Some people may think that whales and dolphins are the marine animals that we all need to see. While I do enjoy seeing them, my new favorites are the Manatees. Known as “sea cows” these large and rather slow animals are just plain adorable. We did see a couple in the Weeki Wachee River but we decided that the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs State Park was a better way to actually see them up close and personal and we were right. They have an underwater viewing tank and an outdoor tank where you can watch the manatee.
Now if Homosassa only had the manatee it would be interesting but it has so much more. You begin by entering the Park at U.S. 19 so that you can take the riverboat tour up Pepper Creek to get to the wildlife part of the park.
The day we were there it was warm. Really it was the first gorgeous day in a while and everybody in the world seemed to have decided to visit there too. We had to wait in line to pay and then wait in line to get on the riverboat. There were so many people waiting that they brought in another boat. Even at that it was rather crowded.
We had three people on our seat and that made it just a little cozy for my liking especially since I wanted to take pictures but other people were making it impossible for more than two people to sit on their bench so we sat close together to allow the people walking in the aisle to sit down.
I was able to take some photos while we cruised along. When we arrived at the west gate we were hungry and stopped to grab a bite to eat at the Wildside Café. The hamburger and fries were very good and not over-priced.
The walk around the park is over a mile but there are benches along to way to rest. The heat was more of an issue for me that the distance. We got to see “Lu” the hippo and lots of alligators were taking advantage of the warm weather to sun themselves.
The birds are just amazing. We saw owls, ducks, bald eagles, flamingos and a whole lot more.
The only thing I didn’t visit was the snakes and lizards, I just didn’t want to. I loved the black bear and the panther and of course the manatee.
I was quite exhausted by the time we finished so we took the tram back, it is faster than the riverboat.
I can’t recommend Homosassa Spring State Park enough, I just loved it and I am sure it is somewhere that we will visit again and again.