Springs, River and Deer: Just part of camping at Manatee Springs

I have been camping at Manatee Springs State Park twice.  I think it is one of the most beautiful parks in Florida (then again, I think I say that about each park we visit).  I have not seen the manatees for which the park is named, but even though I’m sure they add to the wonder of the place, not seeing them does not detract.

The springs are a cool 72 degrees year round.  My first trip to the park was an October and the air temperature was an even cooler 40 degrees.  To my horror, there was a bikini clad woman in the water!  I had to dip my toes in and was delighted to find that the water felt warm (not delighted enough to jump in though).  My second trip was during a 4th of July weekend – the air temperate was in the 90s.  The water was still 72, but was freezing against my skin.  This time I did jump in, otherwise my brother would have thrown me in!  In hindsight, I see the wisdom of  the bikini clad woman…  After all, her husband was waiting just outside with a towel in his hand.

The park itself is gorgeous, with its tall trees, playground, concession stand, canoes, and so much more.  A boardwalk takes you along the spring run and to the river.

My husband would not go canoeing with me (he’s terrified of the alligators – don’t tell him I told you) so I went with my sister-in-law and he took this picture (I’m in the front).  What an adventure!  I had never been canoeing before and we drove ourselves to the edge and into the trees on various occasions.

Back at the campsite, as we got up in the morning, we were amazed at what awaited just outside our camper.  Deer, many of them, just there, around the tents, the fire pits, the campers; not a bit afraid or put off by the human intruders.

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