Manatees (aka: sea cows) are a protected and threatened mammal that live in warm Florida waters.
They are observed up rivers, in canals, in open waters and bays, and on both coasts.
Manatees like to swim below the surface of waters and that makes them susceptible to being hit by boats.
Even though I live in Manatee County and on the Manatee River, I have only seen 2 manatees in 4 years of boating.
If you ever wanted to see them up close, the nearby Mote Aquarium and South Florida Museum in Bradenton both house live manatees.
Manatee Village Historical Park
604 15th st.
Several buildings with local historical significance have been restored and moved to a pleasant, oak-shaded park. You can visit Manatee County’s first courthouse, built in 1860, and number of original historic structures including a settler’s home, Wiggin’s General Store, Bunker Hill schoolhouse, an 1887 church, Foggart Boat House, and Potter’s Barn. The staff wears historically accurate dress. Near the Manatee River, this historic settlement was once the main shopping center for 5,500-square-mile Manatee county.
Across the street is the Manatee Burying Ground, which dates from 1850 and is appropriately eerie. Park hours are Monday through Friday 9 AM to 4:30 PM, Sunday 1:30 to 4:30 PM, closed Saturday. Admission is free.