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manatees & dolphins in June?

Kissimmee, Florida
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14 posts
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manatees & dolphins in June?

I just moved to Kissimmee and have a friend visiting. I'm thinking of doing a long loop over to the west this Sat. so she can visit the Gulf beaches. I know she would be thrilled to see both manatees and dolphins in the wild--so would I! Where are the best places to be fairly sure of sightings in mid-June? I can loop up to Hillsborough River SP, over to any of the parks along the Gulf (thinking of looping down I-75 so we can cross the Sunshine Skyway--she LOVES bridges!), just about wherever. I'm kind of thinking of ending our day at Honeymoon Island for a picnic dinner and the sunset, but I'm open to suggestions from people who know the area better! I stayed at Indian Rocks Beach for a week a few years ago, and have been all over the area, but not for some time. Thank you!

Orlando
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1. Re: manatees & dolphins in June?

The Sunshine Skyway is on 275 not 75. If I really wanted to see dolphins, I would do a dolphin watch cruise out of John's Pass in Madeira Beach.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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189 posts
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2. Re: manatees & dolphins in June?

Rod and reel pier at Anna Maria island, we always see manatee and dolphins there.

Clearwater, Florida
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3. Re: manatees & dolphins in June?

May enjoy some time at John's Pass Village in Madeira Beach/Tresure Island. Great views from the boardwalk, will almost for sure see plenty of dolphins. Manatees can also be seen from there, and just about anywhere along the bay/intracoastal, but their sightings will be rarer than dolphins.

There are also lots of shops, and dolphin cruises out of Clearwater Beach. There is also the nightly sunset celebration from Pier 60. www.sunsetsatpier60.com

http://www.littletoot.us/

http://www.calypsoqueen.com/

http://www.cmaquarium.org/

http://www.palmpavilion.com/

http://www.johnspass.com/

http://www.frenchysonline.com/

Kissimmee, Florida
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14 posts
29 reviews
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4. Re: manatees & dolphins in June?

Thanks, everyone. I know the Sunshine Skyway is on I-275; I just have to loop down I-75 to get there, instead of going more or less directly west from Kissimmee. We can't afford a cruise, so I'm thinking a state park and pier visit are probably in order. I'll look into Rod & Reel Pier on Anna Maria--that looks like a great possibility for us!

Does anyone have experience with Hillsborough River SP, or other state parks in the area where manatees are supposed to be fairly common?

Thanks! You've all been very helpful!

Tampa, Florida
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179 posts
9 reviews
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5. Re: manatees & dolphins in June?

I have been to Hillsborough River SP and rented a canoe there and went up the hillsborough river. I can say you'll probably spot a couple of gators along the way, but I have never seen a manatee there. Haven't been there often, so maybe others that frequent there will know. I would go early morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat. We spot dolphins in Hillsborough Bay from Bayshore Blvd in Tampa, but it's not consistent. Here are some last resorts if you can't find any the wild .

This power plant has manatee viewing but it is out of season now!

http://www.tampaelectric.com/manatee/

Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa has manatees. I was just there, and it is very nice zoo without a huge crowd.

www.lowryparkzoo.com/bio_aquatic_manatee.php

Kissimmee, Florida
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14 posts
29 reviews
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6. Re: manatees & dolphins in June?

Thanks, everyone. Maybe we'll just skip the state park this time--I know if I wanted to drive all the way to Homossassa, there would be manatees, but that's just too much for what's already a single-day lots-of-driving trip! I've been to John's Pass, and it was fun, but don't remember seeing any dolphins there. Of course, that trip was when we stayed at Indian Rocks Beach, and there were a couple of dolphins that came up the intracoastal every day at sunrise & sunset--right off our balcony! I'm sure we'll find something fun to do, and we'll get those dolphin pics my friend is dying to take home!

I'm seeing MANY reviews for good food in the area--would your vote be for Rod & Reel, one of the Frenchys (if so, which is best?), or some other restaurant for really fresh seafood without paying an arm & a leg? Many, many thanks to all of you for all of your help! I know as I learn my way around, I'll get to know the Clearwater/St. Pete area better, but for now, I'm a newbie!

Clearwater, Florida
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23 reviews
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7. Re: manatees & dolphins in June?

The 4 Frenchy's, as I see them...

1) Rockaway Grill. This is their biggest. It is directly on the beach, with inside, and outside seating on a deck right on the beach. Also their busiest. There can be a 30 min or so wait at busier times, dinner near sunset. GREAT place to watch the sunset.

Just across the parking lot from this Frenchy's (1 minute walk) is the Palm Pavilion. Very good food and drinks, also ourtside seating on a deck right on the beach. Great alternative if Frenchy's is too crowded/busy. Just as good most of the times. This Frenchy's is a little more "restaurant with bar", Palm Pavilion is a little more "Bar with restaurant" if that makes any sense.

2) Frenchy's South Beach Cafe. Smaller place. Along BeachWalk. More of a laid-back beach bar, with good food available. http://www.crabbybills.com/BW.html is a 1 minute walk away. Usually a little livlier of a place. Good food and drinks but with a fun open air bar and seating on a second floor deck with better beach/water/sunset views.

3) Frenchy's Salt Water Cafe. Medium size. Fun place for drinks and food. A couple blocks of the main road, no beach view. For a sad analogy, kind of like a Hooters atmosphere, but better food and people. www.cooters.com is next door for an additional option. Very good also.

4) Frenchy's Original. Very small place. A bar and some tables. Good if wanting the great food, but don't care about the view/atmosphere. Usually a few folks having a good time at the small bar. Great to grab food to go.

Orlando
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10,068 posts
2 reviews
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8. Re: manatees & dolphins in June?

You may have not seen them on the boardwalk at the Pass, but you will see them on one of the dolphin cruises. They go back in he intercoastal where there are lots of them. They also offer a sunset cruise too.

9. Re: manatees & dolphins in June?

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