What is a Manatee you ask?
Manatees are large, slow-moving marine mammals that inhabit warm tropical and subtropical waters the Gulf of Mexico, along with a few other areas in the world like central America, the Caribbean and Africa. Commonly spotted from our private balconies overlooking the crystal green Gulf waters, the average adult manatees are about 10 to 14 feet long and weigh between 1,500 to 1,800 pounds, although the largest are over 13 feet and weigh 3,500 pounds. Their torpedo-shaped gray-brown bodies taper into flat, paddle-like tails and they have two flippers.
Manatees have one of the cutest faces, but one that only a mother could love, wrinkled with a ton of very stiff whiskers on the snout. Whiskers are used to help the animal feel it’s way around when grazing on vegetation like sea grass as they have extremely poor eyesight, and the nostrils ,on the upper surface of the snout, can close tightly like valves when submerged. Manatees are completely herbivorous and can eat 10-15% of their body weight daily, or 100 to 150 pounds of vegetation for a 1,000-pound manatee.
This means that a trip to the grass flats in Choctaw Bay are well worth it for any aspiring marine biologists in your family, as our manatees spend up to 8 hours a day feeding on the tender, salty shoots of seagrass. There are also many wonderful eco tours for your family to enjoy, that get you up close and personal via boat or paddle board and it’s a great way to see not only our manatees(keep a close eye out for the baby calves during the early spring months), but also a wide variety of other gulf critters that call our pristine coastal paradise home.
Though manatees live to be approximately 60 years old, these relatives of the elephant reproduce very slowly and because they are often mistaken for flotsam by boaters, they are run over frequently by watercraft, whose propellers kill or injure an alarming number of animals every year. This means that the world population of manatees is extremely endangered. However, a strong concerted effort has been made to ensure the future for these animals, and not only have they had the dubious honor of being one of the very first marine animals to be protected, but you will also be able to see for yourself the signs posted throughout our waterways that remind boaters to slow down and watch for the manatees.
For more information about our beautiful home here on the Gulf, be sure to contact the friendly staff at Sea Oats Motel in sunny Destin Florida, to learn more or book your stay.
Built facing beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico and our gorgeous, white sand dunes, the Sea Oats Motel, situated on a quiet part of Old Highway 98, is away from the noise and crowds of Emerald Coast Parkway, ideal for the traveler who prefers a more laid back vacation, and yet still only a moment away from all the area shopping, dining and entertainment that Destin is known for.
Our units, which include spacious living areas with cozy furniture, fully equipped kitchens, large modern bathrooms, sumptuous bedding and private balcony overlooking the Gulf, are mere steps away from a coastal paradise offering endless indoor and outdoor activities.
Of course our unrivalled beaches, with polished quartz crystal sand and sparkling emerald waves, are the star attraction and should be one of your first stops once you step out of your suites. Head down to our beautiful stretch of the Gulf, and take advantage of our outstanding beach services who can provide your family with everything from chairs and umbrellas to jet skis, kayaks, paddle boards and more.
Besides our resident manatees, other coastal wildlife your family may see from your room or when relaxing on the shore, are dolphins, sharks, a wide variety of fish, and bird life from pelicans to bald eagles. Be sure to catch one of our Technicolor sunsets from the intimacy of your private patio, and watch the fishing vessels roll in with the tide as they head home to port. After the beach, swing by our gorgeous beachside pools, surrounded by our lush, semi tropical foliage and fragrant flowers, or work up an appetite on lighted tennis courts.
Lots of fun adventures await your team just moments away from the Sea Oats Motel including bike and scooter rentals, dolphin excursions, sports fishing charters, Big Kahuna water park, go karting, arcades, mini golf, prestigious links, Henderson State Park, natural springs, caves, preserved plantations, shopping, dining and live entertainment.
There is so much to do and see on the Emerald Coast that you won’t know where to start first, but when you make your reservations to stay the the beachfront retreat the Sea Oats Motel in sunny Destin, you’ve started it off right.