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The Ultimate Guide to Florida Springs (Map + Resources)

The Sunshine State might be famous for its beautiful beaches, but it’s the natural freshwater springs that are Florida’s best-kept secret. Florida has more than 700 springs, more than anywhere else on the planet! These picturesque springs are inviting with their crystal-clear waters and refreshing 72-degree year-round temperatures, making them the perfect spot to enjoy swimming, paddling, tubing, and snorkeling adventures. If you time your visit right, you might even spot a manatee or two. Some of these springs are privately owned, and some are located among Florida’s State Parks.

Separated by region, here is the most comprehensive list of springs you can visit in Florida.



Ponce de Leon Springs State Park - Ponce De Leon Ponce de Leon Springs State Park
Credit: Ponce de Leon Springs State Park by floridastateparks.org

Ponce de Leon Springs State Park - Ponce De Leon

Named after Juan Ponce de Leon, who led the first Spanish expedition to Florida in 1513, Ponce de Leon Springs remains a constant 68 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. In addition to swimming and snorkeling in the spring waters, you can take a leisurely self-guided walk along the park’s nature trails to see its lush, hardwood forest and learn more about the local wildlife. Picnicking is also popular here with its grills and covered pavilions, while fishing enthusiasts can lure in catfish and largemouth bass.

Wacissa River Springs - Monticello kayaking Wacissa River
Credit: kayaking Wacissa River by Florida Fish and Wildlife Via Flickr

Wacissa River Springs - Monticello

One of Florida’s historic swimming holes, Wacissa River Springs is a short drive from Tallahassee. It’s where you’ll find the Wacissa River, which is home to more than 22 different springs and is connected to the Gulf of Mexico east of Tallahassee. With crystal-clear waters, this nature-filled park is a hotspot for swimmers, featuring a rope swing and an old platform where kids can jump in and cool off. You can also hop in a kayak or canoe and make your way through the variety of lush aquatic landscapes.

Madison Blue Spring State Park - Lee Madison Blue Spring State Park
Credit: Madison Blue Spring State Park by floridastateparks.org

Madison Blue Spring State Park - Lee

One of the best Florida springs to take your kids, Madison Blue Spring State Park is home to a first magnitude spring, where an 82-foot-wide and 25-foot-deep spring bubbles up into a limestone basin along the west bank of the Withlacoochee River. A picturesque setting perfect for a day of enjoying Florida’s perfect weather, you can bring your own inflatables and tubes in the spring or purchase one in the park. Open on weekends from May to September, it’s a great spot to picnic, paddle, and enjoy wildlife viewing.

Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park - Near Tallahassee Wakulla Springs
Credit: Wakulla Springs by floridastateparks.org

Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park - Near Tallahassee

Located 14 miles south of Tallahassee, Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park boasts one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world. The 6,000-acre park sits atop a maze of underground caverns, while above water you’ll find glass-bottom boat tours where you can spot alligators, manatees, and an abundance of birdlife. Climb its two-story tower and jump into the refreshing waters or lounge on the sunbathing platforms while admiring the crystal-clear spring waters.

Blue Springs Recreation Area - Marianna Blue Springs Recreation Area
Credit: Blue Springs Recreation Area by Jackson County

Blue Springs Recreation Area - Marianna

Not to be confused with Blue Springs State Park, Blue Springs Recreation is about five miles east of Marianna and a top-rated spring in North Florida. Listed as a First Magnitude Spring, its crystal clear waters are perfect for swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, and diving. This beautiful park is also a great family-friendly destination with its extensive list of on-site facilities, including volleyball courts, a children’s playground, and a beach to bask in the sunshine. Canoes and large and small paddle boats are available for rent.

Merritt's Mill Pond - Near Marianna Merritt's Mill Pond
Credit: Merritt's Mill Pond by © Michael Wood | Dreamstime.com

Merritt's Mill Pond - Near Marianna

Merritt’s Mill Pond is actually a 202-acre reservoir fed mostly by one spring named Blue Spring or Jackson Blue. It features nearly a dozen smaller springs and surrounded by rocky slopes and moss-draped cypress trees that make it a unique spot for outdoor adventures. Located just east of Marianna, Jackson Blue is a popular spring with divers, as the main vent is a limestone cave close to 5,000 feet in length. However, you can also hop in a kayak, canoe, or boat and explore the several smaller springs that feed into the four-mile-long pond while spotting wildlife such as herons and turtles.

Florida Caverns State Park - Marianna Florida Caverns State Park
Credit: Florida Caverns State Park by floridastateparks.org

Florida Caverns State Park - Marianna

Home to hidden caves, Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna is one of the most unique state parks in Florida featuring damp caves loaded with limestone stalagmites and stalactites rising and dripping from its ceilings, which took millions of years to form. While visitors are often lured in by the fascinating caves, you can also go fishing at the picturesque Blue Hole spring for bass, catfish, sunfish, and mullet or hike the scenic nature trails to explore the beautiful rocky bluffs that tower above the river.

Morrison Springs - Ponce De Leon Morrison Springs
Credit: Morrison Springs by Paul Clark via Flickr

Morrison Springs - Ponce De Leon

Morrison Springs is a popular destination in Florida for cave diving. Located in Northwest Florida, the 161-acre aquatic park features a 250-foot diameter spring pool that produces 48 million gallons of sparkling clear waters each day. It’s considered one of the most easily accessed springs in Northwest Florida, featuring a spring pool surrounded by a picturesque landscape of old-growth cypress trees. You’ll find plenty of facilities at this Florida spring, including large boardwalks overlooking the springs, a diving dock, and a boat ramp.

Vortex Spring - Near Ponce de Leon Vortex Spring
Credit: Vortex Spring by Vortex Spring

Vortex Spring - Near Ponce de Leon

Vortex Spring is a premier inland dive resort located on the Gulf Coast and the largest diving facility in Florida. It’s been recognized as one of the best and safest diving destinations in the United States and a Panhandle diver paradise. The 520-acre water playground produces 28 million gallons of crystal-clear waters and features an on-site water park for swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and tubing. Kids will love spending a day exploring the multiple slides, high dive, diving boards, and swings.

Cypress Springs - Vernon Cypress Springs
Credit: Cypress Springs by wikimedia.org

Cypress Springs - Vernon

One of Florida’s most beautiful natural cool springs, Cypress Springs is a hotspot for eco-tourism. Only 40 minutes north of Panama City, it’s one of the state’s lesser-known springs. Tucked away in Florida’s pristine landscapes, you can hop in a canoe or kayak and make your way down Holmes Creek toward the spring for a scenic adventure. Afterward, cool off with a dip, sunbathe at the beach area, or spot an array of fish and turtles while snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters.

Econfina Creek - Youngstown Econfina Creek
Credit: Econfina Creek by © | Dreamstime.com

Econfina Creek - Youngstown

If you’re up for an adventure, head to Econfina Creek for a day of classic Florida paddling. You can kayak, canoe, and paddleboard down this beautiful six-mile path, then stop to cool off with a jump in the refreshing waters at one of the dozens of springs, including Blue Spring, Williford Spring, and Pitt and Sylvan Springs. Surrounded by blooming wildflowers in spring and summer, this area is picturesque and easily accessed via the Ecofina Livery launch point. Most of the springs are found within the first half of your paddle trip.

Williford Spring - Youngstown Williford Spring
Credit: Williford Spring by Paul Clark via Flickr

Williford Spring - Youngstown

Located about 1.5 miles north of State Road 20, Williford Spring is a popular spring in Northwest Florida. The family-friendly destination has picnic pavilions and a boardwalk leading to the spring and Econfina Creek, as well as a nature trail connecting to the nearby Pitt and Sylvan Springs recreation area. Steps with rails make it easy to enjoy a refreshing dip in the crystal clear springs, while canoes and kayaks can be launched at the end of the boardwalk system.

Emerald Spring - Youngstown Emerald Spring
Credit: Emerald Spring by Phil's 1stPix via Flickr

Emerald Spring - Youngstown

Emerald Spring, also known by Gainer Springs by some, is located near Panama City, off State Road 20 about five miles west of where it intersects with U.S. 231. For a scenic day of leisurely paddling, put your canoe where the State Road crosses Econfina Creek and paddle the 1/2 mile downstream to Gainer. At Emerald Spring, it’s also popular to enjoy snorkeling in the emerald green waters, with a shallow sandy area leading to the spring.

Pitt & Sylvan Springs - Youngstown Pitt Springs
Credit: Pitt Springs by © Michael Wood | Dreamstime.com

Pitt & Sylvan Springs - Youngstown

One of the many springs along Econfina Creek, Pitt Spring and Sylvan Spring are popular recreation sites. At Pitt Spring, you’ll find an 11-foot-deep spring vent and 40-foot diameter pool that flows through a 50-foot run to the creek. Both are great swimming spots, while there’s also a trail and boardwalk leading from Pitt to Sylvan that includes a tubing dock and a 10-acre recreation area. You’ll also find a scenic path leading to Williford Spring.

North Florida

Ichetucknee Springs State Park - Fort White Ichetucknee

Ichetucknee Springs State Park - Fort White

Boasting six miles of crystalline spring-fed waters, you can float, paddle, or swim through the Ichetucknee Springs State Park’s canopy of shaded hammocks. While tubing is by far the most popular activity in Ichetucknee, water-loving families can also enjoy the plentiful opportunities to go swimming, snorkeling, canoeing, and kayaking. Located in Fort White less than a one-hour drive from Gainesville, this North Florida natural gem is surrounded by lush live oak and cypress trees where you can hike scenic trails and spot white-tailed deer and great blue herons. It’s a must on any traveler’s Florida summer bucket list.

Gilchrist Blue Springs - High Springs Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park
Credit: Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park by Elsa Fraga/shutterstock.com

Gilchrist Blue Springs - High Springs

The newest addition to Florida State Parks, Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park is home to a collection of natural springs that will lure you in with their cool, crystalline waters. A large second-magnitude spring, known as Gilchrist Blue is the biggest highlight, while other popular springs like Little Blue Spring, Naked Spring, Kiefer Spring, and Johnson Spring offer scenic vistas and photo opportunities. After you enjoy swimming, paddling, and snorkeling, pack a lunch and enjoy it under the shade of the pavilions.

Ginnie Springs - High Springs Ginnie Springs
Credit: Ginnie Springs by Ginnie Springs

Ginnie Springs - High Springs

One of the best swimming holes in Florida, Ginnie Springs boasts some of the clearest springs in the state, which makes it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. It’s hard to not be lured in by this natural wonder, which offers 200 acres of natural beauty lining the banks of the Santa Fe River. Take the whole family out for a day of canoeing, tubing, and snorkeling. Go underwater for a glimpse of colorful schools of fish and turtles, or spot the area’s diverse wildlife from a stand-up paddleboard.

Poe Springs - High Springs Poe Springs
Credit: Poe Springs by alachuacounty.us

Poe Springs - High Springs

With some of the clearest waters in North Florida, Poe Springs is a popular destination for an outdoor adventure, nestled north of Gainesville. The beautiful spring pumps 45 million gallons of refreshing water daily and the on-site park features fun family facilities such as a playground, fishing area, and opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and tubing. The 202-acre park is also a perfect spot for hiking nature trails and enjoying a picnic, while its shallow waters make it ideal for little ones.

Rainbow Springs State Park - Dunnellon Rainbow Springs State Park
Credit: Rainbow Springs State Park by © - Dreamstime.com

Rainbow Springs State Park - Dunnellon

Dating back 10,000 years, Rainbow Springs State Park is not only a historic site in the Sunshine State but it’s also the fourth-largest spring in Florida and a top destination for paddlers. Meander the picturesque pathways past moss-covered Cypress trees to spot floral gardens, four impressive waterfalls, and five main springs before taking in a refreshing dip in the natural swimming pool. You can also hop in a tube and paddle through the river or hike one of the trails known home to fox squirrels, turkeys, and deer. If you’re looking for a unique adventure, sign up for a glass-bottom guided kayak eco-tour.

Silver Springs State Park - Silver Springs Silver Springs State Park, Silver Springs
Credit: Silver Springs State Park, Silver Springs by floridastateparks.org

Silver Springs State Park - Silver Springs

Known for its glass-bottom boat tours, Silver Springs State Park is also home to one of the largest springs in the United States. Combining the charm of a historic Florida attraction with the crystal clear beauty of one of the last uninhabited spring runs in the state, it’s possible to spot turtles and alligators roaming the waters. Explore the on-site museum to learn about the area’s history through exhibits highlighting Florida’s natural history, then step outside to see the cracker homestead and re-created 19th-century pioneer settlement. Hop in a crystal-clear kayak on this Silver Springs adventure tour and see manatees swimming beneath you and curious fish.

Fanning Springs State Park - Fanning Springs Fanning Springs State Park, Fanning Springs
Credit: Fanning Springs State Park, Fanning Springs by Rain0975 via Flickr

Fanning Springs State Park - Fanning Springs

Located along the meandering Suwanne River, Fanning Springs is a 72-degree, 207-foot-deep spring with clear crisp water. The second magnitude spring stays at cool 72 degrees and is home to turtles, bass, freshwater flounder, and manatees in colder months. Grill and picnic under the towering live oaks or stroll the boardwalk to admire the beautiful cypress swamp and six-foot-tall cypress trees. If you’ve got the kids in tow, there’s even a unique shallow sandy area and playground for the little ones.

Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park - Live Oak Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park
Credit: Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park by floridastateparks.org

Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park - Live Oak

An adventurer’s paradise, Wes Skiles Peacock Springs is home to two pristine springs, a spring run, and six sinkholes. With this impressive resume, it is no surprise that Peacock Springs is world-renowned, attracting cave divers from all corners of the world who are eager to explore one of the longest underwater cave structures in the United States. Those seeking a more low-key experience can enjoy the small swimming hole and scenic trails that wind above the underground caverns. Catering to advanced divers, nearby Cow Spring requires a full cave diver certification. You can venture upstream through the underground river and discover stunning passageways featuring clay banks and goethite.

Devil's Den Springs - Williston Devil's Den
Credit: Devil's Den by Devil's Den

Devil's Den Springs - Williston

Tucked away in Williston just 30 minutes outside of Gainesville, Devil’s Den is one of the most unique diving spots in Florida and a premier pre-historic spring. The 60-foot spring is an underground geological wonder that is truly a sight to behold. The historic area dates back to 75,000 B.C. and boasts illuminated waters and inverted mushroom shape below the surface that are popular with divers and snorkelers alike who want to explore 33 million-year-old fossil beds and refresh in the year-round 72-degree water. 

Troy Spring State Park - Branford Troy Spring State Park
Credit: Troy Spring State Park by floridastateparks.org

Troy Spring State Park - Branford

If you’re after a quiet gem, Troy Spring State Park is a hidden oasis that fits the bill. It boasts a 70-foot-deep, first-magnitude spring that is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. The 80-acre park is a tranquil escape in North Florida, where you can take a stroll along its half-mile nature trail, go open water diving in the spring, or snorkel for a chance to spot turtles swimming by. Those looking for an underwater adventure can explore the remains of a Civil War-era steamboat called Madison that sits in the shallow water of the spring run.

Branford Spring - Branford Branford Spring
Credit: Branford Spring by © Michael Wood | Dreamstime.com

Branford Spring - Branford

While Branford Springs is easy to find, it’s still considered one of Florida’s best-kept secrets for nature lovers looking for a quiet oasis. Located south of the intersection of US 27 and US129, this beautiful Branford spring is nestled in Ivey Memorial Park. It’s a quaint swimming hole at just 15 feet deep, but it’s accessible to swimmers via a convenient boardwalk. With its location so close to the river, its water quality is dependent on river levels.

Little River Springs - Branford Little River Springs
Credit: Little River Springs by © Wirestock | Dreamstime.com

Little River Springs - Branford

One of the most popular springs in the Branford area is Little River Springs. Beloved for its natural beauty, it has a pool that is perfect for swimming and snorkeling, with a 150-foot-long spring run and cave system that is more than 1,200 feet long. Exploring the two walking trails nearby is a popular activity for nature lovers, while there are also two overlooks, beach areas, swimming spots, and picnic areas with grills, making it an ideal destination for a family day out.

Royal Springs - O’Brien Royal Springs
Credit: Royal Springs by © Wirestock | Dreamstime.com

Royal Springs - O’Brien

Royal Springs is a hidden gem and natural five-acre park in Suwannee County. This impressive spring drops 42 feet and features an exciting platform for brave swimmers who want to jump into the shimmering, turquoise blue waters. You’ll find an alluring untouched shoreline with stairs for accessing the water, as this natural swimming hole in Florida is the perfect spot in the Sunshine State to beat the heat. There are also picnic tables and grassy areas where kids can play.

Lafayette Blue Springs State Park - Mayo Lafayette Blue Springs State Park
Credit: Lafayette Blue Springs State Park by Paul Clark via Flickr

Lafayette Blue Springs State Park - Mayo

Featuring a first-magnitude spring, Lafayette Blue Springs State Park features a limestone bridge spanning its spring run. You can fish or canoe on the Suwannee River, then enjoy a picnic under the shade of the towering oak trees covered in Spanish moss, or stay in a rental cabin standing on stilts over the river bank. It’s a family-friendly spot with tables, grills, and two pavilions, while a tent-only campground is also available. For adventure-seekers, there’s an underwater cave network with over 12,000 feet of passageways. *Lafayette Blue Springs State Park is currently closed to swimming activities due to a spring brownout caused by rising river levels.

Hart Springs - Bell Hart Springs
Credit: Hart Springs by hartsprings.com

Hart Springs - Bell

Hart Springs is one of the largest spring-fed swimming areas in the Sunshine State. Located along the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail and Gilchrist Blueway Trail, it features a half-mile-long boardwalk where you can see where the fresh water flows down the run and merges with the Suwannee River. There’s a variety of outdoor activities to choose from, including swimming, snorkeling, bird watching, and camping. It’s a great place to unplug, boasting 55 miles of Gilchrist County river shoreline and refreshing natural springs.

Central Florida

Wekiwa Springs State Park - Apopka Wekiwa Springs
Credit: Wekiwa Springs by Rain0975 via Flickr

Wekiwa Springs State Park - Apopka

One of the closest natural springs to Orlando, Wekiwa Springs State Park is a local favorite, particularly in spring. The 7,800-acre stretch of land offers a chance for nature-loving families to enjoy a pleasant day of soaking up Central Florida’s natural beauty. Perfect for a hot summer day, you can jump in the 72-degree waters for an afternoon swim in the emerald springs. Its gentle currents are great for families with kids, where you can lounge on a floatie and enjoy stunning views of centuries-old trees and lush tropical hammocks at this Old Florida attraction. Explore these beautiful Florida waterways on a two-hour stand-up paddleboard adventure or marvel at the wildlife up close on a guided kayak tour.

Rock Springs Run - Apopka Rock Springs Run
Credit: Rock Springs Run by Paul Clark via Flickr

Rock Springs Run - Apopka

One of the last remaining near-pristine riverine systems in Central Florida, Wekiva River  and Rock Springs Run offer crystal clear spring waters, lush green surroundings, and undisturbed nature. Launch a canoe at the eight-mile-long King’s Landing and enjoy the beauty of the river while traveling downstream at a steady rate of three to four miles per hour down Florida’s best natural lazy river. Keep your eyes peeled for wood storks in the towering cypress trees, as well as little blue herons, and tri-colored herons foraging along the banks. Nature lovers can explore Rock Springs Run on a glass-bottom kayak tour to see local animals in their natural habitat.

Blue Spring State Park - Orange City Blue Spring State Park, Orange Park
Credit: Blue Spring State Park, Orange Park by sun dazed via Flickr

Blue Spring State Park - Orange City

The largest spring on the St. Johns River, Blue Spring State Park boasts 2,600 acres and one of the most popular spots for catching a glimpse of Florida’s famous West Indian manatees in their natural habitat. The spring’s comfortable 72-degree temperatures are ideal for swimming, kayaking, and paddling, as the forested banks and pale blue waters in the swimming hole are a quarter-mile of perfection. Boat tours also operate narrated nature and ecological excursions throughout the area. Take note that swimming is not permitted here during the manatee season November through March. Manatee tours are popular at this park, including this top-rated kayaking tour that welcomes novice kayakers.

Three Sisters Springs - Crystal River  Three Sisters Springs - Crystal River
Credit: Three Sisters Springs - Crystal River by VisitCitrus via Flickr

Three Sisters Springs - Crystal River

The largest winter refuge for West Indian manatees on the Gulf Coast, Three Sisters Springs is a natural inlet on the east side of Kings Bay and one of the most visually stunning springs in Florida. With five natural springs and a lush wetland, this 57-acre oasis is known for its unspoiled and undeveloped spring habitat, making it a prime manatee viewing spot. Hop on a trolley tour to the boardwalk to observe the gentle giants or take a guided paddle or SUP tour to see them up close. Get in the water and interact with manatees on this small-group snorkeling tour or join this tour that includes an in-water guide and photographer.

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park - Spring Hill Weeki Wachee Springs
Credit: Weeki Wachee Springs by Weeki Wachee Springs

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park - Spring Hill

Located on Florida’s Adventure Coast, Weeki Wachee Springs is world-famous for its underwater theater and thrilling mermaid shows. More than just its kitschy nostalgia, this is a beautiful 538 acres of natural oasis that is also a developed state park where you can go on outdoor adventures such as swimming, snorkeling, and river cruising. At this top-rated spring in Central Florida, you can kayak or canoe downstream and spot bald eagles, turtles, and a variety of birds, or plan an afternoon of family fun plunging down thrilling water slides at Buccaneer Bay water park.

Silver Glen Springs Recreation Area - Salt Springs Silver Glen Springs
Credit: Silver Glen Springs by fs.usda.gov

Silver Glen Springs Recreation Area - Salt Springs

Located in the Ocala National Forest, Silver Glen Springs is a recreation area and important archaeological site as well as one of Florida’s most beautiful natural wonders. A picture-perfect landscape of lush foliage and forests of oak, cedar, and pines, the blue-green waters are great for swimming, snorkeling, and canoeing. With its spectacular scenery and secluded setting, it’s no wonder that this area was popular with Native Americans and European settlers almost 7,000 years ago.

Alexander Springs Recreation Area - Altoona Alexander Springs Recreation Area
Credit: Alexander Springs Recreation Area by © Tony Bosse - Dreamstime.com

Alexander Springs Recreation Area - Altoona

Alexander Springs is popular with outdoor adventurers and wildlife watchers in the Ocala National Forest. With a chance to spot a turtle swimming through the lilies, this area is a great place to snorkel and gawk at the plethora of colorful fish in its first-magnitude spring. It’s a great place to take the entire family, where little ones can enjoy its gently sloped spring pool. Kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddling are popular activities, along with hiking the surrounding trails that are dotted with cabbage palms, maples, and magnolias.

Juniper Springs Recreation Area - Silver Springs Juniper Springs
Credit: Juniper Springs by usda.gov

Juniper Springs Recreation Area - Silver Springs

The Ocala National Forest boasts 360,000 acres of scenic hiking trails and natural wonders, with Juniper Springs Recreational Area one of its star attractions. A hotspot for nature enthusiasts and popular spring in Central Florida, its landscapes feature beautiful pine forests, gum swamps, and cypress trees. Follow one of the scenic paths on a hiking excursion and you’ll be rewarded with incredible views of Juniper Springs. You can swim in its emerald waters, enjoy a picnic surrounded by lush foliage, or hop in a canoe for an epic adventure.

Salt Springs - Ocala National Forest Salt Springs, Ocala National Forest
Credit: Salt Springs, Ocala National Forest by fs.usda.gov

Salt Springs - Ocala National Forest

Salt Springs is another jewel in the Ocala National Forest, located in the Salt Springs Recreational Area. It offers plenty of outdoor activities, including swimming in the springs, as well as snorkeling, fishing, hiking, and boating. It’s also home to the largest campground in the Ocala National Forest and the only one available for full RV hookups. A boat ramp and marina make it easy to access Lake George, one of the biggest lakes in Florida.

Paradise Springs - Ocala Paradise Springs, Ocala
Credit: Paradise Springs, Ocala by Paradise Springs

Paradise Springs - Ocala

Cave diving lovers can add Paradise Springs in Florida to their list. Located near Ocala, the cavern area features prehistoric fossils embedded in the walls, making it the perfect place for a memorable underwater adventure. It’s a year-round destination due to the constant 72-degree water temperatures, offering views of prehistoric sand dollars, sea biscuits, and the remains of ancient marine life. It also features modern facilities such as picnic tables and grills, a gazebo, and a spring water shower.

Springs at Homosassa - Homosassa Springs at Homosassa
Credit: Springs at Homosassa by floridastateparks.org

Springs at Homosassa - Homosassa

Located northwest of Orlando, there are almost 30 springs that make up the Homosassa Springs in Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. One of Florida’s largest springs, its main headspring flows from three vents containing various amounts of salt, which means you’ll find both salt and freshwater fish species here. One of its most popular visitors is the West Indian manatee that flock here in winter, while you can get up close to a variety of captive animals that are unable to survive on their own, including alligators, black bears, flamingos, whooping cranes, and the oldest hippopotamus in captivity.

De Leon Springs State Park - De Leon Springs De Leon Springs State Park
Credit: De Leon Springs State Park by floridastateparks.org

De Leon Springs State Park - De Leon Springs

A popular recreation area in Florida, the highlight of De Leon Springs State Park is the beautiful spring that overlooks Spring Garden Run. Native Americans visited and used these springs as far back as 6,000 years ago before becoming one of Florida’s top outdoor recreation spots it is today. Rent a canoe or paddleboat, then paddle through the park’s trail to explore the beautiful lakes, creeks, and marshes found within the 22,000-acre Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge.

Manatee Springs - Chiefland Manatee Springs
Credit: Manatee Springs by floridastateparks.org

Manatee Springs - Chiefland

Located in Chiefland, Manatee Springs features a massive 800-foot boardwalk that winds throughout its cypress forest. It’s also home to one of Florida’s most beautiful first-magnitude springs, which dates back 10,000 years and produces nearly 100 million gallons of water daily. While it’s an ideal destination to cool off in summer, winter brings a whole new reason to visit — manatees. In addition to swimming, you can also explore 8.5 miles of nature trails and the bike-friendly Nature Coast State Trail.

Blue Grotto - Williston Blue Grotto
Credit: Blue Grotto by Blue Grotto

Blue Grotto - Williston

One of the deepest cavern springs in Florida, Blue Grotto is a top freshwater diving destination. Open to all skill levels, the Grotto is the spring side of an inline sinkhole with three areas to explore. In addition to an open-water basin 40 feet deep, there’s a large upper cavern at 50 feet and a lower cavern with depths to 100 feet. Say hello to resident Virgin the Turtle and take advantage of the on-site pavilions, heated bathhouse, and rental cabins.

Chassahowitzka River - Citrus County Chassahowitzka River
Credit: Chassahowitzka River by Trish Hartmann via Flickr

Chassahowitzka River - Citrus County

Offering access to some of Florida’s most spectacular scenery, Chassahowitzka River is one of the best places for photogenic paddling excursions. Known locally as “The Chazz,” this river is located 100 miles west of Orlando on the Nature Coast. Embark on a springs-hopping day trip for seven miles, stopping at Seven Sister Spring, Baird, Potters, Little and Big Salt, or the Crack. Wildlife is abundant, with a chance to spot manatees, dolphins, birds, and otters along the way.

South Florida

Warm Mineral Springs - North Port Warm Mineral Springs in Venice
Credit: Warm Mineral Springs in Venice by The City of North Port

Warm Mineral Springs - North Port

You might not know it, but Florida is also home to a natural warm spring in South Florida. The only natural warm spring in the entire state, Warm Mineral Springs in Venice offers therapeutic benefits as well as fun outdoor recreation. Staying at a consistent 85 degrees year-round, a visit here is like booking a day at a health spa. Rumored to have one of the highest mineralized properties of any spring in the United States, a soak in these waters is a tranquil experience, to say the least. It’s located in North Port, just a short drive from Venice.

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