Manatee Watching at Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida

By
Real Estate Agent with Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!

Manatee Watching at Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida

 

During the winter months, a special treat awaits visitors and residents in the waters of the Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River, Florida located just about 35 miles north of Spring Hill Florida. It's a pleasant and easy drive so we took the time today to pay Three Sisters a visit. 

 

When the water in the Gulf of Mexico gets cold, the warmer waters of springs throughout Florida attract manatees so it's not unusual to see manatees.  However, the Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River do attract more than 25% of the manatee population in the winter months and it's a spectacular sight to see so many manatees congregated in one area. 

 

Manatees at Three Sisters Springs Photos by Silvia Dukes

There is board walk that leads around the springs and visitors can get a good view of these gentle giants as they lazily lay about in the water coming up occasionally to catch a breath of air only to then submerge themselves again. 

 

When we went today, there were easily a hundred animals congregated in several areas of the springs. It was amazing to watch them slowly move along or just huddle together keeping each other company. There were many juveniles and even some babies in the groups. 

 

Adult manatees can get up to 12 feet long and can weigh from 1000 to 3000 pounds. They are strictly vegetarian and eat sea grass and weeds.  Manatees are mammals that nurse their young. 

 

Three Sisters Springs is part of the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge and located just West of US 19 in Crystal River, Florida.  Parking is available at the Visitor Center on US 19 from which a trolley will take you to the spring area. Admission is $15 per adult with discounted rates for children and seniors and includes parking and the trolley ride.

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Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate

Tropic Shores Realty, 3441 Deltona Blvd, Spring Hill, FL 34606

Phone: 352-584-7441    Email: SilviaDFL@yahoo.com   Website:  www.SilviaDukes.com

 

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Comments (22)

Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

I've enjoyed reading about manatees and how sailors mistook them for mermaids but I've never had the pleasure of seeing one for real. You have to wonder how drunk those sailors were?

Feb 14, 2016 09:52 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

     That is absolutely beautiful.  Both the manatees, and the spring. 

     My friend had a house in Crystal River; he told me about "Three Sisters", but that was years ago when it was private.  I just read that it was acquired by Fish and Wildlife in 2010.

     I see that swimming/diving is allowed there.  I also read that it is closed on certain days (when it gets too full of manatees, like in your photos!)

Feb 14, 2016 10:02 AM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Bob "RealMan" Timm  good question!  

Feb 14, 2016 10:03 AM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Fred Griffin you are right, where the spring waters enter the river, there were quite a few swimmers and a few boaters attempting to get closer to the manatees.  However, there was a rope restricting the movement of the boats. The manatees didn't seem bothered at all.

Feb 14, 2016 10:24 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Silvia that must have been a special site.  I would love to see that some day.

Feb 14, 2016 10:34 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Silvia how interesting to get so close up to the manatees, this is still on my list of places to see....Endre

Feb 14, 2016 11:07 AM
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Silvia. Many of us will rarely get a glimpse or what you most likely see on a pretty regular basis. Thanks for sharing the photos.

Feb 14, 2016 06:00 PM
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi Silvia.  What a beautiful place to visit.  100 manatees in one location.  Wow!

Feb 14, 2016 07:50 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

I didn't realize they are mammals and grow so big. What a sight that must have been!

Feb 16, 2016 10:11 PM
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Las Vegas, NV

Hello Silvia ... this looks like a great time and if the water is clear enough I could get some great videos of the manatees.

Feb 17, 2016 08:45 AM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

George Souto the manatees come into the springs and rivers in the winter time in great numbers because of the warmer water temperature. Just make sure to come see them in the winter months, once the Gulf waters warm up, they will disperse. 

Endre Barath, Jr.  it's a sight to see for sure!  You can also sign up to swim - or rather lay about - with them at this location.  They don't move very fast!

 

 

 

Feb 17, 2016 08:52 AM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Joe Petrowsky  thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed them. It's always so easy to take for granted what we have at our door step.

Conrad Allen yes, that's quite a lot!

Debbie Reynolds  they are big and weigh tons!  So much for eating veggies all day and staying slim! :-)

 

Feb 17, 2016 08:54 AM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Robert 'VEGAS BOB' Swetz  thank you, the water is crystal clear actually but that day, there was a bit of a ripple effect on the surface because of some wind. I actually took some video as well and need to process it! 

Feb 17, 2016 08:55 AM
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz

Is there any underwater viewing from the side like an aquarium or is all the viewing from the surface?

Feb 17, 2016 08:57 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Silvia - I have seen them when I visit my sister in Martin County.  I didn't realize that they come into fresh water.

Feb 22, 2016 10:50 AM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Grant Schneider yes, they do, they seem to be quite adaptable in this respect.

Feb 22, 2016 10:54 AM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

 Good morning Silvia Dukes PA, REALTOR, CRS, CIPS, SRES . I used to bring bottles of water for the manatee's to drink. They  are such neat animals.

Feb 22, 2016 05:33 PM
Marco Giancola
Beachfront Realty - Miami Beach, FL
Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida

Hi Silvia-such amazing creatures. In the summer there was always a couple under my dock shading themselves from the hot sun. Love watching them.

Feb 22, 2016 09:23 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks for telling us about the Manatee watching opportunities at Three Sisters Springs.

Feb 24, 2016 10:14 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Silvia, I think this would be so fun, and heard they are so gentle but beautiful.   You do live in Paradise!  

Feb 25, 2016 10:40 PM
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Silvia, I would love to visit Three Sisters Springs and see the manatees. I never knew that they would be that big.

Feb 27, 2016 12:02 PM