Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center, Tampa
Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center, Tampa - Address, Phone Number
Address: 6990 Dickman Road, Apollo Beach, FL 33572, United States
Time Required: 01:30 Hrs
Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details
Added 8.1K times in trip plans
Beach, Garden, Wildlife Park, Family And Kids, Exhibition
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About Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center, Tampa
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.
Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center Information
- There are no restrooms here.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
- Carry bug spray.
- Do not feed any animals here.
- Food and water not available here.
Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center Ticket Prices
- Entry is free.
- Parking is free.
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Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center Tickets And Tours
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Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center, Tampa Reviews - Write a Review
Great place to learn about and see manatees. There’s a petting pool for sting-rays, a reasonably-priced snack bar, a decent gift shop, and a small educational building with interactive quizzes, games, dioramas, and more. The area is very clean and modern looking, powered by solar power with EV charging stations (to make up for the coal burning power plant next door, which owns and obviously sponsors the center). Free admission, but closes at 5pm. An hour and a half is more than enough to fully explore and see the manatees.
What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon! Tons of manatees to watch, knowledgeable docents to answer questions, an isolated nature trail to the 5 story observation tower. Thank you Tampa electric for keeping it all free! Plus you can "pet" a manta ray, one from the Trop if it's not baseball season! Field trips bring a ton of kids in the mornings but they departed by 1. Really great place!
I love the opportunity to view these great animals; they seemed so at peace and happy. There were so many but the water isn't very clear so you can catch a glimpse here and there when they roll on their back or surface for air. Also liked the wildlife conservation area because it was covered with trees and very cool. Definitely a place to visit and get a nifty wax sculpture at the end!
Staff is extremely friendly, helpful, and accommodating. I took my class here and the kids loved it! There is a nature trail, picnic area, and gift shop. We also got to touch the stingrays, see dozens of manatees up close, and visit the educational center. Great time!
Perfect hidden gem on our vacation. The staff was great at the Manta Ray touching station. We were able to see a few manatees. One of the few free activities in the area, of course donations are appreciated and well deserved.