Floridians’ dislike of cold weather isn’t limited to humans. Manatees living in the Gulf of Mexico flock to warmer waters as soon as water temperatures drop below 68 degrees. Hundreds seek thermal refuge each winter at Crystal River’s Three Sisters Springs, where the water’s always 72 degrees.
While some areas are manatee-only, snorkelers and kayakers still have a good chance of getting up close and personal with the mammals, which can be 13 feet long and up to 3,000 pounds. But be aware of the rules for interacting with manatees, which are protected under the Endangered Species Act.