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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Swimming with manatees in Crystal River!

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I took our kids on a weekend trip to Crystal River, Florida.  Crystal River is located about 3.5 hours north of Fort Myers and about 1.5 hours from Orlando.  It was kind of a last minute idea because our other plans fell through, so needless to say we were pretty unprepared for the weekend ahead.  No need to worry though, once you're there you can pretty much figure everything out. We arrived on a Friday night and on Saturday we spent the day exploring the Homosassa state park, which in all honesty is pretty much a zoo if you ask me, or a "wild life refuge" as they call it.  I'm not a big fan of zoos (read: hate them) so that was a bit of wasted time right there.  But then on Sunday we went on a boat tour to swim with manatees.  We didn't need to book far in advance, we just called up the place and made reservations.  We went with Manatee Tour and Dive and they were very competent and friendly and we truly had a great time.  Unfortunately October is not the best time to go (which we didn't know before hand) because the manatees are still out swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, it's not until farther into the winter that they retreat into the springs of Crystal river, where the water is a constant 72 degrees (22 C).  We still got to swim with a few manatees and we also got to explore the Three Sister's Spring, which was an amazing experience.
Our kids are 9, 7 and 2 and my daughters had a great time and really enjoyed snorkeling.  My 2 year old kind of just tagged along but he was pretty happy too :).

We definitely want to go back again.  We much prefer these kinds of outings to standing in line at Disney world...

Here are some pictures from the trip.


  1. Great pictures! Though my kids have been asking to return to those lines at Disney, your trip looks like a fun, active time! Thanks for sharing the pictures!

    1. Thank you!! My kids love Disney too of course. We didn't give them a choice for this trip and after having had this experience I'd be curious to see which one they would pick. I'm sure we'll be back in the Dumbo line before long though :)

  2. Kul Åsa. Vad duktiga tjejerna är på att simma. Ni får väl åka tillbaka i vinter och pröva igen.