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 where 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.
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Go tubing in Ichetucknee Springs (Nearby Hotels)
One of the best spots for tubing in Florida, Ichetucknee Springs is a dream to explore in spring. It’s six miles of crystalline, spring-fed waters are great for a day of floating, paddling or swimming under the canopy of shaded hammocks. Located in Fort White, this National Natural Landmark is surrounded by lush foliage, with tranquil landscapes that are also great for hiking, wildlife viewing and picnicking.
Take an eco-tour of the Florida Keys (Nearby Hotels)
Key West is a natural playground that is perfect for an outdoor excursion in spring. 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. On land, there are flocks of elusive birds to spot and nature trails to explore.
Admire lush foliage in Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (Nearby Hotels)
The entire family can enjoy a day of exploring the colorful Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables. Considered a treasured garden sanctuary in the Sunshine State, this 83-acre oasis is a haven for horticulture enthusiasts, particularly in spring. This historic garden dates back to 1938, and now boasts a 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 (Nearby Hotels)
Ginnie Springs boasts some of the clearest springs in Florida, which makes it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts in spring. From tubing and snorkeling to scuba diving excursions, this time of year is a great time to explore the 72-degree waters. Home to “the world’s favorite freshwater dive”, you can see unique geological formations on a dive or admire the collection of colorful fish from a canoe, kayak or stand up paddleboard.
See cherry blossoms at Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens (Nearby Hotels)
Located in Delray Beach, you can admire brightly colored cherry blossoms in bloom come spring at Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens. Nature enthusiasts of all ages will enjoy the serene landscapes, as this culturally rich attraction boasts a zen-like ambiance. 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 (Nearby Hotels)
The Ocala National Forest is a hiker’s dream with its 360,000 acres of scenic hiking trails. 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. 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 (Nearby Hotels)
The Venetian Pool in Coral Gables isn’t your typical public swimming hole, as this historic haven is considered the largest freshwater swimming pool in the United States. 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. This National Register of Historic Places landmark also has picnic tables where you can enjoy lunch.
Take a tram ride through Flamingo Gardens (Nearby Hotels)
Located in Davie, Flamingo Gardens is home to Florida’s iconic hot pink flamingos. 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, best seen from the narrated tram tour.
Go horseback riding through Paynes Prairie (Nearby Hotels)
Get off the beaten track at Paynes Prairie in Micanopy, where you’ll find 20,000 acres of diverse ecosystems that are home to roaming horses and bison. Designated a National Natural Landmark, its beautiful vistas can be explored on a day of horseback riding, biking or hiking through the scenic forest. 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 (Nearby Hotels)
One of the most picturesque places to explore in North Florida, St. Andrews State Park is a beautiful barrier island. 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. 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 Springs State Park (Nearby Hotels)
While Blue Springs State Park is renowned for its manatee sightings in winter, come spring it is a great place to enjoy its unspoiled natural landscapes. Spend a sunny afternoon at this park swimming, kayaking and paddling through its crystal clear waters, as its lush hammock and 72-degree waters will cool you off. 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 (Nearby Hotels)
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. Featuring 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. You can also explore the scenic walking trails before enjoying a day of biking, hiking and fishing.