How to Swim With Manatees in Crystal River

By: Bob Giguere


Visit Florida Video Content

There's only one place in Florida where you can swim with the manatees in the winter, and that's Crystal River. Learn the manatee encounter rules and some tips on how to have the best manatee experience possible.


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Very informative , I am looking forward to my first time. Thanks
Somebody missed what it actually says in the Manatee Manners video. No where does it say it is ok to touch, must less pet a manatee. The video emphasizes passive observation. Petting a wild animal is not passive observation and is unethical if not illegal. You can know a species without taming it. A noted naturalist Edwin Way Teale, a contemporary if Rachael Carson said " Those who wish to pet and baby wild animals "love" them. But those who respect their natures and wish to let them live normal lives love them more.
I wish there was also an article option instead of a video only option because I can't watch this.
Hi Jade,
Thanks for reaching out.
Here’s an article, Five Great Places to see Florida Manatees, with a lot of pictures:
And here’s information from Citrus County (where Crystal River is located) on meeting manatees:
Sunny regards,
Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA
Can children ages eight and eleven swim with the manatees, with their parents??
Very helpful information! This looks like such a fun excursion that I thought it would be worthwhile to mention in my article about Florida's best paddling and outdoor adventures. I made sure to include this page for further information to readers. You can view the article here:
I think folks should love and appreciate these wonderful, magnificent creatures from a distance. I first encountered one in Key West at a boat dock while I was just sauntering around. I instantly fell in love and sat there for almost two hours talking to my new friend. He would surface and snort, raise and lower as I baby talked him. It was a connection on another level that can only come from nature. I will never forget that wonderful memory and hope everyone can respect these animals. Enjoy them but let them be..