During these challenging times, we’re all dreaming of soaking up the sun a little further afield than our front porches. But while we can’t take that trip just yet, we can start making a bucket list of places to visit when this is all over — and these fantastic natural springs in the Sunshine State should definitely be on that list.
These are 10 of the best springs in Florida that are truly worth the visit:
- Ginnie Springs — High Springs, FL
- Weeki Wachee — Weeki Wachee, FL
- Rainbow Springs — Dunnellon, FL
- Devil’s Den — Williston, Florida
- Three Sisters Springs — Crystal River, FL
- Fanning Springs — Fanning Springs, FL
- Juniper Springs — Silver Springs, FL
- Rock Springs — Apopka, FL
- Homosassa Springs — Homosassa, FL
- Ichetucknee Springs — Fort White, FL
Whatever the season you’re looking to travel, there’s really never a wrong time to make your way to any of these incredible springs. Cheap car rentals can be found at all the nearby airports, so rent from one of the major hubs and check off as many springs as you can. Perhaps you can turn the journey into a road trip to see the best attractions in Florida?
Almost all of these springs hover around a temperature of 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit, year-round. Florida’s springs play a vital part in its ecosystem, supporting different types of plant and animal life. They are also crystal clear — some of Earth’s most beautiful bodies of water.
1. Ginnie Springs – High Springs, Florida
Ginnie Springs is one of the most visited and gorgeous natural springs in Florida. What is unique about Ginnie Springs is that it is not just one spring, but one of seven.
These Florida springs are connected via the Santa Fe River, creating the perfect lazy river day trip. Ginnie is the largest spring and its crystal clear blue waters and underwater caves are perfect for scuba diving. It’s also a great spot for camping, group outings, a sand volleyball match, and swimming in both summer and winter.
2. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park – Weeki Wachee, Florida
More towards the west coast, you will find the graceful waters of Weeki Wachee Springs. This state park has multiple attractions for the whole family to enjoy such as a mermaid show, wildlife show, a boat cruise, and a swimming bay.
Being one of the deepest springs, the bottom has yet to be found. So rent a tube and enjoy the Weeki Wachee Springs and river which connects to the Gulf of Mexico! It’s just $13 per adult and $8 for children between the ages of 6 – 12 to enter.
3. Rainbow Springs – Dunnellon, Florida
This Florida spring encompasses way more than just crystal blue swimming waters. This natural spring has a butterfly garden as well as an array of plant life and waterfalls. If you are looking for an outdoor adventure, rent a kayak or a canoe, and enjoy the scenery.
Since this is a Florida State Park, so admission is cheap: just $2 per adult and free for children under six. This is definitely the place to visit for those who love 72-degree water and wildlife.
4. Devil’s Den – Williston, Florida
Talk about a scuba diver’s dream! Devil’s Den is one of the most structurally unique springs in Florida, lending a stairway to get down into the den.
The waters may seem cooler than the normal springs due to its underground nature. Many divers and snorkelers find their way into the den in the summertime. If traveling here in winter, renting a wetsuit may be a good option. Not only can you enjoy the springs, but Devil’s Den also has two heated recreational pools, picnic areas, tent and RV camping, and four cabins for overnight guests.
Unfortunately, if you’re not planning to snorkel or scuba dive, you won’t be able to access this spring.
5. Three Sisters Springs – Crystal River, Florida
One of the most amazing refuges for manatees, Three Sisters Springs is a winter home to many. During the summer, you can enter the springs by kayak, canoe, or by swimming, but a guide is usually needed. The manatees migrate to the springs in wintertime for the warmer waters.
If you would rather just view the wildlife, the Three Sisters Springs Refuge offers a boardwalk with viewing platforms for its guests. At this particular refuge, swimming is not allowed.
And, if you just can’t wait to get outside now, you can transport yourself to the outdoors from the comfort of your living room.
6. Fanning Springs – Fanning Springs, Florida
A wonderful swimming spot, Fanning Springs offers see-through placid waters. Feel like jumping into the springs? Go for it! Fanning Springs provides a dock for its guests to jump from.
This spring is a little on the smaller side, but it’s great for the whole family. From camping to bird watching or exploring Fort Fanning, the town of Fanning Springs is a must-see.
7. Juniper Springs, Ocala National Forest, Silver Springs Florida
You can bring your own kayak or canoe to Juniper Springs for just a small launch fee. Juniper Springs is one of the oldest recreational areas on the entire East Coast. From hundreds of tiny, bubbling springs to larger eruptions of water gushing out of vents, this park is truly a wonder.
Picnic tables are available and there are plenty of easy, beautiful hiking trails that wind through the area.
Your best bet for visiting Juniper Springs is to fly into Orlando and rent a car. The nearby Ocala National Forest is worth exploring and four wheels will help you reach the most beautiful areas.
8. Rock Springs, Apopka
Just 30 minutes from Orlando, these springs are beloved by locals for their clear, mellow waters. You can bring a tube with you to leisurely float between the pools with the gentle flow of the springs for a quarter of a mile.
What is better than a lazy river made by nature, surrounded by some of Florida’s best nature?
9. Homosassa Springs, Homosassa, FL
Homosassa Springs has been a beloved national attraction since the early 1900s. The waters here flow from the mouth of the spring into the Gulf of Mexico. The best part of this Florida spring is its underwater observatory where visitors can watch schools of fish dart by and – if you’re lucky – check out some of the West Indian manatees that the park helps to rehabilitate.
The park even hosts a monthly bird walk, lead by an experienced birder on the west section of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. The entrance fee is $13 for adults and free for children 5 and under.
You can drive to Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park from Tampa, Florida in about an hour.
10. Ichetucknee Springs – Fort White, FL
If you’re looking for lazy tube floating and snorkelling with scores of turtles, Ichetucknee is the place for you (and perfect for children!).
The bright turquoise waters here make it one of the most picturesque natural springs in Florida, especially the 40-foot-deep Blue Hole Spring.
You can rent tubes and rafts at the general store and tram access is available from the North Entrance from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend.
About the author: Danielle Moore is a part-time travel and lifestyle blogger, based in the Sunshine State. She shares her experiences on Instagram and on her blog, Days With Dee. When she isn’t exploring, Danielle loves to try new vegetarian cuisine and practice yoga.
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