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Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, one of the best places to see manatees on Florida’s Space Coast

a sunset over a body of water

a bird sitting on top of a pole

When most people think of the Space Coast, they immediately think of the Kennedy Space Center. However, we’d like to think there’s some other famous locals to come and visit – manatees!

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is situated in the Indian River Lagoon which 1/3 of the nation’s manatees either call home or migrates through during the winter. The average depth in the lagoon is only 4 feet which allows the sun to heat it more easily – allowing an abundance of food and sanctuary for the manatees.

Manatees might look like they are packed with blubber, but they in fact have very little fat on them and need to be in warm waters to survive. That is why you will find them spending a lazy day meandering about the Indian River Lagoon or slowly cruising down the Haulover Canal. Manatees have no natural predators which has allowed them to be curious creatures. On our one of our clear kayak tours, it is not unusual for manatees to come up to our kayaks to take a peak and say “hi”.

The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is home to many other animals as well including bottlenose dolphins. Anywhere from 200-800 dolphins make these waters their home at any given time. They are very specialized predators, so once they learn to hunt in an area they tend to stick around.

This is just some of the amazing wildlife that you can see, and there is no better way to see it than from a clear kayak. We are stoked  to now be offering day and sunset tours through the Refuge. Please come join us and let one of our awesome guides show you around and share their love of this natural treasure with you.