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$13.00* Adults.

$5.00* Children, 6 -12.


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Clearwater - Side Trip – Homosassa Springs


There were three top things on my Florida list; sunsets, beaches and dolphins.  I didn't dare put manatees on the list as, although these are everywhere in the winter time in Florida, looking for warm spots to bring their babies (and I think that's definitely worth a winter trip), in the summer most wild manatees head out.


Tipped off by a Park Ranger at Honeymoon Island (Joseph) I tore off to Homosassa Springs where there is an incredible State Park with four manatees who now live there permanently as, after a long rehab, they just wouldn't survive in the wild.  If you want to be sure to see them head there for feeding time.  I, of course, was so late that they didn't even charge me to enter the park and I was told I probably wouldn't see anything.  (Note there are two entrances to the park – if you take the first one driving north you have to take a trolley ride to the park, otherwise you can head to the next one and park closer to the animals.)  Just as I was being told I was pretty much out of luck I sucked in my breath as a beautiful, huge manatee appeared beneath us.  Rosie.  The magic of Florida was still with me as she appeared and spent the next forty minutes with us, showing off, turning pirouettes in the water, blowing kisses at the glass of the underwater observatory.  Crazy beautiful and glorious, even the staff were snapping photos.  Finally she decided she'd have enough of checking out the girl with the British accent and swum off.  We then had five minutes for one of the volunteers to run me around the park, seeing alligators, gopher tortoises… and that was pretty much it.  (But be careful on the drive up here – this is bear country!)


As I left the park I saw the most crazy cloud which looked just like a manatee.


Unfortunately the drive back to Clearwater was a bit of a slog and I had to pull over several times as I couldn't see through the rain, but at least it got me heading off in plenty of time for my drive to Naples (which was truly hellish).



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