Last Updated on March 31, 2024

Kayaking with manatees in Florida is an awesome experience. Known as sea cows, manatees are friendly and curious, and they love to play in the water.

Kayaking with them is the perfect way to get up close and personal with these amazing creatures.

These gentle giants will make you feel right at home in their watery world, and you’ll create great memories.

So get out there and explore the amazing world of kayaking with manatees in Florida!  Located in Florida’s shallow coastal waters, springs, and rivers, here are 10 great places to go kayaking with manatees.

There are many springs, rivers, and coastal shallow waters in Florida to see manatees right in their habitat

Overall, your best choice for an amazing manatee kayak tour in Florida is the Clear Kayak Tour of Crystal River.

Get the chance to witness amazing manatees and wildlife as you paddle beneath the majestic waters of Crystal River in Florida.

Also, please check out the other 9 places in Florida below where you can see manatees through kayaking.

Due to its large manatee population, Crystal River, Florida is one of the best places in the world to go kayaking with manatees.

These sea mammals are a delight to see up close, and kayaking is the best way to do it.

At just 90 minutes from both Orlando and Tampa, Crystal River is an optimal Florida location and has ideal temperatures for manatees at just above 70 degrees year-round.

Hundreds of manatees migrate here from the Gulf in the cooler months to the spring’s warm water temperatures.

King’s Bay and Three Sisters Springs are popular sites to explore while at Crystal River.

If you’re looking for a fun and unique experience, come kayaking with manatees in these clear blue waters.

Not only is this a great kayaking spot, but you can also swim with manatees here.

Most places do not allow you to swim with manatees since they’re endangered and protected, but at Crystal River, you are legally allowed to.  (It’s estimated that there are around 5,000 to 6,500 manatees in the wild).

This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity that you don’t want to miss out on.

The crystal clear water and lush vegetation make for a picturesque backdrop as you explore this natural wonder.





Located next to Sarasota, Florida, Longboat Key and Anna Maria Island are perfect destinations to go kayaking with manatees and see other wildlife, such as dolphins, crabs, and sea horses.

We booked a guided kayaking tour through Happy Paddlers, but you can also rent kayaks and they offer lessons to beginners.

If you’re looking for more options on the water, they have sunset or manatee kayak tours, and kayak fishing charters, as well.

The amazing local guides here are really knowledgeable.

Our guide took our group through the calm, shallow waters and around the area islands, past the Longboat Pass Bridge, which is between Longboat Key and Anna Maria Island.

While at Longboat Pass Bridge, you can get out and go swimming or just take a stroll on the beach.

The cool thing about this area is that it’s where the Gulf and the Bay intersect, making it a popular area for manatees and wildlife.

Kayaking with manatees in Florida is an unforgettable experience!




Located near Orange City, between Orlando and Daytona Beach, Blue Springs State Park is a kayaker’s paradise.

With crystal clear water and an average temperature of 72 degrees, the park offers visitors the opportunity to view manatees in their natural environment.

The optimal time to visit Blue Spring is November 15 to March 15.

There have been close to 700 manatees documented here in the winter months. You may even see eagles, ospreys, or other wildlife while here.

The St. Johns River flows through the park, making it a popular spot for paddling, fishing, swimming, and snorkeling.

Blue Spring State Park also offers hiking and camping.

Whether you’re an experienced kayaker or just looking to get out on the water for a few hours, Blue Spring State Park is definitely worth a visit.

If you kayak with manatees in this beautiful Florida park, you won’t be disappointed.






Manatee Springs is located in Chiefland, Florida and is known for kayaking and scuba diving



Manatee Park in Fort Myers is one of the top spots in Florida for kayaking



Northwest of Orlando is beautiful Homosassa Springs State Park and it's a great place to get out on the water in a kayak



Merritt Island is just north of Cocoa Beach and is a great spot to kayak with manatees



Wakulla Springs is located in Northwest Florida and is a popular place to see West Indian Manatees







Kayaking with manatees in Florida is an amazing experience that everyone should have at least once in their lifetime.

These gentle giants are so friendly and curious, and kayaking gives you a great opportunity to get up close with them in their environment.

Just be sure to follow the guidelines set by the park and kayak rentals and respect the manatees’ space, and you’re sure to have a wonderful time!


Also, check out these 10 Best Clear Kayaking Tours In Florida post! 👈



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