Tampa Bay – It’s that time of year again. TECO’s Manatee Viewing Center opened Friday November 1st for it’s 34th season. As usual the admission and parking to view the manatee’s are FREE. The manatee’s have been coming to the warmer waters of Tampa Electric since the 1970’s and still enjoy visiting. This is a great thing to do in Tampa if you are visiting or need something for the weekend.
There have been over 5 million visitors to the center as of 2017 and the yearly average is around 300,000. It was named a federal sanctuary in 2002 and the manatee’s just love it there. While the manatee’s are definitely the highlight of the show there are other things to do as well. From the butterfly gardens, tidal walk, nature trail, and a 50ft observation tower.
You can find the center at 6990 Dickman Rd, Apollo Beach, FL. They are usually open daily from 10am – 5pm from November 1st through April 15th. The only days the center is closed are Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and Easter. While they are open on Christmas eve they do close early at around 3pm.