Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

State Park in Homosassa Springs

This state park is essentially an old-school outdoor Florida animal encounter that features Florida's wealth of headliner species: American alligators, black bears, whooping cranes, Florida panthers, tiny Key deer and – especially – manatees. Homosassa's highlight is an underwater observatory directly over the springs, where through glass windows you can eyeball enormous schools of some 10,000 fish and ponderous manatees nibbling lettuce.

Various animal presentations happen daily, but time your visit for the manatee program (11:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm). The park itself is a short, narrated boat ride from the visitor center.