The countryside around Orlando, FL, is full of amazing crystal-clear freshwater springs- many of them within an hour's drive from Disney World. There are tons to choose from- we've even written about one of them before, Silver Springs. However, one particular freshwater springs state park has a special claim to fame.
Blue Spring State Park has an intriguing slogan: "Winter Home To The Manatee" . That slogan is more than just hype- as TikTok user @teresa_kal's video shows, the park lives up to its claim!
Want the perfect place to spend the day with sea cows? Head to Blue Spring State Park- especially in the winter! Manatees are common in many of the local freshwater springs, but they especially seem to like it here, with over 400+ of them migrating to the idyllic, aptly-named blue spring waters.
Despite their large, bulky appearance, manatees don't have a lot of blubber to insulate them from the cold, unlike many marine mammals. They can't survive in cold waters for very long, and when their waters dip below about 68 F, they have to find a warmer place to weather out the winter. Because the water in Blue Spring stays around 72-73 F all year round, it's the perfect place for manatees to wait out the winter cold! Plus, with no motorboats to injure them, it's a safe sanctuary from many of the common dangers manatees face in the wild.
What could be better than watching hundreds of happy manatees floating around their winter home? "So cute," @peronaghost neatly summed it up in the comments. With it being early January, it's the perfect time to check out the manatees in Blue Spring State Park. A couple words of warning first, though.
To protect the manatees' winter habitat, the "Spring Run" area is closed off from water activities until March. Also, because this park is extremely popular (gee, wonder why?) it sometimes has to temoporarily close off to new visitors when it reaches capacity. We recommend calling ahead before to make sure you've got a good chance of getting in. Still, we think the little bit of extra planning is worth it for the chance to check out those spectacular sea cows!
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