When it comes to natural springs in Florida to help visitors and locals alike cool down in the summer heat, there is no shortage for people to choose from, ranging in color from emerald greens to aqua blues. In fact, the state boasts more springs than anywhere else on Earth. The majority of the springs are found in the northern and central areas of Florida, many of which are located in national or state parks. The natural spring areas often offer a variety of recreation activities, such swimming, kayaking, tubing, canoeing, snorkeling, and camping. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
Located along the scenic Santa Fe River, Ginnie Springs is a piece of “pure Florida,” boasting some of the state’s clearest waters of any of the natural springs. Made up of a series of seven different springs, limestone, and white sand, the springs open into caves, providing a great spot to explore for snorkelers and cave divers. Other popular activities at Ginnie Springs include swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and tubing. There are also campgrounds available near the springs with volleyball courts, grills, and picnic tables, as well as a rental cottage. Visitors may be able to spot fish in the clear waters.
7300 Ginnie Springs Road, High Springs, FL 32643, Phone: 386-454-7188
2.Best Florida Springs: Silver Spring State Park
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The Silver Spring State Park is one of the most beloved and largest springs in America, offering a look at the underwater world from one of the famous glass-bottomed boats. Historic structures and tranquil gardens surround the park’s main spring, reminiscent of when the springs were once a popular destination for Northerners who used to arrive by steamship. In addition to tours on the Glass Bottom Boats, visitors can also find activities like camping, hiking on nature trails, wildlife viewing, and canoe and kayak trips at the Silver Spring State Park. There are also picnic areas, campgrounds, and a playground.
5656 E Silver Springs Blvd, Silver Springs, FL 34488, Phone: 352-261-5840
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3.Best Florida Springs: Blue Spring State Park
Situated west of Orange City and north of Orlando, the Blue Spring State Park in Central Florida features the largest natural spring along the Saint Johns River. Even though the translucent circular hole can be seen percolating with small bubbles, the water is a consistent cool temperature, just like other springs in Florida. Scuba divers, snorkelers, and swimmers can often be found at the Blue Spring, which is particularly well known for its extensive underwater cave system. There is also a boardwalk about a half of a mile in length running along the Blue Spring Run from the spring to the river.
2100 W French Ave, Orange City, FL 32763, Phone: 800-326-3521
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4.Best Florida Springs: Rainbow Springs State Park
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The Rainbow Springs State Park near Dunnellon is the site of the Rainbow River’s headspring and one of the state’s most loved and beautiful waterways. The river has had a long reputation as a popular and scenic playground ever since it opened as a family-owned attraction back in the 1930’s. Rainbow Springs became a part of Florida’s state park system in 1990. Swimming is possible in the spacious roped off area at the park’s main spring, where stairs and a dock make it easy to enter the spring. Canoeing, kayaking, and camping are popular activities at Rainbow Springs as well.
19158 SW 81st Place Rd, Dunnellon FL 34432, Phone: 352-465-8555
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5.Best Florida Springs: Rock Springs Run State Reserve
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The Rock Springs Run State Reserve is home to free-flowing springs that are a bit colder than some of the other Florida springs, usually featuring temperatures up to around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it a great place to relax and have fun in the hot Florida summer. Guests will find many different outdoor recreation activities around the springs and the rest of the state reserve, such as glass bottom boats and canoeing on the waters, swimming, camping along the Wekiva River and Rock Springs Run, and horseback riding, hiking, and biking on the seventeen miles of nature trails.
30601 County Rd 433, Sorrento, FL 32776, Phone: 407-553-4383
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6.Salt Springs Recreation Area
The Salt Springs Recreation Area can be found within the northern portion of the Ocala National Forest near Fort McCoy, Florida. Considered one of the gems of the national forest, this recreation area features a natural spring and a semi-tropical, lush environment. The springs get their name “Salt Springs” from the slight salinity of the water caused by the presence of sodium, magnesium, and potassium. The Salt Springs Recreation Area also includes a marina and boat ramp for access to Lake George, the state’s second largest lake, as well as picnic areas and a large campground with RV hookups.
13851 FL-19, Fort McCoy, FL 32134, Phone: 352-685-2048
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7.Springs in Florida: Alexander Springs Recreation Area
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The first magnitude spring at the Alexander Springs Recreation Area is thought to be one of the most accessible and easiest of the Florida springs for visitors to get to and explore, for both young and old alike. A slow, gradient slope offers easy access into the crystalline cool water for divers and swimmers. The limestone smooth floor of the Alexander Springs releases little bubbles around snorkelers exploring the clear blue waters. The shallow pool makes the springs a popular destination for families, as well as the adjacent Timucuan Trail providing a short hike through semi-tropical vegetation.
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8.Vortex Spring Adventures
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Vortex Spring Adventures, founded by Doc and Ruth Dockery, has been recognized as one of the county’s safest and best diving resorts. Home to the red and white “Diver Down Flag,” the Vortex Spring is one of the state’s largest diving facilities. The diving resort encompasses more than five hundred acres, producing around thirty-two million gallons of clear water at a year-round 68-degree temperature. The Vortex Spring Adventures property offers fun experiences for the people of all ages, whether it’s taking a ride down the water slides, relaxing in the spring, exploring nature trails, or scuba diving with certified instructors.
1517 Vortex Springs Ln, Ponce De Leon, FL 32455, Phone: 850-836-4979
9.Silver Glen Springs Recreation Area
The Silver Glen Springs Recreation Area is home to the aquamarine waters and quaint setting of the Silver Glen Springs, surrounded by cedar, oak, and pine trees and offering an ideal place for sunbathing, snorkeling, and swimming. An array of both saltwater and freshwater fish call the spring home, as well as manatees during the winter. Hikers exploring along the Spring Boils Traill can spot a number of small springs feeding into streams flowing into the expansive Lake George. Fishing is allowed downstream from the swimming area, provided anglers have a freshwater license. The Silver Glen Springs is also an archeological site.
5271 FL-19, Salt Springs, FL 32134, Phone: 800-551-6949
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10.Springs in Florida: De Leon Springs State Park
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The De Leon Springs State Park provides visitors and locals alike with an experience in Florida that combines interesting history and a recreational swimming area. Once known as Acuera, or Healing Waters, by the Mayaca Indians, the De Leon Springs offers clear waters and a great place to relax and cool off in the summer heat. Visitors can also immerse themselves in the history of the park, which was visited by John James Audubon, a famous naturalist, in 1831. The spring was also used for a sugar cane mill, and then a grist mill during the Civil War era.
601 Ponce de Leon Blvd, De Leon Springs FL 32130, Phone: 386-985-4212
11.Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park
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The Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park claims to be the home of the deepest and largest freshwater springs in the world, with the sapphire blue waters of the Wakulla Springs being home to alligators, manatees, and a variety of other wildlife that can be seen from the diving platform or on a riverboat ride. The history of the 70-degree waters dates back to thousands of years ago, used by early Native Americans living in villages along the shoreline to filmmakers who used the site as a film location for its primeval quality of wildlife and swamps.
465 Wakulla Park Dr, Wakulla Springs FL 32327, Phone: 850-561-7276
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12.Lithia Springs Conservation Park
The Lithia Springs Conservation Park is well known in Florida for its year-round flowing natural spring, which sends clean, cool water into the nearby Alafia River. When the area became a recreation area in 1957, this 160-acre park started to become a popular spot for camping. The natural spring at the Lithia Springs Conservation Park is of course the main attraction here, providing a perfect swimming experience in 72-degree water year-round. There are other activities possible here as well, such as camping at one of the 45 campsites with electric and water services, volleyball, and hiking the woodland trails.
3932 Lithia Springs Rd, Lithia, FL 33547, Phone: 813-744-5572
13.Ponce de Leon Springs State Park
The Ponce de Leon Springs State Park is home to a beautiful natural spring named for the explorer who led the Spanish expedition to find the “Fountain of Youth” in 1513: Juan Ponce de León. The temperature of the water stays at a near constant 68 degrees throughout the entire year. Two underground water flows converge at the main spring of the Ponce de Leon Springs State Park, producing approximately 14 million gallons of water every day. The park also includes two nature trails along which visitors can take a self-guided, leisurely walk through the hardwood forest.
2860 Ponce de Leon Springs Rd, Ponce de Leon Springs, FL 32455, Phone: 850-836-4281
14.Ichetucknee Springs State Park
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The Ichetucknee Springs State Park near Fort White has been a destination for Floridians, college students, and campers looking to float down the 6-mile Ichetucknee River for a long time. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the park often resembles a busy summer camp. Large groups and families “raft up,” tethering tubes together to float down the river that flows in the Santa Fe. While the river can be busy, there are some areas where visitors will have the water to themselves. The Ichetucknee River is made up of eight crystalline springs, forming one of the state of Florida’s best natural springs.
12087 SW US Highway 27, Fort White FL 32038, Phone: 386-497-4690
15.Springs in Florida: Three Sisters Springs
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Part of the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, the Three Sisters Springs is a significant habitat for the Florida manatees during the winter months, which can be seen from the boardwalk that runs along the natural springs. The beautiful Three Sisters Springs stays at a consistent temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit, and when the temperatures of the Gulf of Mexico begin to cool from the middle of November through late March, manatees migrate into these springs so they can stay warm. The city operates a trolley tour to the Three Sisters Springs boardwalk, departing from the Three Sisters Springs Center.
601 Three Sisters Springs Trail, Crystal River, FL 34429, Phone: 352-586-1170
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16.Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
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The Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is the place to go for a Florida springs experience with a touch of whimsy. Swimmers don incandescent fins to resemble mermaids, paying tribute to the Florida tourism of yesteryear. There is also the only first-magnitude spring-fed water park, known as Buccaneer Bay. Swimmers can relax in the green and blue waters of the natural Weeki Wachee Springs, while divers are able to explore the area’s freshwater cave system, one of the deepest in North America. Since 1947, the park has been the home of a first magnitude spring and a famous mermaid show.
6131 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, FL 34606, Phone: 352-592-5656
17.Springs in Florida: Devil's Den Spring
The Devil's Den Spring is one of Florida’s more unique natural springs as it is found underground. Located in Central Florida, north of Ocala in Williston, Devil's Den is the state’s most prehistoric springs and a hidden gem for snorkelers and divers. Visitors travel down into the cavern via a wooden staircase that opens up to an ethereal underground world. Divers can explore more than fifty feet into the Devil’s Den Spring, looking through the aqua blue clear waters that are always at 72 degree in temperature. RV parking, cabins, picnic areas, and a heated pool are on the grounds as well.
5390 NE 180 Ave, Williston, FL 32696, Phone: 352-528-3344
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18.Wekiwa Springs State Park
The Wekiwa Springs State Park, located near Apopka in Central Florida, offers a pleasant retreat boasting an “Old Florida feel.” Named for the Native American word for “bubbling water,” the Wekiwa Springs features a pool of emerald green waters at the foot of a grassy amphitheater, as well as steps that lead to a swimming area. Visitors can rent a canoe or a kayak to explore even more of this 7,800-acre state park. During the early morning, guests may even spot a variety of birds and possibly otters feeding near the edge of the Wekiva River.
1800 Wekiwa Cir, Apopka, FL 32712, Phone: 407-553-4383
19.Madison Blue Springs State Park, Madison
Voted by USA Today as one of the best swimming holes in the United States, the Madison Blue Springs State Park is revered by many as one of the Florida’s best springs to visit. Pines and hardwoods surround the crystal clear, inviting springs, which measure around 25 feet deep and 82 feet wide. Visitors can rent canoes to explore the park, as well as possibly get a glimpse of manatees swimming in the river, while diver can go on a more off-the-beaten-path, self-guided trip through the vast cave system. There’s also a small beach area with picnic tables.
8300 NE State Road 6, Lee, FL 32059, Phone: 850-971-5003
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20.Springs in Florida: Crystal River, Citrus County
Located along the Gulf coast of Florida, west of Orlando and north of Tampa, is Crystal River, known as the state’s “water lover’s paradise.” The river is famous for being the site of Florida’s largest known gathering of manatees during the winter, while the summer draws countless visitors seeking a way to cool off during the hot weather. A first-magnitude spring system that originates in Kings Bay, Crystal River encompasses over forty springs during its 6-mile journey to the Gulf. Nature trails, boardwalks, and wildlife tours are offered along the Crystal River as well, in addition to swimming and kayaking.
20 Best Springs in Florida
- Ginnie Springs, Photo: Zoe/stock.adobe.com
- Best Florida Springs: Silver Spring State Park, Photo: JEROME LABOUYRIE/stock.adobe.com
- Best Florida Springs: Blue Spring State Park, Photo: jctabb/stock.adobe.com
- Best Florida Springs: Rainbow Springs State Park, Photo: Sean Board/stock.adobe.com
- Best Florida Springs: Rock Springs Run State Reserve, Photo: Guy Bryant/stock.adobe.com
- Salt Springs Recreation Area, Photo: PauloAlmeidaPhoto/stock.adobe.com
- Springs in Florida: Alexander Springs Recreation Area, Photo: Felix Mizioznikov/stock.adobe.com
- Vortex Spring Adventures, Photo: Guy Bryant/stock.adobe.com
- Silver Glen Springs Recreation Area, Photo: John/stock.adobe.com
- Springs in Florida: De Leon Springs State Park, Photo: Michel Emile/stock.adobe.com
- Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, Photo: Nick Fox/stock.adobe.com
- Lithia Springs Conservation Park, Photo: Lynn/stock.adobe.com
- Ponce de Leon Springs State Park, Photo: Wirestock/stock.adobe.com
- Ichetucknee Springs State Park, Photo: Joanne Dale/stock.adobe.com
- Springs in Florida: Three Sisters Springs, Photo: Phil Lowe/stock.adobe.com
- Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Photo: Oleksii Sergieiev/stock.adobe.com
- Springs in Florida: Devil's Den Spring, Photo: InPhoGallery/stock.adobe.com
- Wekiwa Springs State Park, Photo: Wirepec/stock.adobe.com
- Madison Blue Springs State Park, Madison, Photo: wewandercreative/stock.adobe.com
- Springs in Florida: Crystal River, Citrus County, Photo: Eric/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Guy Bryant/stock.adobe.com
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