Learn About the Sea Cow at Manatee Lagoon

December 7, 2018

Learn about the legendary "sea cow" at Manatee Lagoon, a free 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.

Sculpture at Manatee Lagoon

Manatee Lagoon Highlights

First of all, admission to Manatee Lagoon is free! You can't beat that. It's open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The discovery center sits on a prime manatee-viewing locale: the shoreline of Lake Worth Lagoon / 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.

Manatees seeking warm waters

Exhibits and More to Do

Manatee Lagoon’s two levels of interactive exhibits offer a welcoming atmosphere to experience how manatees spend their lives. Learn about the endangered manatees, plus the natural wonder that is Lake Worth Lagoon.

Outside are a picnic area and pavilion, as well as a gift shop and café where you can purchase drinks and snacks.

Children learning about manatees

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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