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Manatee Park

Watch Florida’s most famous marine creature, the manatee, swim in its natural habitat at this non-captive park on the Orange River. 

Located on the Orange River, a small tributary of the Caloosahatchee River, Manatee Park is a serene getaway for both manatees and humans. Visit this park to see some of the state’s most famous creatures in a non-captive refuge. 

This 17-acre (7-hectare) park is a haven for large groups of manatees. During winter, the waters of the Gulf of Mexico get a bit too chilly for manatees. As a byproduct of power generation, Florida Power and Light pumps heated water into canals along the Orange River. This turns the canals into a manatee’s version of a hot tub; the creatures flock here to enjoy the warm water. 

Stop at one of the park’s many riverside vantage points to watch them leisurely swim around. At an average of 10 feet (3.05 meters) long and 1,000 pounds (453 kilograms) in weight, these gentle giants are special sights to see in their natural habitats. 

If you want to see the manatees on the river, put your canoe or kayak in at the park’s boat launch. You can find a boat to rent here. Throw your line into the water at the fishing pier; be sure you have a Florida fishing license. 

The park offers enough amenities to stay here for the entire day, if you wish. Enjoy lunch at one of the picnic tables or take a shady rest under the pavilion. Take younger members of your group to the playground. 

In addition to its manatees, the park is known for a brilliant butterfly garden. Stroll through the lovely demonstration landscape.  

The best times to view the manatees are between the months of November and March, when cooler Gulf of Mexico temperatures force the animals into the canal. During hot summers, many manatees seek refuge in cooler Gulf waters. They have no specific breeding season, so you have a good chance of seeing a manatee calf any month of the year.

The park is open year-round, every day until sunset. Except for a small parking fee, there is no entry fee. Visit the gift shop and visitors’ center on-site. 


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Lodging Near Manatee Park

See all 449 Properties near Manatee Park
WoodSpring Suites Fort Myers Northeast $50
Reviewed on May 17, 2019
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WoodSpring Suites Fort Myers Northeast

WoodSpring Suites Fort Myers Northeast

9701 Orange River Blvd, Fort Myers, FL
     
    2.6 of 5
    2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    It is nice seems clean Laundry room is convenient. Why are you forcing me to write a review when I’ve only been here a day...?

    Lovely and Comfortable Condo in Beautiful Gated Community of Verandah
    Reviewed on Apr 5, 2019
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    Lovely and Comfortable Condo in Beautiful Gated Community of Verandah

    Lovely and Comfortable Condo in Beautiful Gated Community of Verandah

    Fort Myers, Florida
       
      4.8 of 5
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      We loved our stay at the townhome, it was comfortable and well furnished. It felt like home. Verandah is a beautiful community with the walking/biking trails and area pool close by. We loved sitting on the patio and bird watching. The location was perfect, close to the grocery store and I-75. We ...

      Orange River Oasis - 3 Br Home
      Orange River Oasis - 3 Br Home

      Orange River Oasis - 3 Br Home

      4619 Little River Ln, Fort Myers, FL
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Fort Myers, this golf vacation home is 2.4 mi (3.8 km) from Manatee Park and within 6 mi (10 km) of Lee Civic Center and Burroughs Home. Imaginarium Hands - On Museum and Edison and Ford Winter Estates are also within 9 mi (15 km).

        Stunning Winter Oasis With Lake Views in Gorgeous Verandah Gated Community
        Reviewed on Apr 4, 2019
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        Stunning Winter Oasis With Lake Views in Gorgeous Verandah Gated Community

        Stunning Winter Oasis With Lake Views in Gorgeous Verandah Gated Community

        Fort Myers, Florida
           
          5.0 of 5
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          This was a perfect get-a-way from a typical Midwest winter. Everything was as stated with no unpleasant surprises and a few pleasant ones. Mark and Amy were responsive with any questions and a pleasure to work with.

          Three Bedroom 3 Bath Home With Sunset View of Lake and Golf Course
          Three Bedroom 3 Bath Home With Sunset View of Lake and Golf Course

          Three Bedroom 3 Bath Home With Sunset View of Lake and Golf Course

          Fort Myers, Florida
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Fort Myers, this vacation home is 1.5 mi (2.3 km) from Manatee Park and within 9 mi (15 km) of Imaginarium Hands - On Museum and Edison and Ford Winter Estates. Centennial Park and Lee Civic Center are also within 9 mi (15 km).

            Comfort Inn Fort Myers Northeast $76
            Reviewed on May 24, 2019
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            Comfort Inn Fort Myers Northeast

            Comfort Inn Fort Myers Northeast

            4171 Boatways Rd, Fort Myers, FL
               
              3.7 of 5
              2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Very pleasant front desk staff. My room was clean and comfortable. The television reception was exceptional. The breakfast room was spacious and clean. A good selection of food entrees.

              Waterfront Key West-style Secluded Home in North Fort Myers;
              Reviewed on Apr 2, 2019
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              Waterfront Key West-style Secluded Home in North Fort Myers;

              Waterfront Key West-style Secluded Home in North Fort Myers;

              North Fort Myers, Florida
                 
                4.8 of 5
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Me and a couple friends recently stayed here while in Florida for a friends wedding. The house was clean and cozy, ceiling fans in all the bed rooms, beds were comfortable, Convenient location close to I-75. Will definitely try to book again for future trips to the area.

                Private Cottage Getaway. Close to the Caloosahatchee River 1 Bedroom 1 Bath
                Reviewed on May 2, 2019
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                Private Cottage Getaway. Close to the Caloosahatchee River 1 Bedroom 1 Bath

                Private Cottage Getaway. Close to the Caloosahatchee River 1 Bedroom 1 Bath

                Fort Myers, Florida
                   
                  4.7 of 5
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Very nice and peaceful enviornment, property owner was very nice as well