Cold Comfort: Winter Is the Perfect Time to Swim with the Manatees

By: Dalia Colon


While folks up North are packing up their Speedos for the winter, we Floridians keep our swimsuits handy year-round.

Not only is winter is a pleasant time to swim, it’s actually the best time to rub elbows with manatees. That’s because when the temperature drops, the so-called “sea cows” gather around the perennially warm springs around Crystal River. If you’re ready to dive into some cool-weather fun, consider these offers from Plantation on Crystal River resort.

Starting at $224 for two people, the Swim with the Manatees package includes:

  • One night’s accommodations in a garden view room

  • Manatee snorkeling tour for two with mask, snorkel, fins and wetsuit included

  • Breakfast for two at West 82° Bar and Grill

  • Welcome bag with plush manatee toy, fun facts and manatee interaction guidelines

If you and your companion are getting along swimmingly, consider staying an extra night to take advantage of the Swim and Dive package. Starting at $448 for two people, the package includes:

  • Everything in the Swim with the Manatees package

  • Addition night’s accommodations

  • Guided tour of Rainbow River

Manatee tours are available year-round, but your best chance of interacting with the gentle giants is between Oct. 1 and March 31. To book, call 800-632-6262 or visit

And for a preview of what to expect, check out photos of my BFF and me taking our first swim with the manatees last winter.

Sponsored listings by VISIT FLORIDA Partners

More By dalia colon


You are signed in as:null
No comments yet