Florida Travel: How to Swim With Manatees in Crystal River

Can't make it to Florida to see manatees in person? No problem. Check out this guide to four places where you can watch them via streaming camera.

By Kevin Mims

I kind of obsess about manatees and what they're up to. If you're the same, you might want to check out these webcams, where you can take your obsession to the next level.

Crystal River

Live river cams are posted at MacRae’s boat ramp on the beautiful Homosassa River, the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park's boardwalk and underwater observatory, and The Plantation on Crystal River Resort on Kings Bay in Crystal River. discovercrystalriverfl.com/live-river-cam.

Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center

TECO has two cams set up for viewing manatees, Nov. 1 to April 15. Links: MVC Cam East (webcameast) and MVC Cam West (webcamwest)

Florida Power and Light Riviera Beach

The most ideal manatee viewing opportunities at Manatee Lagoon occur when cooler temperatures are sustained over a period of two to three days with minimal cloud cover. visitmanateelagoon.com/manatee-cam

Save the Manatee Club Cam at Blue Spring State Park

This one's my favorite. There are always lots of manatees at Blue Spring when it's cold, plus the Save the Manatee Club posts plenty of additional info to go along with the feed. savethemanatee.org/savethemanateecam

Speaking of the Save the Manatee Club, these folks do some incredible work to help protect endangered Florida manatees and their habitat. Consider donating to the cause or joining the club.