RFI: Summer Manatees North of Orlando, Florida

Can anyone suggest reliable locations to see (and preferably swim near) manatees north of Orlando, Florida, during the summer? It seems that most of the locations commonly referenced (e.g. Crystal Springs/Three Sisters) are great during the winter but not in summer. I will be in the area the third week of June.


  • Kyle Finn

    I have seen them in the intercoastal waterway around Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral area during summer. But I don’t know how reliable it is.

  • Kerry Nelson

    They scatter pretty far in the summer and usually won’t be in the springs or spring runs. Saltwater is going to be your best bet but I don’t know of any particular spots, often they’ll hang around marinas so might just want to check out the nearest ones and ask around.

  • Joshua

    Thanks for the information, Kyle and Kerry.

    After posting my query, I searched iNaturalist only for the months of May, June, and July. iNat obscures manatee locations, but it seems like Blue Springs State Park might still be the best bet for a summer freshwater encounter.

    Mammals will be such a tiny fraction of my trip that it won’t warrant a trip report, but I will try to comment here with my results and any local knowledge obtained.

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