Our research is editorially independent but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
The flowers are blooming and the weather is pleasant, springtime in Florida is a delightful time to explore the state’s array of natural wonders. It’s a time when you can embrace the sunshine and visit some of the state’s best outdoor attractions before the peak tourist season hits. From swimming in the natural springs to overnight camping trips, here are the best places to enjoy the outdoors in spring in Florida.
Go Tubing in Ichetucknee Springs
What Is It: Ichetucknee Springs is a National Natural Landmark, with six miles of crystalline, spring-fed waters.
Why Do It: It is one of the best spots for tubing in Florida, and a dream to explore in spring because of its tranquil landscapes and lush foliage. Spend your day here floating, paddling, or swimming under the canopy of shaded hammocks.
Good to Know: It’s also one of the best natural springs in Florida, and great for hiking, wildlife viewing, and picnicking.
Take an Eco-tour of the Florida Keys
What Is It: Key West is a natural playground that is perfect for an outdoor excursion in spring.
Why Do It: Lined with tidal creeks that meander through mangrove forests, you can discover colorful schools of fish, loggerhead sea turtles, and playful dolphins frolicking in the crystal clear waters as you float along in a kayak or go snorkeling, then unwind on a remote beach. You’re spoiled for choice with a long list of nature-friendly things to do in the Florida Keys.
Good To Know: On land, there are flocks of elusive birds to spot and nature trails to explore.
Admire Lush Foliage in Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
What Is It: An 83-acre oasis, it is a historic garden that dates back to 1938.
Why Do It: This treasured garden sanctuary is a haven for horticulture enthusiasts, particularly in spring. The entire family can enjoy a day of exploring the colorful Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables.
Good To Know: Here you can observe the vast selection of tropical plants and flowering trees, from the Rose of Siam display to the Cannonball Tree.
Experience the Natural Beauty of Ginnie Springs
What Is It: Home to “the world’s favorite freshwater dive,” you can see unique geological formations on a dive or admire the blue water from a canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard.
Why Do It: From tubing and snorkeling to scuba diving excursions, this time of year is a great time to explore these 72-degree waters. Ginnie Springs is one of the best springs in North Florida, and boasts some of the clearest springs in the state, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts in spring.
Good To Know: Arrive early in the morning, it is a popular destination this time of year.
See Cherry Blossoms at Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens
What Is It: Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens is a culturally rich attraction with serene landscapes and a zen-like ambiance.
Why Do It: You can admire brightly colored cherry blossoms in bloom come spring and photograph the meticulously landscaped gardens.
Good To Know: Named Roji-en: Garden of the Drops of Dew, this Japanese-inspired garden offers manicured landscapes, with benches dotted around the park to encourage visitors to stop and appreciate the lush foliage.
Hike the Trails in Ocala National Forest
What Is It: The Ocala National Forest is a hiker’s dream with its 360,000 acres of scenic hiking trails.
Why Do It: Dotted with pine forests, gum swamps and cypress trees, hikers will find over 100 miles of natural habitats through the world’s largest scrub forest.
Good To Know: If you need to cool off, the trails reveal an array of natural springs, including Juniper Springs, Alexander Springs and Silver Glen Springs, which each boast emerald waters that are great for swimming.
Take a Dip in The Venetian Pool
What Is It: The Venetian Pool in Coral Gables is the largest freshwater swimming pool in the United States.
Why Do It: Dating back to 1923, it’s spring-fed waters is a great place to cool off, where kids will enjoy exploring the cascading waterfalls and cave-like grottos.
Good To Know: This National Register of Historic Places landmark also has picnic tables where you can enjoy lunch.
Take a Tram Ride in Flamingo Gardens
What Is It: Located in Davie, Flamingo Gardens is home to Florida’s iconic hot pink flamingos.
Why Do It: Offering more than just a picture-perfect memory of the Sunshine State, the 60-acre not-for-profit wildlife sanctuary and wildlife garden also features a 25,000-square-foot free-flight aviary and some of the last naturally occurring jungle in South Florida with 150-year-old live oak trees.
Good To Know: The sights at this top-rated South Florida attraction are best seen from the narrated tram tour.
Go Horseback Riding Through Paynes Prairie
What Is It: Paynes Prairie is an off the beaten track park in Micanopy. It is a designated a National Natural Landmark, with beautiful vistas that can be explored on a day of horseback riding, biking, or hiking through the scenic forest.
Why Do It: Here you’ll find 20,000 acres of diverse ecosystems that are home to roaming horses and bison, which is truly a rare experience in Florida.
Good To Know: Famous for its rich array of habitats, you can observe alligators, bison, horses, and nearly 300 species of birds.
Camp Overnight at St. Andrews State Park
What Is It: One of the best places to camp in Florida, St. Andrews State Park is a beautiful barrier island in the North.
Why Do It: You’ll find white sand beaches with a backdrop of lush native flora and fauna, and emerald green waters for when you need to cool off.
Good To Know: Travel by water taxi to nearby Shell Island to discover an underdeveloped seven-mile stretch of beach. For an overnight adventure under the stars, set up camp at one of the park’s 176 on-site campsites.
Cool Off at Blue Spring State Park
What Is It: Spend a sunny afternoon at Blue Spring State Park swimming, kayaking, and paddling through its crystal clear 72-degree water.
Why Do It: While this park is renowned for its manatee sightings in winter, come spring it is a great place to enjoy its unspoiled natural landscapes.
Good To Know: Boat tours operate narrated nature excursions throughout the area where you can learn more about the park’s ecological wonders.
See Blooming Displays at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park
What Is It: Located in Tallahassee, the Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park is the perfect place to soak in Florida’s display of colorful flowers that bloom in spring.
Why Do It: It features an impressive collection of camellias and azaleas in its 1,000-acre ornamental garden, secret garden, shimmering reflection pool, burbling fountains and Italianate walled gardens.
Good To Know: You can also explore the scenic walking trails before enjoying a day of biking, hiking and fishing.