Swim with manatees in Crystal River, Fl.

Do you have a travel bucket list?

Me too.

Swimming with manatees was something I’d always wanted to do!

This year, I went back for a second time to swim with the manatees and it was my best experience yet.

Watch my video of our experience in Crystal River, Fl:

If you’ve never really heard about it before, here’s what you need to know if you want to cross this off your bucket list too.

Go in the winter.

Despite being huge, manatees actually have very little body fat. That means they can’t survive long in cold water. In the wintertime, manatees in the gulf swim toward springs that stay warm year round. If you go at the right time, you can see hundreds of manatees at once.

3 sistersHundreds of manatees in 3 Sisters Spring

Manatees love humans.

Some people asked me if I was scared to get in the water next to something that weighed hundreds of pounds more than me.

manatee n meBaby manatee giving me a kiss

The first time I went, I was pretty nervous. But it doesn’t take long to realize that most manatees actually love people. If you float in the water near a group of manatees, usually one or two will approach you. They’re extremely friendly, gentle, and curious!

Learn about manatees while you’re there.

This town revolves around manatees. You can take a shuttle from the city hall to the Three Sisters Spring Park to walk on the boardwalk and watch the manatees swim into the spring. You can also drive about 20 minutes to Homosassa Wildlife State Park and see how they rehabilitate manatees that are injured.

Have you ever had an animal encounter like this one? Let me know in the comments!

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