People come from all over to see Anna Maria Island dolphins and manatees. There are many spots on or around the island where you can find them. The best times to watch dolphins on AMI are during the warmer months, particularly early morning and late afternoon.
Aside from dolphins, you can spot manatees, which thrive in slow-moving rivers like estuaries. They are usually slow swimmers and feed on aquatic plants and seaweed.
This post will be your guide on where to see AMI dolphins and manatees.
Best Places to Watch Anna Maria Island Dolphins and Manatees
When there is boat traffic, fish usually move closer to the shore. As a result, it can attract dolphins. It is why some dolphins end up on AMI beaches. You might spot dolphins when kayaking or paddle boarding near the beaches of Anna Maria Island.
Head on a boat tour and spot bottlenose dolphins. These dolphins are common around the island and are considered social mammals. A boat tour can last for two hours, and you can even watch the sunset as a bonus.
Check out the waterways, bays, and canals surrounding Anna Maria Island. Manatees usually find their way in these places close to the mangroves.
Leffis Key Preserve is a popular place to observe dolphins and manatees. Take advantage of their wooden trails and terrace, where you can view them from the shore. You could also head off the island to Robinson Preserve. It’s in Bradenton, which is a short trip from the island.
The water is usually warmer in the marinas. That means there is a good chance you can find manatees there. They love to migrate to warmer areas, especially in the cooler months. Visit the Anna Maria Island City Pier and Holmes Beach Marina to observe these amazing creatures.
When watching Anna Maria Island dolphins and manatees, please keep your distance. The Federal law states that boaters must be 50 yards away from manatees and dolphins. You can get a closer look if you bring binoculars.
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