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Many holidaymakers plan to visit Florida for its long stretches of beaches, and luxurious hotels - imagine unwinding over a cocktail drink near the pool. But the truth is that there is so much to explore beyond the touristy attractions and four walls of a luxurious hotel. Florida is also home to many green sanctuaries including the Great Florida Birding Trail, or even verdant springs like the Wekiwa Springs. Thanks to many conservation programs, the state has rich and unique wildlife. Studies have shown that people generally feel at peace when they connect with nature, and one way to spend a wonderful holiday in Florida is by indulging in activities such as snorkeling or kayaking right in the midst of nature.

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A better way to rejuvenate oneself is by visiting green sanctuaries like the Crystal River and Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, where nature lovers will be able to get up close and personal with the wildlife such as the Manatees, flamingos, and alligators. The best part, of course, is embarking on a fun and epic airboat adventure tour, such as the one Viator offers while appreciating the wild nature surrounding.

Snorkel To Meet The Manatees At Crystal River

Located about 80 miles northwest of Orlando, the Crystal River is a true nature lover’s paradise. Dubbed ‘the Manatee Capital of the World’, Crystal River is a beautiful sanctuary known to be the only place in America, where swimming with the manatees in their natural habitat is allowed. The area is known for its balmy weather and warm, spring-fed waters from Three Sisters Springs, a hotspot of the manatees. With the luxuriant forests, aquamarine blue springs and vast backwaters, and wildlife, this place serves as a real buffer from the frenetic cities.

Gear up for exciting snorkeling or kayaking trip under the guidance of a Coast Guard Certified Captain and meet the amazing West Indian manatees right in their natural habitat at the Three Sister Springs, where water is crystal clear. While those who would rather appreciate the blissful nature in dry land can stroll along the boardwalk and even cycle to marvel at the sheer beauty of the sanctuary.

  • Duration: Three Hours
  • Note: snorkelers will have to hire a wetsuit for $10 prior to boat departure. Snorkeling equipment is provided.

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Encounter With Wildlife At Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

About a 16-minute drive from Crystal River lies the 210-acre Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. The park is a haven for numerous animals such as red wolves, alligators, bald eagles, wood storks, black bears, white-tailed deer, green sea turtles, and manatees. Birdwatchers will find various opportunities to take some great pictures of gorgeous flamingos and whooping cranes.

In addition, visitors will be able to visit Nature’s Fish Bowl, which is an underwater observatory nestled over the mouth of the main spring, where many fish can be spotted. Get an insight into the various conservation practices of the wildlife with the educational presentation at the park. After touring the park, visitors will enjoy a scrumptious seafood meal.

  • Duration: Two Hours
  • Admission Ticket: Included
  • What Is Included: Lunch (Most likely seafood)
  • Available Activities: Kayaking, fishing, boating, birdwatching, and snorkeling to see the manatees.
  • Animals More Likely To Spot: Alligators, manatees, otters, bald eagles, and more than 200 bird species, among other animals.

Related: Glamp Florida: 10 Campsites That Are Worth Booking

Enjoy A Thrilling Airboat Ride At Withlacoochee River

The Withlacoochee River (known by the Creek Indian as Little Big Water) is sourced by the Green Swamp which lies in Polk, Lake, and Hernando Counties. It’s a 30-minute drive to reach the wild and rustic Withlacoochee River from Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. Here visitors will enjoy a thrilling adventure through the winding path of the dense swamps on an airboat. The airboat will glide through the waters at a fast speed kicking an adrenaline rush. Enjoy the refreshing sensation of the breeze right on the face and bask in the lush green view of the grand cypress trees and animals living here. Wildlife includes alligators, osprey, hawks, and turtles.

  • Duration: One Hour
  • Activity: Thrilling Airboat Ride

Amazing Manatees, Airboats & Everglades Tour Includes:

  • Admission into Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
  • Airboat ride on the Withlacoochee River Roundtrip
  • Roundtrip Transportation from International Drive, Disney, and Kissimmee areas
  • Professional and Certified Tour Guide
  • Lunch
  • Complimentary Mask and Snorkel

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