Top 12 Springs in Florida: visit the most famous and unique places
Who says there are only 7 wonders of the world? Sunny Florida is blessed with 700 variants of wonders. These are truly fabulous and crystal clear - the most beautiful springs in Florida. Clean, clear waters that pass through the best natural filtration system. A variety of fauna that can be seen with the naked eye. The variety of colours of each unique place. Constancy of a comfortable cool water temperature. These qualities of the territories quickly made them tourist attractions and a popular holiday destination in the summer season. When you go on a trip to see the famous Florida springs, it's hard to decide where to start - they are all beautiful and unique. We've put together the top 12 Florida springs that will leave you with a deeply inspiring experience, a true wonderland.
The various activities that have become available thanks to the development of these places will allow you to experience wildlife as close as possible. Diving, kayaking, tubing, rowing, hiking, scenic walks and, simply a unique opportunity, manatee watching in their natural habitat. Visiting springs in Florida is a great opportunity to learn respect for nature and its inhabitants. The best Florida springs to visit are already on our list. Choose one to start your adventure into the world of wonders.
1. Start with the Devil's Den
Don't be intimidated by the loud name. The nature of this place is truly magical and mysterious. To begin with, the history of the spring dates back to prehistoric times, and the age of the fossils living in it and the diversity of the fauna are fascinating. A long, long time ago, the earth collapsed over the groundwater in Central Florida, creating a huge cave with a window in the ceiling. The penetrating rays of sunlight and daylight make the water shimmer and colour its waters from turquoise to dark blue. The descent to the cave was ennobled with wooden stairs. It is they, the echo of the cave and the mysterious light of the ceiling that give a feeling of goosebumps and fear of the forces of nature with its mysterious inhabitants under the abyss of water. But this feeling quickly passes, as soon as you focus on the crystal transparent water. It becomes clear that the bottom is safe and friendly. This is perhaps the only source in Florida without alligators. Therefore, diving here is as safe as possible. You are allowed to go down to a depth of 54 feet and explore the surroundings of the 120-metre diameter area. Snorkelling is available for those who are afraid of the depths. What to do after admiring the beautiful spring in Gainesville? Do not rush to leave it, as there are several more pleasant entertainments waiting for you on the surface. Devils Den has one of the exotic guest cottages, a heated pool, and barbecue areas. There are also lawn games, a caravan park and parking. A great place to spend a couple of days with your family.
By contacting Devils Den, you will avoid uncomfortable moments of congestion and queues.
2. Take a dip in the waters of the Crystal River
The Tampa-Crystal River Bay is a gift, or rather, its northern part is rich in more than 40 unique freshwater springs. They originate in Kings Bay and flow directly to the Gulf of Mexico. The most famous names of these places are the picturesque Royal Spring and the Three Sisters Spring.
The Royal Spring offers 75 metres of width and 30 metres of depth. Diving on its territory fascinates with the diversity of the underwater kingdom.
Join those who already have photo content with rare sea cows in their arsenal and head straight to the Three Sisters Spring. Crystal River is the only area where swimming with manatees is officially allowed. Just remember that these peaceful animals are fans of cool waters and you can find them here from November to March. But what wouldn't you do for such a unique selfie and to meet one of the endangered mammal species?
Crystal River is only accessible by boat or kayak, but people wouldn't be people. Now these beautiful places are available for tourists to visit. You can easily find water transport offering many excursions above and below the water.
The spring's close proximity to Tampa will allow you to take land-based tours of the area's scenic nature trails. Visit local restaurants and be amazed by the rapids for kayaking.
Stay tuned for the opening of Three Sisters Spring once the canal is stabilised.
3. Camping at Rainbow Springs
One of the most popular springs in Florida in the summer. The nature of its territory welcomes tourists who love camping and solitude. This area used to be privately owned, so you can stroll through the ornamental gardens and admire the constructed waterfalls. A huge sandy beach at the beginning of the river is convenient for swimming, and the blue of the crystal clear water is considered healing and magical. Hiking, tubing, kayaking, rowing and an inspiring encounter with authentic nature await you. Sunbathe with turtles and admire ibises, bungee jump and jump off the docks. In summer, it's a floral paradise bordered by blue waters 5 to 18 feet deep. One of the best places for camping and family holidays, Rainbow Springs is one of the top 5 springs in Florida.
4. Amenities and beauty of Ginny Springs
The best springs in Florida can hardly compete with the purity of the waters of Ginny Springs. Its waters are a clear crystal with white beaches and caves. Consisting of a group of 7 springs, a two-hour drive from Orlando, this place quickly gained popularity and became a tourist destination. The private territory and paid entrance do not scare anyone, on the contrary. It is quite pleasant to pay for cleanliness, comfort, and maintenance of natural flora and fauna. Ginnie Springs is a beautiful Florida springs, they hospitably and cordially welcome their visitors. Cottage houses and places for tent camps make the place accessible, even with entrance fees. Diving, kayaking, tubing, canoeing, kayaking are just a few of the activities available at the springs. All water sports equipment can be purchased on site. All surface and underwater excursions are accompanied by views of perch, catfish, mullet and turtles. On land, volleyball courts, grilling areas and playgrounds await you.
If you want a complete reset and relaxation, go rafting, which can be cooler than drifting on an inflatable boat.
Take a look around the official website of Ginnie Springs to find out all the nuances of your holiday.
5. Mermaid songs at the Weeki Wachee spring
An hour's drive north of Tampa and you're in Mermaid Bay. This is the purest truth. There is a mermaid show on the territory of the reservoir, real dances of tailed beauties in the blue waters of the spring. You will be delighted with the cartoonish beauty and Buccaneer Bay - a water park with natural waters. Swimming is only allowed in the water park, as well as canoeing and kayaking, as alligators, eagles, turtles and otters are neighbours of the mermaids in these waters. However, to explore the seven-mile-long stream of the spring, you will be offered a boat trip.
But for diving enthusiasts, this is a paradise. In 2007, it was found that the underwater cave system in Weeki Wachee is the deepest in all of North America. The freshwater spring is located on the territory of the state park of the same name and attracts event and wedding organisers with its beauty and equipped covered pavilions.
Visit the official Weeki Wachee website and check out the photo content and park conditions.
6. Lazy waters of Ichetucknee Springs
This is a truly paradise for lovers of relaxation and chelation. Just an hour north of Gainesville and you are in the louche zone of the 8 springs of Ichetucknee Springs State Park. Together they form one of the most beautiful rivers in Florida - the Ichetucknee. The emerald-coloured waters, mirrored by cypress, pine and oak trees, provide a haven for many of Florida's most valuable species. The park has been declared a national treasure, and has become a magnificent malachite on the list: famous springs in Florida.
Its lazy waters will gladly gently let tubing enthusiasts downstream or gently guide canoeists along its slightly overgrown paths. For those who like to stay underwater, there are also beauties to be found. As well as for those who prefer hiking trails. Hikers can follow the Blue Hole trail to the eponymous spring, Tressle Point will introduce travellers to phosphate ore mining, and Pine Ridge will lead them under picturesque longleaf pines.
Bringing a group and having a little fun isn't a problem either, as it costs just $6 per vehicle.
Explore the shores of Ichetucknee Springs on the official website.
7. Legendary Ponce de Leon Springs
Fans of Pirates of the Caribbean will easily recognise the glorious name of the ship and its captain, Ponce de Leon. The ship, which was searching for the fountain of youth, found peace, but the legend of the spring's waters has survived to this day. A fairy tale? Perhaps they are. However, why not try it? Even without gaining eternal youth, the waters of the Ponce de Leone spring will give you a wonderful rest and relaxation. The water temperature does not change all year round and is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Swimming in the bay of this natural oasis, feeling its cooling and soothing embrace, will definitely be a great pastime. Scuba diving will show you the beauty of the fauna, and lovers of hiking trails will find fascinating walks to explore the diversity of the flora. The official website of Ponce de Leon will tell you about the services and conditions of the park.
8. Tranquillity of Alexander Springs
The water giant, Florida's freshwater source Alexander Springs, produces 70 million gallons of water every day. To be fair, it is considered one of the largest natural springs. The purest water is a paradise for diving and photographers. The gentle slope and shallow waters make the beach and waters comfortable for families with children and the elderly. A variety of activities from diving to canoeing adds variety to your holiday, and the absolutely calm light blue water is relaxing and cooling.
The location among the Ocala forest allows hikers to enjoy nature and hiking. Convenient trails will delight cycling and horse riding enthusiasts. And if you choose fishing as your favourite leisure activity, you will get maximum pleasure, as the whole process underwater is visible to the naked eye and it is simply impossible to miss a bite.
Visit the Alexander Springs page and find your holiday option.
9. Amazing springs of Silver River
It is forbidden to swim in the waters of this spring, but it is absolutely necessary to visit this place for the sake of the impressions offered and the absolutely unique nature. The first thing you should try is to drift on a glass-bottomed boat. It's a kind of group diving with the opportunity to breathe atmospheric air rather than bottled air. The variety of underwater inhabitants will make the trip interesting. And the peaceful manatees will cause only delight and no fear, because you are separated by glass.
The opportunity to try kayaking, rowing, hiking, canoeing, and camping attracts tourists from all over the world, even despite the swimming restrictions. The waters of the Silver River will take you on a five-mile journey where you can observe not only the underwater world, but also wild monkeys on the banks that hug the spring.
In addition, the Silver River Museum and the Cracker Village will definitely not let you get bored in this natural oasis.
The official Silver River website will help you book excursions in advance.
10. Depth of Wakulla Springs
South of Tallahassee, in the state park of Ed-Ball Wakulla Springs, the deepest and largest freshwater spring in the world, Wakulla Springs, was formed. Its size does not scare, but attracts tourists, as there is enough space for everyone and plenty of things to do. In addition to traditional swimming, diving, and canoeing, you can visit an ancient tower located near the main spring. You can jump into the water from the tower and explore the remains of the ancient walls. A 45-minute tour of the spring waters will allow you to get to know the local inhabitants, including manatees.
The system of underwater caves is so deep and wide that hardly anyone can boast of an accurate knowledge of the surroundings of the underwater kingdom. Divers will always discover something new and unknown.
The park is recognised as a national treasure and has an archaeological zone on its territory.
Conditions and warnings can be found on the Wakulla Springs website.
11. Warm up in the mineral springs of North Port
A truly wonderful gift from nature that has become available to tourists from all over the world. Someone is willing to bet that the fountain of eternal youth is right here in North Port, Florida. Having travelled around the most beautiful springs in Florida, you will not find such a rich mineral composition of water. Its waters contain potassium, magnesium and many other minerals. Tourists from all over the world come to North Port to bask in the warmest freshwater spring in Florida. The water temperature is 84 degrees Fahrenheit all year round. Therefore, we do not recommend visiting the spring in autumn and spring. Travellers are brought here by buses. The rest of the time, you can relax, improve your health and have fun by the waters of the beautiful FL spring.
12. Rock Springs Palm Jungle, Kelly Park, Apopka
To the north of Orlando, in the small town of Apopka, the eponymous spring is a paradise for families. A very comfortable freshwater resort, on the territory of which there is a hotel and cottages, and camping areas. There are also showers, toilets and equipment rental for surface and underwater adventures. Tubing is especially popular here - it's a great opportunity to drift through the gentle soft waters and get to know their inhabitants through the crystal clear waters.
You can bring your own inflatable watercraft or rent one, have lunch in a cafe and visit various pavilions. Try not to visit the area of this spring on weekends, because of the excessive influx of people.
For a detailed map of the Apoka spring, see the website.