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“Do the boat trip”

Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge
Book In Advance
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US$94.00*
and up
Small Group VIP Manatee Pontoon Tour
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Swimming with manatees is the highlight of a trip to this nature reserve.
Falmouth,Cornwall
Level Contributor
20 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Do the boat trip”
Reviewed 13 December 2011

Very informative and entertaining, follow it up with a hike along one of the trails after visiting the exhibits

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank PeetieM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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199 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Dousman
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“I would reccoment this stop”
Reviewed 20 October 2011

I will stop again, very nice place to visit> We took many great pictures!

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank Brad B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Soft gentle giants frolic at your side in a serine setting!!”
Reviewed 24 September 2011

My family and I were visiting grand parents whom moved to central Florida and we found ourselves with the option to go and do something one day that would not be to much or overwelming. we chose to do a manatee swim. The outfit that we selected was "the diveshop" at the plantation inn. They were an excelent group of people and helped make the experience even more memorable. But back to the swim. We were taken to "The 3 Sisters Spring" it is a beautiful clear spring with a very unique way to accees it. You park the boat at a canal and begin your swim towards a narrow channel where murky water and clear water seem to mix. Once in the channel the water begins to become clear and the deeper you go in the clearer. after about 20 feet or so the water becomes so clear that you feel as if you are in some kind of artificial setting. But it is real and the fish are swiming around you the current flows gently as you enjoy the beauty of God's creation. after about a 10 minute swim down the channel you arrive at the spring. It is a big clearing with lots of different fish and of course manatees! The blue laggon like setting is not done justice by it's simple name of crystal river. It should bear a much more discriptive name like "incredibly beautiful manatee haven crystal lagoon" but as I was explained it is still one of the worlds little known secrets and because of that it remains as beauyiful as it is. So I guess the name helps deter the masses. You can swim amongst these gentle giants and they are friendly and will come very close as they are equally curious about you. The only thing that you must not do is harrass them!! They are kind and loving ( I say loving because they mated next to us). They played and hung out with us for about a half an hour. we awere able to relax and have a great time moving around the spring and discovering all while the mantees would come by and play and mate. My wife whom is not a fan of swiming in any water that may contain live animals was very comfortable and happy. The beautiful setting is irresistable that it overtook her fear and she was able to enjoy herself carefree. The experience was one that my family and I will chrerish and talk about for many yrears to come and for sure one day when I have grand kids I will bring them there aswell. The price at fisrt seemed fitting but after you do it you would have payed double, that is how valuable it was for us. Keep inmmind that I have been diving in the cariebean and Florida keys and Hawwaii and this is just as beautiful and less expensive and you can do it with just snorkels and fins. This was a great way for my family to bond and come closer. It certainly made our florida trip much better than if we had gone to a park and dealt with overpriced junk, crowds, long lines, and eventually tired to the point that you just wish you could beam youself to your hotel. I highly recomend the Diveshop at the plantation inn. Thay were wondefull!!!

Visited June 2011
Helpful?
4 Thank Carriesman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new york
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Swimming with Manatees at Crystal River”
Reviewed 7 October 2009

Crystal River is beautiful. One of the highlights are the gentle manatees. We had the opportunity to swim with them with Nature coast Manatee Tours. The river is crystal clear yet cold in the winter when 5000 manatees show up. We went on the river in September, when the water is warm and there are less manatees. There were a few tour operators, but Captain Jake was the best. He videotaped the entire trip, told us which direction to swim in order to see the manatees, had a comfortable boat, and provided us with some great information on Crystal River. This is the only place in the US where it is legal to swim with and touch these wonderful animals.

Helpful?
6 Thank Pam45SKid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
103 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
“Odd location, but fantastic view and extremely helpful”
Reviewed 1 September 2009

The Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge has a small visitor center and administration office off Kings Bay Drive in Crystal River. Often staffed by volunteers and running restricted hours in the summer, it might be easy to miss this little gem on the nature coast. But for those how love all things natural, a stop in their shop is necessary. From manatees, to whooping cranes to a fantastic view from their volunteer run gift shop, it's worth your time to stop by and say hello.

Helpful?
5 Thank realflorida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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