Manatee Sanctuary Park




Stand at the edge of the boardwalk while watching the cruise ships on the Banana River at Manatee Sanctuary Park at 701 Thurm Boulevard in Cape Canaveral. Realistic looking sculptures of a Manatee with her calf and three turtles by Ken Laudadio. Read the plaques and learn about the species and their habitats. Walk along the water’s edge and see if you can spot a Manatee.

Stroll along the boardwalk while feeling the breeze along the Banana River. Keep your mind fit as well as your body at the exercise stations along the 1/2 mile trail. Rent a pavilion for parties or bring a picnic lunch and relax while your children play on the playground.

Stop at the bridge and see if you can name some of the different bird species that inhabit the park. Hours of operation and rental information posted on the website. Before boarding your planned cruise, spend a relaxing couple of hours at the park.

Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge

Stand at the observation tower and see if you can identify any of the 215 species of migratory birds in the Lake Woodruff Wildlife Refuge at 2045 Mud Lake Road in DeLeon Springs. Walk on the stepping-stones that lead to the Butterfly Garden that includes a variety of host plants.

Storyboards throughout the visitor center chronicle the early life in Volusia County. Over 8,000 years ago, the Timucua a Native American Tribe settled the land. Artifacts displayed used for hunting and warfare, sharpening tools, fishing, jewelry, utensils and many other uses. In the early part of the nineteenth century, William Williams bought the property and built Spring Garden Plantation. In the early 1820s, Major Joseph Woodruff bought the property and named it Lake Woodruff after a nearby lake.

Bears, Coyotes, and Deer some of the animals that you might encounter while hiking the many trails. Take a canoe or boat ride and see some of the magnificent wildlife.

In the mid-1960s, the alligator on the brink of extinction listed as an endangered species eventually made a full recovery. A diorama of the alligator and plaques that surrounds the diorama describes the recovery process. Free admission to the refuge, hours of operation on the website.