Playing with Manatees
The chances of someone seeing, much less interacting, with a manatee is quite small. In fact there are very few places in the world in which manatees hang out together, but lucky for us Floridians, we’ve got some spots only 1:30 hours away.
Crystal River, FL
Crystal River Kayak Company
Google Map: http://goo.gl/maps/2Uybe
You can rent kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards but my recommendation is to go with paddle boards. Standing up provides the best angle to see everything is the crystal clear water and you can always sit on the board if you wanted to get up close and personal with (manatee buddy’s name), check it out:
Recommended packing list:
– Bluetooth speaker (You gotta have music on the water)
– 2 Ziplock bags (double seal are best to keep your phones dry in case you accidentally decide to go swimming)
– GoPro Camera with selfie stick & float (or other underwater camera)
– Snack of nuts and granola, couple apples (hippy alert)
Also I recommend wondering away from the sea cow hood and getting lost on the many inlets that run all over the area. We met a few furry friends along the way, most were friendly and excited to say hi. TIP: Most people head to see the manatees early which makes for quite a crowd. Heading out later allows for 3 great hours on the water with few others around and you can catch the sunset after.
Once you get off the water head over to a local favorite and I must say a “1 of a Kind” bar called, “The Monkey Bar.”
The 2nd floor patio makes for a perfect place to get some local seafood while enjoying the sunset and the monkeys playing on the island. If you’re lucky you’ll catch the AARP crowd with one of their own singing some classics while on the keyboard.
TIP: The local Hermosa area is known for its blue crab but to be honest, save your money and order to the shrimp platter. We split is half and half with the blue crab to realize is tiny and you barely get any meat.
Crystal River and the Monkey bar can make for a great Florida day that many people in the world will never have the opportunity to experience. Don’t pass up on your opportunity.
Experience Your Florida, and never forget to ‘Enjoy The Journey!’