If you’re looking for a new cruising destination, or just something fun to do, head for Crystal River, Florida, about 70 miles north of Tampa, and swim with the manatees. About six miles up the river, you’ll find a system of 40 bubbling springs that stay a constant 72 degrees all year long. Because of the warm water, the area is the home of the largest manatee population in the U.S., and it’s the only place in North America where swimmers can legally interact with them.
Here’s a great story from Southern Boating that gives details about how to get there and what you’ll find once you arrive. Entering from the Gulf of Mexico, you need to watch your draft; if you need more than five feet, you probably should wait for at least half high tide. Otherwise, follow the channel markers. You can tie up at Pete’s Pier Marina, the largest on the river, or head for the upscale resort of Plantation on Crystal River, with 232 manicured acres and a great Tiki Bar. Then go to the dive center to get ready for a swim with the manatees. Sounds like fun. For more: https://southernboating.com/destinations/us-gulf/crystal-river-fl/