Where to See Manatees in Ft. Lauderdale

Posted by on Mar 5, 2019 in News, Tips | Comments Off on Where to See Manatees in Ft. Lauderdale

Where to See Manatees in Fort Lauderdale

See our top locations to see manatees in Ft. Lauderdale and the South Florida area

It’s that time of year when many northern make their holiday vacations in south Florida, flocking to warmer waters to escape the winter chill. Manatees, or “sea cows” as us local’s call them, congregate in the warm waters behind the power plants in Florida, like the FPL Port Everglades Power Plant, to discharge canals and many of the state’s crystal clear springs farther north when the water temperatures drop below 68 degrees. Although they are massive in size, manatees have very little body fat, so they can often be found huddling together for refuge in warmer waters during manatee season (November 15-March 31).

Here are a few local spots in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas where you can catch a glimpse of these majestic sea mammals before they head north for the summer:

Where to See Manatee in Fort Lauderdale?:

Hugh Taylor Burch State Park

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is a Florida State Park located in Fort Lauderdale, on East Sunrise Boulevard, between the Intracoastal Waterway and SR A1A

Fort Lauderdale Intercoastal and Canals 

During the winter months, November through March, you can often see manatees throughout the Intracoastal Waterways in Fort Lauderdale, and the back canals like the Middle River. Keep your eyes out for their snouts when they surface for air. They tend to be playing and feeding with their friends.

Secret Woods Nature Center

Designated the first “urban wilderness area” in Florida back in 1978, the Secret Woods Nature Center is a true hidden gem of the South. This urban wilderness has lush mangroves, a butterfly garden, reptile habitat & nature trails on 57 acres in the Fort Lauderdale area. And manatees can often be seen during the winter months when it’s cooler. Call for more info (954) 357-8884.

Everglades Day Safari
This full day guided tour of the Everglades allows you to see alligators from an airboat ride, dolphins and manatees on a boat cruise through a mangrove estuary and includes a wildlife drive and a nature walk. The perfect way to understand the beauty of Everglades National Park, and a great way to view the wildlife and birdlife that live there. Picks up from the Fort Lauderdale area.

Manatee Lagoon – Florida Power & Light Eco-Discovery Center, West Palm Beach

Power plants are a hot spot for manatees, so its no surprise the warm-water outflows of Florida Power & Light Company’s (FPL) Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center is an ideal location for manatee watching. For the most ideal viewing opportunities, visit when cooler temperatures continue over a period of two to three days with minimal cloud cover. If you can’t make it to the lagoon, be sure to check out their Manatee Cam live stream. (Open Tuesday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)