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Learn About the Sea Cow at Manatee Lagoon

Learn About the Sea Cow at Manatee Lagoon

Learn about the legendary “sea cow” at Manatee Lagoon, a free, family-friendly eco-discovery center where visitors can watch manatees in their natural habitat.

Believe it or not, more than just cultural folklore once saw manatees as actual, real-life mermaids. Sure, ancient sailors were spending an excessive amount of time in the sun. But one thing is for sure—manatees are one of the most fascinating marine creatures you’ll ever come across.

Manatees are found throughout Florida, but The Palm Beaches have long been known as a haven for them, and Florida Power & Light runs the place to see these famous “sea cows:” Manatee Lagoon – An FPL Eco-Discovery Center.

Manatee Lagoon Highlights

First of all, admission to Manatee Lagoon is free, and so is parking! You can’t beat that.

The discovery center sits on a prime manatee-viewing locale: the shoreline of Lake Worth Lagoon, also known as Intracoastal Waterway, in Riviera Beach. Dedicated observation decks allow visitors to scout for manatees cruising by, even in big herds. Don’t worry—you can’t miss them. Manatees usually grow to be 9 feet long and can weigh close to 1,200 pounds!

The best time to see them is between Nov. 15 and March 31, when the waters are colder and these gentle giants huddle together for warmth. See if you can spot any manatees on the Manatee Cam.

Lobby at Manatee Lagoon
Courtesy of Manatee Lagoon

The Exhibitions at Manatee Lagoon

Manatees aside, the 16,000-square-foot center also features engaging, educational exhibits for visitors of any age to learn all about these threatened and unique creatures and the natural wonders of the Lake Worth Lagoon.

Current exhibits include:

Make sure to stop by the gift shop after you have toured the exhibits!

Manatee underwater
Courtesy of Manatee Lagoon


Manatee Lagoon is not only a place to educate the public about these wonderful creatures, but also a center to inspire visitors to preserve and protect Florida’s environment and wildlife.

The center is a showcase for FPL’s clean energy innovation. It features FPL SolarNow trees and canopies for the production of clean energy for the local community. The solar structures together have the combined capacity to generate enough solar energy equivalent to powering approximately 26 classrooms for an entire day!

Here are a few ways you can take advantage of emissions-free energy at Manatee Lagoon:

FPL Evolution chargers
Courtesy of Manatee Lagoon

Manatee Lagoon is open daily through manatee season (November 15 – March 31) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The facility is closed on Mondays from April 1 to November 14.

Things To Do Nearby Manatee Lagoon

And there are plenty of things to do nearby after visiting the manatees. Singer Island has top-notch beaches, the waters under Blue Heron Bridge are world-renowned for snorkeling and diving, and Sailfish Marina has saltwater fishing charters and a terrific bar to sip on cocktails at sunset.


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