Want to see manatees? You’re in for a treat at the beloved Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach. It’s a favorite Tampa Bay Area Day Trip option for families.
A place where industry and ecology intersect, the Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center is a top location to spot Manatees on cold—cold meaning Gulf waters are 68 degrees or cooler (this is Tampa Bay, after all) days. The Viewing Center sits in the shadow of the TECO power plant where visitors can capture a view of manatees and baby manatees in the warm water. This unique manatee haven provides visitors the chance to get a look at non-captive wildlife.
When gulf waters cool, the manatee’s lounge in the warm, clean water from the discharge canal of the power plant. Open November 1 through April 15, this official state of Florida manatee sanctuary helps visitors enjoy the many manatees converging on the Big Bend Power Station. Best of all, it is free to visit and there is free parking available. It is also wheelchair accessible on the boardwalk.
Hours: Open Nov. 1 through April 15
Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.