Apollo Beach, Florida: Power Station ManateesManatees hang out along the warm water discharge canal from Big Bend Power Station when the bay water gets too cold.
Manatee Viewing Center Big Bend Power Station
- 6990 Dickman Rd, Apollo Beach, FL
- Manatee Viewing Center Big Bend Power Station. I-75 Exit 246, west on Big Bend Road/CR 672, go 2.5 miles west to curve intersection of Big Band and Dickman Rd.
- Season Nov 1 - Apr 15. 10 am - 5 pm. (Call to verify)
- RA Rates:
- Worth a Detour
Visitor Tips and News About Power Station Manatees
The day I visited, the chubby sea cows were out in full force, lollygagging around in the warm water of the power plant. I counted close to 50 of them. This place is great. The boardwalk takes you right out into the inlet and you are looking at these creatures up close. Signage is abundant and a museum on site tells you everything you ever wanted to know about manatees.
A small cafe is on site and the gift shop is open daily. It is a surprisingly fun and offbeat place to be, and it's free![casaflamingo, 02/08/2015]
This is the second time we have been here and I love it. You can watch the manatees floating around the power station and also see numerous varieties of fish and fowl. Another plus is the cost: free! There is a gift shop, several photo ops, a small museum, and plenty of volunteers to answer questions. Worth taking the kids to see.[MJO, 02/04/2014]
Because the weather had recently warmed up, there weren't a lot of manatees during my visit -- maybe about a dozen. Most were too far away to get a good look at, but it was still an interesting experience. The woman at the gift shop was so sweet and very knowledgeable about the manatees.[Jeanie, 12/30/2012]
It's really quite a sight. The colder the waters, the more manatees you will see there.[Dawn, 10/05/2010]
The Manatee Viewing Center is along the warm water discharge canal from Tampa Electrics's Big Bend Power Station. The manatees gather here when the temperature of bay water falls below 68 degrees Fahrenheit.[T S, 03/09/2010]