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4.5
150 votes

Manatee Viewing Center

6990 Dickman Rd, Apollo Beach, Florida 33572 USA

Free
Free to Visit
Open Now
Tue 10a-5p
  • Independent
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Outdoor Seating
Add to Trip

“the cows of the sea”

Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach delivered reliable electricity to the community for 16 years before the commercial operation of Big Bend Unit 4 in 1986. That year, people started seeing manatees in large numbers in the power station's discharge canal, where saltwater – taken from Tampa Bay to cool Unit 4 – flowed, clean and warm, back to the bay. When Tampa Bay reached 68 degrees or colder, the mammals would seek out this new refuge. The Manatee Viewing Center was soon born. Today, Big Bend's discharge canal is a state and federally designated manatee sanctuary that provides critical protection from the cold for these unique, gentle animals.

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Reviewed by
curlytf

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
June 16, 2014

This is only open November to April.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
russellhirsch

  • 3 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
May 14, 2017

This place is only open from November 1 - April 15

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Reviewed by
kelly.g.oravec

  • 2 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
February 23, 2017
Rated 5.0

Great visit. Son touched the sting rays. The Manatees were very playful. It was a wet rainy day and low 60 weather.

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Reviewed by
falafox

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
June 06, 2015
Rated 4.0

even though it is only open a few months out of the year, it is an amazing place to go visit. the manatees are only there during the colder months ( nov-apirl) because the power plant has warmer waters. there is a wonderful walking trail and a lovely little gift stop and learning center. totally worth checking out

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Reviewed by
matthew.jones.10236

  • 3 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
March 11, 2014

This place is pretty cool. Went there while we were at Indian Shore for the week. We got to see two Manatees. Worth the stop.

1 person found this review helpful

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Manatee Viewing Center

6990 Dickman Rd
Apollo Beach, Florida
33572 USA

Hours

Open now until 5:00 pm
  • Sun - Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

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  • Independent
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Outdoor Seating
  • Free Parking
  • Not Haunted

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