventuring: Wow! What a prize-winning photo!
Swimming with manatees, as this excellent article makes clear, can be a fun and rewarding activity.
All of us who love manatees will want to take great care, however, not to harass them. For more info on how to swim responsibly with manatees, please see the page on The Florida Manatee