Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach opens for 31st season

APOLLO BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center is back this year with the arrival of “Manatee Awareness Month.”

This year, the center will feature some new upgrades, including:

  • An expanded deck outside the gift shop
  • A new-and-improved 900-foot Tidal Flat Walkway.
  • A 1.4-mile trail that loops to a 50-foot-high observation tower with spectacular views of Tampa Bay.
  • Visitors can enjoy meeting the stingrays– and even touch them (gently) as they glide past in the water.

“We’re proud to be the showcase for Tampa Electric’s commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Stan Kroh, manager of Land and Stewardship Programs for Tampa Electric. “The more than 5 million visitors we have welcomed since 1986 prove that you really can have fun while learning about the natural treasures of Florida.”

For the past 30 years, manatees have been gathering in the clean, warm water discharge canal of Tampa Electric’s Big Bend Power Station to find refuge from the cold.

The Viewing Center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week, from November 1 through April 15, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. The facility closes at 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

The center is located on at 6990 Dickman Road in Apollo Beach.

Parking and admission are free. For more information, visit at or call 813-228-4289.

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