Florida’s Natural Beauty: 6 Springs to Visit in Your Lifetime
Florida is home to some of the biggest and most beautiful springs in the world. The great thing about these springs is that they’re all natural and contain some of the freshest water and underground limestone you’ll ever swim in. Many of these natural springs are state parks making them eco-friendly and perfect for any nature lover wishing to explore and see Florida wildlife. While every spring offers a variety of outdoor activities to its guests, each one is a little different and we recommend visiting all six at least once in your lifetime!
Blue Spring State Park
Blue Springs is the largest spring on the St. Johns River and discharges a historical average of 165 million gallons of water per day. The spring run flows through a dense hardwood and palm forest with gorgeous live oak trees leaning over the run. This state park is home to over 370 manatees making it a crucial winter refuge for the St. Johns River manatee population. Park visitors can get a remarkable view of these manatees from the boardwalks and overlooks along the spring. Some activities to do at the park include snorkeling, scuba diving, tubing, hiking and kayaking. Blue Springs is the perfect getaway for any outdoor enthusiast.
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
Weeki Wachee Springs is one of the most unique state parks in the world offering a variety of activities like no other natural spring. Weeki Wachee is so deep that the bottom of the spring has never been found. More than 117 million gallons of clear, fresh 74-degree water bubbles up every day. The state park is notorious for its mermaid show where visitors sit in a submerged auditorium and enjoy a live performance of “The Little Mermaid.” It is also home to Buccaneer Bay, the only waterpark home to slides that drop you off in a natural spring! This state park is ideal for any family with young children looking to have a great time.
Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
Located in Citrus County, this state park is perfect for any animal lover who is interested in wildlife. While water activities can be enjoyed at the beautiful Homosassa Springs, the underwater observatory and wildlife encounter is the main attraction for most visitors. The park showcases native Florida wildlife, including manatees, black bears, bobcats, white-tailed deer, alligators and river otters. This state park is great for hiking nature trails that wind throughout this wildlife park!
Rainbow Springs State Park
Located in Dunnellon, Florida, about two hours north of Tampa, sits one of Florida’s most beautiful state parks. This park is known for its crystal, clear water in the Rainbow River that guests can enjoy by swimming, tubing and kayaking in. Rainbow Springs has served as an important natural resource for humans and animals for years. Mastodon and mammoth fossils have even been found in the Rainbow River, along with relics of American Indians who once lived along the river and used it for fishing.
Located on the Santa Fe River in High Springs Florida, Ginnie Springs is home to some of the clearest, freshest water in Florida. The 72-degree water is perfect for anybody who loves swimming, river tubing, snorkeling, scuba and cave diving! Not only does the spring offer a variety of water activities, but visitors can also enjoy camping, picnicking and volleyball. When snorkeling in the river during the summer months, you might be rewarded with glimpses of large gar, bass, mullet, catfish and turtles.
Silver Springs State Park
Silver Springs State Park, located in Ocala, Florida, has been a natural landmark since the 1870s. Silver Springs is known as Florida’s first tourist attraction and is one of the largest artesian springs in the world. The park is known for its glass bottom boat tours, where guided boat rides take guests around the spring with a clear bottom so the underwater life can be seen. The spring is considered the gateway to the Ocala National Forest, the second largest national forest east of the Mississippi River. This national landmark offers an abundance of cultural and historical significance.
All of these springs are among Florida’s natural wonders. Florida has more than 700 springs making it home to some of the clearest, freshest water you’ll ever encounter in your lifetime. Visiting these springs should be top on your to-do list. Whether it’s floating down the river on a tube or scuba diving throughout the underwater caves, these outdoor destinations make a great getaway for any outdoor enthusiast.