The Majestic Manatees
Of Anna Maria Island
The sparkling blue sea, white-sand beaches and warm winter weather of Anna Maria draw in guests of all types. Meet the manatee–one of Anna Maria Island’s most delightful–and shy–visitors. Visit during the winter months and keep an eye out! If you’re lucky, you can spot these gentle giants puttering through the shallow waters around the area.
Manatees are large marine mammals, known for their gentle nature and rotund shape. Affectionately referred to as sea cows, manatees love visiting Florida’s Gulf-side because of the warm shallow water and good eats–they munch for almost eight hours a day on aquatic plants. The best chance to spot them is when they take a tell-tale breath, surfacing for air before submerging again to graze.
Plan your visit between November and March for the best chance at encountering the animals in the wild. If you look closely, you might be able to see a manatee in the Compass Hotel Marina! When the water becomes too hot in the summer and the manatees leave to seek cooler temperatures.
Keep an eye out as you explore Compass and the waterways of Anna Maria, Bradenton and Holmes Beach.If you head north from AMI to Apollo Beach you’ll happen upon a notorious manatee gathering place. Though if you want a guaranteed sighting, visit the Mote Aquarium in Sarasota. This research center and aquarium is home to two resident manatees, Hugh and Buffett. Visitors can learn their life, habitat and the other animals that populate Florida’s marine ecosystems.
Compass is grateful to share our waters with these amazing animals, which is why we donate a portion of our booking dollars to the Manatee Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP). Unfortunately, manatee populations have been severely impacted by humans, with boat propellers, watercraft accidents, fishing lines and environmental impacts among the top concerns. The MRP helps to rescue and rehabilitate injured and orphaned manatees found in Florida.