Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing CenterCurrently Closed
- Address: 6990 Dickman Road, Apollo Beach, FL 33572, United States, Tampa
- Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details
- Phone: +1-8132284289
- Ticket Price: Free
- Time Required: 01:30 Hrs
- Tags: Beach, Garden, Wildlife Park, Family And Kids, Exhibition
This attraction developed as a nice bit of serendipity. In 1986, when the Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach began delivering power to Tampa, it began to take in water from Tampa Bay to keep cool. The warm and clean water was discharged back in to the ocean. Sometime later, large droves of manatee started showing up, attracted by the unexpected pocket of warmth whenever the water cooled below 20 degrees Celsius. The government swung into action, and today, the place is a ‘state and federally designated manatee sanctuary’ that provides protection to the people. Now the centre provides several activities:
- Exhibits of manatee fossils and insights into the life of this gentle creature.
- An exhibit on how the station generates power, and how it preps for storms and hurricanes.
- Butterfly gardens landscaped in Florida style.
- A fifty foot wildlife observation tower that lets you see across Manatee Bay.
- There are no restrooms here.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
- Carry bug spray.
- Do not feed any animals here.
- Food and water not available here.
- Entry is free.
- Parking is free.
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53.91% of people who visit Tampa include Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center in their plan
1 PM - 2 PM
63.79% of people start their Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center visit around 1 PM - 2 PM
1 Hr 30 Minutes
People usually take around 1 Hr 30 Minutes to see Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center
93.04% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center
This is a great place and it's hard to argue with the price...free! They are open from November-April 15 but most of the manatees are around during the coolest months. We were able to see one manatee early in November, but it was just as cool to see all of the other fish in the water. The viewing area is really nice and the little "museum" inside has many great displays and plenty of really interesting information. There is also an opportunity to pet rays (the same rays from the Tampa Bay Ray's tank). I highly recommend stopping by this viewing center and I look forward to coming back during some cold spells.
Very nice facility. Great care was taken to create a fun, educational time for the entire family. The manatees were not very active on the surface of the water but that is the risk you have when visiting a natural preserve. Overall this facility is a nice place to spend the afternoon with your family.
Nice experience for the family. Friendly staff. Educational, snack bar, gift shop, handicap accessible and we'll maintained. Very nice walking conservation trails and look out tower which overlooks a salt marsh and Tampa Bay. Only blight is the Hugh electric plant but without out it you would not have the manatee.
An amazing place to see manatees in a natural environment. We went in December and there were a lot manatees. There are also a lot of other fish and sharks that you can see swimming around near the manatees. There was also a pool where you could touch stingrays. The viewing area is free, but I would highly suggest donating some money to help fund this amazing center.
Nice place to see the Manatees, fish and birds, and spending time out doors with family and friends. Nice choice of snacks at snack bar with a good price and nice eating area. Also love the gift shop!