Where Can I See Manatees in Panama City Beach?

Some people want to see the manatees, whereas others want to go the extra mile and swim with them. Regardless of your intentions, you must find a place to find them.

So, where can I see manatees in Panama City Beach? You must get this answer right if you want to stand a chance of seeing these creatures.

In addition to that, you must visit the areas with waters that are conducive for manatees. So, which places meet these characteristics in Panama City Beach?

Read on as we unveil the answer for great manatees-watching experiences. After all, this piece leaves no stone unturned regarding where to see manatees in Panama City Beach and Florida at large.

Can You See Manatees in Panama City Beach, Florida?

You can see manatees in Panama City Beach; several documents, especially by the Panama City News Herald, support that. That doesn’t come as a surprise since the area has a warm weather season, and these marine animals appreciate it.

You will find the manatees busy doing their things as you see them. Mothers may cuddle their calves, whereas the other manatees play in the water.

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Because of the temperature that these marine animals appreciate, you won’t see them in Panama City Beach throughout the year. For example, they will migrate to Massachusetts and Texas in the summer.

During winter, the manatees move towards Florida, and Panama City Beach isn’t an exception. That’s because the Florida waters are relatively warmer during the cold season.

It is worth noting that Panama City Beach has become a common place to see manatees. The same case applies to Panama City.

Where Can You See Manatees in Panama City Beach?

One of the best places to visit to see manatees in Panama City Beach is St. Andrews State Park. Remember to visit this place during the right season.

Otherwise, the manatees will have migrated to other places, making it impossible to find even one in Panama Beach City. You should also find a place with clear water for an excellent view since manatees live underwater.

Other Places to See Manatees in Florida

Besides Panama City Beach, you can see manatees in other places in Florida. They are between 6000 and 7500 manatees, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service regarding Florida waters.

Some of these places include the following;

  • Blue Spring State Park
  • Chassahowitzka River
  • Chiefland Manatee Springs State Park
  • Crystal River
  • Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park
  • Ichetucknee Springs
  • Silver Springs
  • Spring Hill State Park
  • Tarpon Springs
  • Three Sisters Springs
  • Weeki Wachee Spring

Besides springs, you can also find manatees in the following places within the Florida Waters

  • Everglades National Park, specifically Flamingo
  • Fort Myers Manatee Park
  • Fort Pierce marina
  • Fort Pierce’s Manatee Observation and Education Center
  • Lovers Key State Park in Fort Myers Beach
  • Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Titusville
  • Riviera Beach at the Florida Power & Light manatee viewing area
  • Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center
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More About Manatees

If one were to understand what these creatures are like, it would be easy to understand why people travel miles to see them. Here’s an overview if you don’t know about these sea animals.

Manatees are marine mammals known for being fully aquatic, herbivorous, and large. Other people call manatees sea cows, meaning the two terms can be used interchangeably.

What are the Major Types of Manatees?

There are three major manatees species, and they are as follows;

  • Amazonian manatee
  • West Indian manatee
  • West African manatee

What is the Average Weight and the Height of a Manatee?

Their length can be as long as 13 feet and 1 inch, equivalent to 4 meters. On the other hand, the weight is up to 590 kg or 1300 lbs.

Another notable feature of the manatees is the paddle-like tails. These herbivorous animals can eat more than 60 various plants. That includes both saltwater and freshwater species hence accommodating habitats.

Where Do Most Manatees Live?

Manatees mostly live in rivers and coastal areas that are shallow and marshy. That’s why you will find them in areas such as West Africa, the Amazon basin, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea.

What is the Swimming Speed of a Manatee?

On average, their swimming speeds are between 5 and 8 km/h or 3 and 5 mph. It can increase up to 30 km/k or 2o mph during short bursts.

This slow speed, combined with its curiosity, engages these marine animals. After all, manatees look for trouble but won’t run as fast as necessary once it lands.

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What Causes the Death of Most Manatees?

The cause of death is mostly associated with human conflicts. After all, their speed isn’t high enough to help the manatees escape danger.

Other causes of death include violent collisions with ships and boats, especially propeller-driven ones and the destruction of their natural habitats. Other causes of death are natural, including disease, crocodile predation, and extremely high temperatures.

How Do Manatees Behave?

In most cases, you will find a manatee alone. However, there are exceptions, including a male manatee following its receptive female counterpart.

Half of its day is spent sleeping while submerged in water. After approximately every 20 minutes, a manatee surface to get air.

It spends the rest of the day grazing. It prefers shallow waters with depths between 1 and 2 meters, equivalent to 3 feet 3 inches to 6 feet 7 inches.

Can You Swim with Manatees in Panama City Beach, Florida?

Swimming with manatees is restricted to only a single place where you can legally do so in North America. It is none other than the area around Crystal Area.

It is on the northern side of Tampa along Florida’s west coast, and it takes about 90 minutes to reach that place from Tampa.

Manatees are bound to appreciate the Crystal River headwaters. After all, its temperature is consistently around 72 degrees throughout the year, earning the area Kings Bay.

Besides swimming, there are other activities you can do together with the marine animals, including kayaking.