Manatee Park#3 in Best Things To Do in Fort Myers
It's best to stop by Manatee Park, a refuge for Florida manatees, during the winter season (between December and February). During the colder months, the animals flock to warm pockets of water to escape chilly temperatures. Since the park is directly on the warm water discharge canal of the Florida Power & Light company, it's a popular spot for these gentle creatures. There are a handful of observation decks to see the animals up close, but you can also hop into a kayak and paddle out to spot them. You probably won't see manatees if you visit in summer, but you can enjoy the park's 16 acres in kayaks or on guided tours. Recent visitors to the park say when its cool out (and with a little patience) you can see upwards of 50 manatees at the park.
General admission to the park is free, but there is a small fee for parking ($5 a day, year-round). Kayak rentals and concessions are available from December to March from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the rest of the year concessions are closed and kayak rental is by reservation only. After catching a glimpse of the manatees, you can also explore the extensive on-site butterfly garden. You can check the website to see if manatees are present at the park on any given day.
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#1 J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge
Named after a political cartoonist and conservationist, the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge occupies 8,000 acres of land onSanibel Island, located southwest of Fort Myer's city center. The refuge, which takes up about half the entire island, was originally meant to conserve the island's significant mangrove forest. Today, it
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