Crystal River is home to several hundred manatees. Manatees can’t survive for lengthy periods of time in the cold Gulf of Mexico waters when the temperature drops below 68 degrees. During the winter months the manatees take refuge in the warmer waters of Kings Bay, the headwaters of the Crystal River. Crystal River is a small city that surrounds the Kings Bay. Kings Bay contains several springs producing millions of gallons of fresh water that keeps parts of the bay at 72 degrees Fahrenheit, year-round. The best place in the United States to view and even swim with manatees is in Crystal River during the winter months. February and March are the best and busiest months of the year for manatee tours. Please call or book online early, to reserve your tour.