Do you want to swim with manatees during your Florida vacation?

A beautiful Florida manatee resting

A beautiful Florida manatee resting

Do you want to swim with manatees during your Florida vacation?

Do you want to swim with manatees during your Florida vacation?

Get up close and personal to the gentle creatures!

Get up close and personal to the gentle creatures!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you want to swim with manatees during your stay in Florida?

Have you ever gotten up close and personal with a manatee? Well here is your chance! I have lived in Sarasota, FL for many years now and have always been telling people about the gentle, sea cows, but have never had the opportunity to go and swim with them.
We recently took the short drive up to Crystal River, FL and rented our own pontoon boat to go and explore the warm springs where the manatees had their own sanctuaries. It is about a 2.5 hr drive North up 75 for the trip, but is soooo worth it! Make sure to get your snorkel gear, wear a wetsuit and get your underwater camera! The springs are a little chilly for us humans, but they are the perfect temperature for the manatees while the gulf is heating up with the spring temperatures. The best time to view the manatees is in the winter months from November to March.  There are many different tour options, or you can be your own tour guide and take out kayaks or pontoon boats. But heed the speed advisories, these gentle manatees are always around and motor blade marks are evident on many of the creatures, so always be careful to  boat slowly and cautiously in these waters as well as any of the close to shore waters where the signage and inlets advise to do so.
The Florida Game and Wildlife Commission has set designated spots where no humans can enter, but can only observe these docile creatures in their natural habitat. In these sanctuaries, you will see so many manatees just floating, bobbing up and down and gently rolling about each other. The manatees are resting most of the time in the sanctuaries, but then there are many others which are outside and swimming about all through the river and its small canals. You will see large mama manatees swimming with their smaller babies right behind them, it’s truly an beautiful sight.
While snorkeling around these sanctuaries and through the river, manatees come right up beside you, brush past and keep swimming on like you are not even there! The law says you cannot touch them and you are not to be bothering them in their habitat, but you can get right up close to them and they’re not afraid of coming to visit! The animals are quite large though and at some points, the water was murky and you couldn’t see them coming, so don’t be surprised if they sneak right up beside you or underneath you….it’s just their space and you are in it!
You will also see an abundance of other fish and wildlife during your excursion. We saw sheepshead, snook, and many more tropically colored fish. There are also beautiful egrets, blue herons and other birds sailing through the air above.
Make sure to put this adventure on your list of things to do while visiting Florida, It is an activity that you will never forget and you will be talking about for a long time! These beautiful, graceful, yet at the same time cute and clumsy animals are a truly magical experience and will truly make you feel like one with nature.
Need directions and more information on visiting the manatees? Come speak with the local, knowledgeable staff at the front desk at Tropical Beach Resorts. We are happy to look up information, print out maps and any other helpful tidbits that will aid in your enjoyment of your precious vacation time.

Tropical Beach Resorts
6717 Sarasea Circle
Siesta Key, Fl 34242
www.tropicalbeachresorts.com

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Your seaside vacation in Sarasota would not be complete without a sightseeing or sunset cruise

Your seaside vacation in Sarasota would not be complete without a tropical day sightseeing tour or sunset cruise

LeBarge Tropical Cruises in Sarasota, FL

LeBarge Tropical Cruises in Sarasota, FL. Complete with palm trees!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for a way to enjoy the beautiful waters and tranquil atmosphere of Sarasota bay without getting your feet wet? A Sarasota tradition for over 30 years, the tropical day-cruise ship LeBarge offers visitors and locals alike a fun way to see and appreciate our bay. Relax and take in the sight of frolicking dolphins, beautiful waterfront homes and the gorgeous water views. Enjoy a light bite of food and a cool drink while and learning a bit about the folklore and history of Sarasota in the truly tropical atmosphere of LeBarge. This floating paradise with its huge live palm trees and eager sightseers/wildlife watchers is a well-known sight for Sarasotans… it’s customary to exchange a wave with the boaters on board. If you love dolphins, sightseeing or live entertainment on the water then at least one of the cruises the LeBarge holds will make your visit to Sarasota that much more special! The LeBarge offers three different types of cruise each ranging between $20 and $28: dolphin and manatee watch cruise, sightseeing and nature cruise, and tropical sunset cruise – one is certain to top off your Sarasota beach get-a-away.

Dolphin and manatee cruise

Dolphin and manatee cruise

Dolphin and Manatee watch cruise: GREAT FOR KIDS!
This cruise departs at 11am for a two-hour tour hosted by a Mote Marine trained marine biologist who will teach you and the family about our local population of over 120 bottlenose dolphins, and also during season, manatees. The Sarasota Bay Dolphin Research Program is the longest ongoing dolphin study in the world, so it is the perfect place to observe these amazing marine mammals. You are guaranteed a dolphin or manatee sighting, so do not miss out on your chance to see them while you visit Sarasota.

Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays
(Tues., Wed., Thurs., Fri. & Sat. in season)
Ticket prices:
$25 for adults
$20 for children 4-12
Children 3 and under are free

Sightseeing and Nature Cruise:
On this two hour cruise along the shoreline of Sarasota Bay you can sit back and relax as you pass by gorgeous waterfront homes and local wildlife while you learn about the history of Sarasota. Not to mention you can sip on your favorite cocktail or have a bite to eat from the menu provided. The view is much different from the water than what you see walking on land, and you will get to see one of local’s favorite parts about living in Sarasota, being on the water! Experience the beach from the other side and maybe even run into a few dolphins.

Cruise departs at 2pm
Tuesday-Sunday and daily in season
Ticket prices:
$25 for adults
$20 for children 4-12
Children 3 and under are free

LeBarge Tropical Cruises in Sarasota, FL

Sunset Cruise

Tropical Sunset Cruise:
You might have experienced a Sarasota sunset, but I bet you haven’t seen the view of it from the water. The LeBarge is most well-known for this evening cruise that includes live entertainment, drinks, food, dolphin spotting and even a Conga line or two! You can do a little dancing or just sit back and relax as the sun sets below the water right in front your eyes.

Cruise departs between 5pm and 7pm depending on the time of year and the time of sunset. Boarding and live entertainment start a half hour before cruise time.
Tickets:
$28 per person
Children 3 and under are free

For more information or reservations visit www.lebargetropicalcruises.com or call 941-366-6116.

Tropical Sunset cruise in Sarasota, FL

Watch the brilliant colors slowly dissolve into the gulf horizon on your cruise through Sarasota Bay!

 

 

 

 

The knowledgeable staff at Tropical Beach Resorts can suggest the perfect day cruise or one of the many other area attractions during your visit to Siesta Key, Florida. Let us help you plan the island get-a-way of your dreams!

Tropical Beach Resorts
6717 Sarasea Circle
Sarasota, FL 34242
941-349-3330
Reservations 800-235-3493 -
www.tropicalbeachresorts.com

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