This Crystal River Manatee Tour is one of the top experiences in America

Two manatee swim next to each other. A snorkeler in a wet suit floats near them
Photo via Fun 2 Dive/FB

Another day, another reason to love living in the Sunshine State. A manatee tour in Crystal River just earned a spot as one of the top experiences in America in TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards. Fun 2 Dive Manatee Swim Tours received the official honors. Those interested in booking a tour can do so on their website.

Crystal River is the Manatee Capital of the World and is home to the only National Wildlife Refuge in the United States specifically created to protect habitats for Florida’s beloved official marine animal. Manatee tours occur year-round.


Visit a manatee refuge in Crystal River

Tour companies on Kings Bay in Crystal River operate under Special Use Permits issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, the only Refuge in the United States solely dedicated to protecting critical habitat for manatees. Between November 15 and March 31, sanctuary markers are in place near spring vents designating critical resting areas for manatees. Swimmers, kayakers and all watercraft are prohibited from these areas that are essential to manatee’s survival.

Tripadvisor’s Best Things to Do Awards are based on an analysis of authentic reviews and ratings of experiences, tours, attractions and activities over the past 12 months from Tripadvisor travelers. Located just 90 minutes north of Tampa, Crystal River is home to several professional tour operators like Fun 2 Dive, which specialize in manatee swim experiences.

Creating a sustainable operation in the Sunshine State

Swim with manatees on this nature-focused Crystal River tour. Appreciate these majestic animals in their natural habitat, under the watchful eye of an in-the-water guide who strives to ensure safe and respectful interactions between human and manatee at all times. Tours include snorkeling gear at no additional cost, and professional underwater photos are available for purchase after the tour.


In addition to swim tours, the Crystal River region makes it easy to see manatees in the wild from easily accessed boardwalks at Three Sisters Springs and the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, or by kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding throughout Kings Bay or the Homosassa River.

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