Add dates

Crystal RiverNature & adventure

Our most recommended Crystal River Nature & adventure

Crystal River: Manatee Snorkel Tour w/ In-Water Photographer

1. Crystal River: Manatee Snorkel Tour w/ In-Water Photographer

Get back to nature and discover the home of the world’s largest population of endangered manatees in the winter on a pontoon boat tour to Three Sisters Springs. Get the chance to interact with the curious, gentle giants in their natural habitat.  Learn all about the animals in a classroom-type setting and get tips for your snorkel tour to make the most of your day. Hear about "passive interaction" that ensures that the animals enjoy the experience just as much as you do. Then, journey to the estuary with a Coast Guard captain aboard a covered pontoon boat. Get your snorkeling gear on, marvel at the wildlife around you, and get up close to the sea cows as they move slowly through the water. Head back to base camp to visit the one-of-a-kind gift shop and purchase unique souvenirs. Get tips on what to do in the Kings Bay area, along with directions from the well-informed staff to other local attractions and restaurants.

Homosassa: Gulf of Mexico Airboat Ride and Dolphin Watching

2. Homosassa: Gulf of Mexico Airboat Ride and Dolphin Watching

Glide through the saltwater marshes and shallow waters of the Homosassa River and Gulf of Mexico aboard a powerful airboat. Look for bottlenose dolphins and other wildlife in their natural habitat to reconnect with nature. Feel the speed beneath you as you twist and turn through the mangroves, canals, and backwaters. Access areas that other boats can't reach and encounter abundant wildlife off the beaten path. Marvel as your US Coast Guard Captain and guide safely pilots the boat at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. Get an adrenaline rush as you traverse the waterways and soak up the natural beauty on all sides. Every day is different when it comes to the wildlife, but a morning ride is highly recommended if you hope to encounter animals in the wild. The diverse birdlife will truly amaze you, while West Indian manatees can sometimes be seen on a good day.

Crystal River: VIP Manatee Swim w/ In-water Photographer

3. Crystal River: VIP Manatee Swim w/ In-water Photographer

Swim with manatees in the spring-fed King’s Bay Wildlife Refuge in Crystal River, home to the world’s largest population of the endangered creatures during the winter. Encounter these gentle giants in their natural habitat. Benefit from the services of a Coast Guard certified captain and in-water educator and photographer. Learn about the animals in a classroom-type setting and get tips to make the most of your day. Hear about passive interaction to make sure that the animals enjoy the experience just as much as you do! Then, suit up and board a covered pontoon boat to immerse yourself in the manatees' world. Be treated like royalty aboard the boat and see the wildlife refuge in style. Return to the facility at the end of your adventure and visit the one-of-a-kind gift shop! Hear about other local attractions and restaurants, and get answers to any questions you may have before you depart.

Orlando: Manatee Encounter, Snorkeling, and Airboat Ride

4. Orlando: Manatee Encounter, Snorkeling, and Airboat Ride

Snorkel thorugh marine life in the Crystal Rive on this day trip from Orlando. Ride in a comfortable and airconditioned bus to Homosassa Springs State Park for a guided visit. Find out about manatees and go for an airboat ride on the Withlacoochee River. In the morning, head out to the beautiful Crystal River area to start your snorkeling adventure. Explore the river and admire unique wildlife in its natural habitat. Learn about the magnificent manatee and have the opportunity to see them up close. Next is a guided visit to the Homosassa Springs State Park. Discover local wildlife, including the endangered Florida panther, black bears, red wolves, bobcats, alligators, and more. Learn about the park’s manatee rehabilitation program and stop at an underwater observatory built over the mouth of a spring. Enjoy a packed lunch before heading to the Withlacoochee River, to end your day with an exciting airboat ride. Ride through this area which is another natural haven, where you can see more local wildlife. Feel the thrill of skimming over the water with an exhilarating trip in a flat-bottomed boat.

Orlando: Swim with Manatees and Homosassa State Park Visit

5. Orlando: Swim with Manatees and Homosassa State Park Visit

The gentle manatees of the Crystal River await your arrival on this delightful day-long tour where you can swim with these curious creatures. Your day will begin with complimentary pickup from one of the key meeting points in Orlando, Kissimmee, Lake Buena Vista and Disney. You will then be whisked away to the picturesque Crystal River. Crystal River is home to the curious and endangered manatee. Also known as Sea Cows, these creatures are most definitely the gentle giants of the marine world. Here you have the chance to snorkel or swim in the clear blue waters. Manatees are curious creatures and will often come to greet those who choose to snorkel or swim. They may even roll over to be tickled! Those who prefer to stay above water may wish to simply sit back, relax and enjoy the natural surroundings. After lunch at your own expense, you will visit the beautiful Homosassa State Park, one of Florida’s best kept secrets. There, enjoy the chance to see many of Florida’s endangered species, such as the state panther, and watch the manatees again from an underwater viewing chamber. Fun, relaxed and light-hearted, this day-long tour and swim with the manatees is the perfect tour choice for the whole family!

Crystal River: Manatee Swim Group Tour

6. Crystal River: Manatee Swim Group Tour

Voted one of the top 10 World’s “Bucket List” Experiences in 2022, swimming with manatees is something you cannot miss while in Florida. Citrus County is revered as the manatee capital of the world, and swimming with manatees in their natural habitat is a privilege. Coming face to face with a thousand pound gentle giant is an experience unlike any other in the world! During your introduction to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission's "Manatee Manners" video, you'll learn all about manatees and how to behave around them. This ensures that you have a super time snorkeling with these gentle giants while not disturbing any other their natural behaviors. After sliding into wetsuits, your guide will take you on a 5-minute van ride to the dock where you will be greeted by your Master Captain. As you hop aboard a safe, comfortable, and clean US Coast Guard certified vessel, you will to embark on your journey into the Kings Bay refuge waters. Offering information on ecology, history and some silly anecdotes about our area, your crew will offer the best manatee eco-tour in Crystal River, FL Your captain and guide are very skilled in locating manatees even in the most challenging conditions. When it's time to ease into the water, your guide will give you a snorkel lesson and help get you comfortable in the water. They will be your personal photographer and assistant every step of the way, making your manatee tour safe and memorable. The amount of time you will spend snorkeling in the water with manatees varies greatly as these are wild animals and their behavior changes by the day and even the hour. If they are not found in the springs areas, you will typically have time to swim into one of our springs after the manatee portion of your tour. It's always best to check in with our office staff to have realistic expectations of conditions on any tour throughout the year. At the end of the tour, your guide will bring you back to the shop where you can view their pictures and videos and decide if you'd like to purchase them.

Crystal River: Kayak Rental

7. Crystal River: Kayak Rental

Check-in at the shop 30 minutes prior to your reservation time to watch a short video (required by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) and sign some waivers before heading to the water. From there, transport yourself 0.7 miles to the launch dock where you will get a short introduction to your equipment and how to paddle your kayak. Start your adventure in the water by getting comfortable with your kayak while paddling through the waterways that lead to King's Bay and the Crystal River. Follow the map (included with your rental) toward your favorite natural springs as you look for manatees, dolphins, turtles, fish, birds, and other wildlife. Enjoy nature, the sun, the fresh air, and the calm waters of Crystal River. When arriving at the natural springs, such as the Three Sister Springs, take advantage of the beautiful clear waters to get lots of pictures and boost your Instagram posts.

Crystal River: Manatee Viewing Eco-Cruise

8. Crystal River: Manatee Viewing Eco-Cruise

Discover authentic Florida on this manatee viewing cruise in Crystal River, FL. Aboard a US Coast Guard-certified vessel, where you will join an experienced Master Captain for a journey into the tranquil waters of Kings Bay, a refuge for the gentle giants. The seasoned Captains are adept at finding manatees year-round, ensuring an exceptional tour during any season. As Crystal River proudly holds the title "The Manatee Capital of the World," you'll have the opportunity to see these world-famous wild manatees in their natural habitat. Be ready to capture the picturesque scenery and diverse wildlife that call this refuge home, including a variety of bird species, turtles, and the occasional dolphins. While cruising and exploring the region, learn all about the history of Kings Bay, the biology and ecology of manatees, as well as facts about other creatures that live alongside them - A truly nature lovers' eco-tour.

Crystal River: Kings Bay Manatee Sunset Cruise

9. Crystal River: Kings Bay Manatee Sunset Cruise

Set sail from Crystal River and go out to explore Kings Bay, on Florida's Nature Coast, as you relax aboard a sunset cruise for 100 minutes. Bring your own food and drinks along with your family and friends for a memorable end of your day. At just over an hour and a half, this guided tour gives you a special glimpse at Florida’s unique wildlife, culminating in an evening sunset that you can enjoy out on the water. As you go through the bay looking for manatees, dolphins, otters, turtles, and a variety of birds & fishes, your Captain will point out the highlights of the area. After watching the sunset, head back to the starting point of the excursion.

River Cruise with Manatee Viewing

10. River Cruise with Manatee Viewing

With so much wildlife to enjoy, the Nature Coast beckons you to explore! Our Eco-tour will enlighten the wildlife enthusiast, amateur photographer, birdwatcher and every individual in between! Grab your binoculars and join us for an eco-journey to take in the sparkling springs, the calming river, and the inviting Gulf of Mexico on a certified vessel that is safe and comfortable. You never know what will be discovered on this wildlife odyssey, as this area serves as one of the richest estuaries left on the Gulf of Mexico! Kings Bay is the second largest spring system in Florida, which is fed by dozens of fresh water springs spitting out more than 280 million gallons of fresh water daily! The bay serves as the head waters for the Crystal River and is extremely unique and incredibly important to each animal species that depend on it for survival. We strive to educate and open all hearts to the necessity of protection. Wading birds, waterfowl, black crowned night herons, wood storks, bald eagles, brown and white pelicans, osprey, red-tailed hawks, and of course the endangered manatee are just some of many animals that depend on this ecosystem to sustain themselves! On this Eco-tour, your Captain and Mother Nature will team up to ensure the most unforgettable, awe-inspiring time possible! Enjoy the sparkling springs of Crystal River’s idyllic King’s Bay. Learn about the ecosystem and the animals that depend on the refuge for their survival. If you are lucky we may even encounter manatee, dolphins, eagles, osprey, tarpon or alligator in the best way possible -- their natural habitat.

12 activities found
Sort by:

You might also like...

Immersive experiences

Crystal River

Crystal River

Frequently asked questions about Crystal River Nature & adventure

What are other things to do than Nature & adventure that are worth visiting in Crystal River?

Other Sightseeing Options in Crystal River

Want to discover all there is to do in Crystal River? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Crystal River

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 21 reviews

Words can not describe how amazing this one in a life time experience this was. The friend hospitality with your team, and the knowledge they provided to all guests. We tell all our friends and family about it.

This was such an incredible experience! Trish and Wade was our team today and they were informative, friendly and professional! We will definitely be back again!

We saw so many manatees and faith and troy were excellent guides. I would highly recommend the private tour. Well worth it. Great family memories

Staff was so kind and friendly. It was amazing and will do again!

Our guide was great the ride was fun and very informative.