Manatee Park, Fort Myers

4.2
#4 of 17 in Parks in Fort Myers
When the waters of the gulf are cold, generally from November until March, Manatee Park serves as a refuge for manatees. You can observe the large animals, take photos, and join free guided group activities. The park consists of a canal where kayaking and canoeing are popular. (Visit the gift shop for info on renting a kayak.) You'll also find a butterfly garden, an amphitheater, and a picnic area with additional amenities. The complex is open year-round. Find educational materials at the visitor center, and check out the gift shop's books and gifts. Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Fort Myers using our trip planner.
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Manatee Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
1,746 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • We attended the free 11 am program about manatees. The program was interesting and fun with many props and pictures shared and passed around those attending. We didn't see any manatees as the Gulf of ...  more »
  • This is a nice park for walking and seeing manatees. We did not see as many as we thought we would but we learned from a volunteer there that the best time to see many manatees is on a cool, sunny day...  more »
  • They are there but like the whale watching you will see a few snouts, a tail here and there, and a portion of the body just above the water. Be sure to take in the Manatee talk which takes place mid m...  more »
Google
  • Loved our trip to Manatee Park! We rented to single kayaks for about two and a half hours on a weekday morning. There was hardly anyone else on the water which made it really relaxing. Too warm to see manatees but saw lots of birds and turtles as well as a gator! The staff was friendly but two people stood out in particular - first, the man who was running the boat launch (he was nice, great personality, and advised us to paddle upriver for better wildlife opportunities) and the lady who cashed us out at the end of our trip (instead of charging us for the 2.5 hours we were actually out, she advised us to report it as 3 hours to get the special 3-hour discount which actually made it cheaper!). Will return another time to try and spot some manatees.
  • Would have been better if there were any manatees! This park exists due to the power generating plant next door. It produces warm water which the manatees enjoy when the gulf waters cool. We were there during an unreasonable warm spell and all the manatees moved away. Nice little spot though. We rented a canoe to go searching and it was a nice ride regardless. No fees to go, other than parking.
  • World-class viewing area. Active volunteers around on busy days to answer questions about manatees, etc. Attractive Butterfly garden, often with Butterflies. Nice gift shop. Reasonable parking. Interesting nature trails ( short, 10 minutes, not for hiking). Enjoyed a nice 1-2 hours here several times a year. Playground. Take a picture with Hugh manatee statue.
  • On a chilly day this place is awesome. It's so fun to see all the manatees cuddling together. If it is a warm day there will not be many manatees but it is a nice park and walking path with plants labeled. There is a nice playground for kids.
  • Visited on a cool early morning. There were an incredible amount of manatees in the water. Spent an hour just watching the manatees lounge around enjoying the warm water. When the temperature warmed the manatees began exiting the area to swim down the river. A definite must!
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