Why you’ve got to go in Crystal River, Florida. Simply because it is just 90 minutes from Orlando and Tampa, in addition to that this is the only place you can swim with manatees in the wild. Winter is the best time to see them, though they hang there all year long.
What to do: Snorkeling/diving outfitters like American Pro Diving Center take you to the warm springs where these gentle mammals congregate. Be patient and respectful: Let the manatees approach you. This is a perfect place for your gradschoolers, tweens and teens.
Photo not mine.