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Manatee Park
Vacation Travel Guide

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.

Top things to do in Manatee Park

Top Hotels Close to Manatee Park

Lovely and Comfortable Condo in Beautiful Gated Community of Verandah
Lovely and Comfortable Condo in Beautiful Gated Community of Verandah
Fort Myers, FL
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Situated in Fort Myers, this vacation home is 1 mi (1.7 km) from Manatee Park and 2.7 mi (4.4 km) from Lee Civic Center. Edison and Ford Winter Estates and Hickey's ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (6 reviews)
Charming condo in a beautiful community

"We loved our stay at this Fort Myers condo in the Verandah community. The condo is immaculate, clean, and comfortable. We couldn't ask for more. John and Bridget were friendly, informative, and accessible. They couldn't have been nicer. They provided outdoor chairs and well-maintained bikes for our ..."…"

Reviewed on Apr 2, 2020

Lovely and Comfortable Condo in Beautiful Gated Community of Verandah
Orange River Oasis - 3 Br Home
Orange River Oasis - 3 Br Home
3.5 out of 5
4619 Little River Ln, Fort Myers, FL
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Located in Fort Myers, this family-friendly vacation home is 2.4 mi (3.8 km) from Manatee Park, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Burroughs Home and Lee Civic Center. ...

Orange River Oasis - 3 Br Home
WoodSpring Suites Fort Myers Northeast
WoodSpring Suites Fort Myers Northeast
2.5 out of 5
9701 Orange River Blvd, Fort Myers, FL
The price is $55 per night from Dec 5 to Dec 6

Situated near the airport, this hotel is 1.6 mi (2.6 km) from Manatee Park and within 6 mi (10 km) of Lee Civic Center and Burroughs Home. Florida Repertory ...

2.6/5 (508 reviews)

"It's affordable, clean, the employee's are cool.👍👍👍"…"

Reviewed on Sep 28, 2020

WoodSpring Suites Fort Myers Northeast
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Manatee Park Flight + Hotel Deals

The Westin Cape Coral Resort At Marina Village
The Boat House
Myerside Resort
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Best Lodging Options Near Manatee Park

Lovely and Comfortable Condo in Beautiful Gated Community of Verandah
Lovely and Comfortable Condo in Beautiful Gated Community of Verandah
Fort Myers, FL
Lovely and Comfortable Condo in Beautiful Gated Community of Verandah
Orange River Oasis - 3 Br Home
Orange River Oasis - 3 Br Home
3.5 out of 5
4619 Little River Ln, Fort Myers, FL
Orange River Oasis - 3 Br Home
WoodSpring Suites Fort Myers Northeast
WoodSpring Suites Fort Myers Northeast
2.5 out of 5
9701 Orange River Blvd, Fort Myers, FL
The price is $55 per night from Dec 5 to Dec 6
WoodSpring Suites Fort Myers Northeast
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, FL
Three Bedroom 3 Bath Home With Sunset View of Lake and Golf Course
Comfort Inn Fort Myers Northeast
Comfort Inn Fort Myers Northeast
2.5 out of 5
4171 Boatways Rd, Fort Myers, FL
The price is $71 per night from Dec 20 to Dec 21
Comfort Inn Fort Myers Northeast
Fantastic First Floor Condo in Verandah With 2 Golf Courses!
Fantastic First Floor Condo in Verandah With 2 Golf Courses!
Fort Myers, FL
Fantastic First Floor Condo in Verandah With 2 Golf Courses!
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, FL
Private Cottage Getaway. Close to the Caloosahatchee River 1 Bedroom 1 Bath
Quiet, Picturesque Living Close to Downtown Fort Myers
Quiet, Picturesque Living Close to Downtown Fort Myers
Fort Myers, FL
Quiet, Picturesque Living Close to Downtown Fort Myers
New! Verandah Club Resort Retreat w/ Pool Access!
New! Verandah Club Resort Retreat w/ Pool Access!
Fort Myers, FL
New! Verandah Club Resort Retreat w/ Pool Access!
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.