Three Sisters Springs Boardwalk and Refuge
We are right in the middle of manatee season here along Florida's Nature Coast, and one of the best places in the world to see them in person is right here in our backyard at Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River.
It is important to understand that seeing Three Sisters Springs from the boardwalk and exploring the area from the water are two completely different experiences. Depending on what you are looking for, either option could make for a great afternoon in Citrus County.
Three Sisters Springs from the Boardwalk
With 57 acres of preserve occupying this Florida wetland, there is a lot to see and do around Three Sisters Springs. And one of the best ways to take it all in is from the 1/4-mile boardwalk that connects different viewing platforms around the property.
The fee for visiting Three Sisters Spring varies based on the season. It is $15 for a one-day adult pass during manatee season, which is double the cost during the off-manatee season. Of course, if you are interested in actually seeing manatees, the added cost for the winter season is more than reasonable.
In order to get to the boardwalk, you have to take the trolley from the Three Sisters Springs Center. Those trolleys head out to the boardwalk about every 30 minutes, and they are operating every day of the week during manatee season.
On top of providing transportation between the Three Sister Springs Center and the boardwalk, the trolleys also continue on to three other destinations around Crystal River.
Three Sisters Springs by Water
Another way to get up close and personal with the manatees during their peak season is to visit Three Sisters Springs by water. There is nothing quite like cruising through the springs in a kayak or canoe, so this should definitely be on your Citrus County bucket list.
There are no boat ramps or access points located within the reserve, but there are plenty of options to get into the water located nearby. For most people, the best option is to launch from Kings Bay and then making your way out to the springs.
Anyone exploring the springs by water should be careful to respect the restricted manatee habitats.
The following is a link for the Three Sisters Springs.
The Manatee Festival
If you have been thinking about making a special trip to Three Sisters Springs, this weekend is actually the perfect opportunity. They are hosting a Manatee Festival on Saturday, January 19 and Sunday, January 20.
The boardwalk area will be open from 9 am to 3 pm on both days and admission will be completely free to public visitors. This will allow you to see manatees from the boardwalk without having to pitch up the usual $15 admission fee.
Whether you are a manatee expert or just someone looking for something fun to do this weekend, Three Sisters Springs offers ways to get up close and personal with manatees on dry land via their boardwalk or in the water.
We highly recommend taking the time to attend the Manatee Festival there this weekend.