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
It is a beautiful little park, and manatees were seen, though few in numbers and difficult to spot in the murky water. Our kayak experience was very good, with great scenery, birds and turtles. Worth.... more »
Got see many manatees of all different sizes. The water was clear enough we could see baby ones swimming along side their huge mothers. Really enjoyed the whole experience. One note: the manatees.... more »
This is the spot to see plenty of manatee. But beware it is only full of manatees when it gets cold . If it’s warm there will be no manatees at all. Easy access and parking more »
I was surprised at both how nice and big this park is! It really is nice. Grounds are well kept. Walking trails throughout. Nice spots along the water with benches to sit and watch for the manatees. We didn't see any manatees the day we went but we did see a rather large snake that was in the fence that ran along the water. So be on the lookout! There is a gift shop on site. You can rent kayaks. There are restrooms. You do have to pay for parking. There are not very many spaces if there was to he an event here? Parking is paid at a machine. It was $2 an hour and I think, but am not certain, $5 for the day. We didn't care to pay for the parking as the park is so nice. We would come here more often if we lived closer.
While you do have to pay to park, it is a very cute and fun place to go. I saw 4 manatees when i was there last. Try to go on a day where it hasn't rained much previously so the water is as clear as can be. It is a great place to walk around and enjoy the outdoors weather manatees are there or not.
I went to the park in the hope of seeing my first Manatee and wasn't disappointed. The canal was full of manatees so instead of seeing my first one my first sighting was of about 10 Manatees together. As we walked up the path along the canal we realised these 10 were just a few of many, the canal was filled with them. The manatees were my main reason for visiting the park but the park itself made for a pleasant walk with Ospreys flying overhead and plenty of other birds and butterflies around. There was lots of information about the manatees. And the shop, although small, sold some very nice Manatee related items.
Well to be honest we went there at off peak times which we knew we were taking a chance on not seeing any manatees. We didn't think it'd be entirely abandoned. The only creature we saw were geckos and a few butterflies. Everything else was abandoned. Will have to be a place we visit in the wintertime but it seemed like it would've been cool to see the manatees and crocodiles. With the water at 90° I don't blame them for being further north!
Very beautiful, visually, especially if you love nature. Very stinky though because of rotting vegetation in the water; probably because of the time of year. We only went once because it's a long drive from home. My girlfriend and I check-out the various parks and preserves in southwest Florida that we hear and read about.
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