Crystal River - 3 Sister Springs and manatees!

Crystal River is known as the only place you can legally swim with the Florida manatees. We had a great trip and wanted to share some video of the beautiful Three Sisters Springs and our time snorkeling with manatee in King's Bay.

See our properties in the area.

"3 Sisters" comes from a little cove where there are 3 springs that feed into the bay. 64,000 gallons of water come out of the springs every day at a constant 72 degrees. Making it a great refuge for the manatee in the Winter, escaping the cooler (40 degree)  water temps in the Gulf.


Here is a video of one of the "Sisters" and includes an underwater selfie.

Snorkeling at Three Sisters Springs:

After an afternoon thundershower, we had the unique experience of being the first ones back in the springs. Having the entire cove to ourselves. So clear, so peaceful.

Snorkeling at Three Sisters Springs:

In the Winter time, this area can be filled with 400-600 manatee. In warmer months they head out into open water. In July, there are about 60-80 that are still around and live in King's Bay year round.

Kayaking at Three Sisters Springs:

Kayaks and paddleboards can be rented in the area (or bring your own). The water is crystal clear, in the Springs water depth ranges from about 3-15 feet.

 Snorkeling with manatees:

Manatees are docile animals that just like grazing on the vegetation on the bottom.  You are not supposed to kick them or disrupt them or chase them, just float there and watch.  Sometimes they turn into your path, or the current carries you over them (and they may come up for air) ... kind of hard to remain still with a GoPro on your wrist and you need to back-paddle.  


Still, pretty cool experience.

Momma and baby manatee!

The water in King's Bay is more murky than Three Sisters Springs, but you can get close up with the manatee. Here is a mom and baby grazing together.  


We were fortunate that there were (2) adults and a baby in the area when we were there. Huge animals, totally awesome experience.

Snorkeling with manatees:

 Sometimes they will engage you -- My beard underwater resembles the grass they feed on and the baby came over to investigate.  It kind of freaked me out. 


The manatee come up for air about every 3-5 minutes. They have different personalities, some are curious and playful, some just ignore swimmers and want to eat, others swim away and avoid. They really just want to not be bothered or have people with flippers on kicking them in the head while eating.

Snorkeling with manatees (King's Bay):

Only in about 5 feet of water, you don't want to be kicking or it will disturb the manatee and kick up silt from the bottom reducing visibility.  You want to have a noodle around your waste to keep your feet up and just float there!