Looking for a different way to beat the heat this summer? Instead of standing in crowded amusement park lines (waiting for the fan to swivel your way for a brief second of relief), we’d like to offer you a fun (and much less expensive) alternative! Florida has some of the best natural springs in the nation, and we firmly believe they’re worth your time.
These stunning bodies of water come directly from a nearby cave and usually stay between 70 to 75 degrees year-round. That’s right – during one of Florida’s many debilitating heat waves, you can find relief in what is a natural ice bath. Rather than deciding between the over 700 springs in the Sunshine State, check out our list of the top 12 best springs in Florida that you need to visit this summer.
- Ginnie Springs
- Ichetucknee Springs
- Rock Springs at Kelly Park
- Weeki Wachee
- Blue Spring State Park
- Devil’s Den
- Wekiwa Springs
- Rainbow Springs
- Silver Glen Springs
- Troy Spring
- Manatee Springs
- Madison Blue Spring
Located in High Springs, Ginnie Springs is easily one of the best springs in Florida (one of the most popular as well!). The cool, crystal-clear water is the perfect getaway for a day of swimming, wading, tubing, and snorkeling. At certain times of the year, snorkeling will grant you an unobstructed view of a variety of fish, turtles, and other critters.
Should you prefer to get a close-up look at the wilderness at the water’s edge, there are paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks available for rent. For the adventurous, there is scuba diving; however, this requires a diving certification. Also, entrance to Ginnie Springs is somewhat more costly in comparison to other springs: $14.01 per adult and $3.73 for children between the age of 6 and 12. Nevertheless, you can be sure there’s a reason these springs are so popular!
The pristine waters of Ichetucknee Springs in Columbia, Florida are a hotspot for tourists and locals alike. It is a scenic destination where you can swim, tube, kayak, and canoe. During your visit, you are likely to encounter several native animals, including the softshell turtle, wood duck, wild turkey, or even the otter if you’re lucky. For the best view of the aquatic life, we recommend snorkeling or scuba diving at Blue Hole Spring, which is one of eight springs that join to form the Ichetucknee.
Here you will be able to glimpse the entrance of the cave system and the creatures that inhabit it. The hours of Ichetucknee are from 8 a.m. to sunset, and the entrance to the park costs just $6 per vehicle – a great value! With so much to do and for such a good price, it’s easy to see why Ichtucknee is considered one of the best springs in Florida.
Rock Springs at Kelly Park
Rock Springs in Sorrento, Florida is a vast reserve with large grassy areas that are ideal for sunbathing along with several entrances to the cool spring. The cave that feeds the spring produces a strong current, making it an especially popular spot for tubing. The rocky entrance of the spring, surrounded by foliage, leads to a soft and sandy area that is ideal for swimming.
During your scenic ride downstream, keep an eye out for a variety of animals, ranging from fish and birds to turtles. Further down, the swimming zone is restricted, but canoeing and kayaking are allowed. Entrance to Rock Springs will vary by the number of cars and people in attendance. So if you’re you’re interested in attending make sure you get there early! Rock springs are for sure one of the best springs in Florida, so sometimes it will fill up fast!
A modernized experience, Weeki Wachee Spring offers more amenities than most. In addition to a 3-hour, 5.5-mile kayaking or canoeing journey down the spring, guests can also enjoy the Buccaneer Bay Waterpark. With five waterslides, a flume ride, and a white sand beach, you can relax and play to your heart’s content.
An even more popular draw to Weeki Wachee would be one of the daily Mermaid Shows, which are live performances of Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. Entrance to the park is $13 for adults and $8 for kids ages 6-12, and it includes access to the waterpark. This park is one of the best springs in Florida for families, and it’s easy to see why! This park is open between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy it!
Blue Spring State Park
Blue Spring in Orange City, Florida is an amazing location for a long day of swimming and snorkeling. This spring is home to especially large fish, which will often swim down the lengthy spring alongside you. For certified scuba divers, the deep and winding cavern is a major hotspot.
Canoes and kayaks are also available and are a great option for guests looking to explore the lush hidden waterways of the St. Johns River. Entrance costs are just $6 per vehicle, and the park is open from 8 a.m. until sundown. Blue Spring is closed for water activities in the winter months due to the manatee season, but it is still well worth a trip to see these amazing animals in herds!
A hidden gem in Williston, Florida, the Devil’s Den is a breathtaking prehistoric underground spring. To access the waters, visitors must walk down a narrow staircase into the cavern to reach the platform below. Considering how cool and unique the location is, it’s easy to see why this is one of the best springs in Florida (a popular one too!).
While there you will be able to explore the inverted mushroom-shaped cave and dive up to 54 feet. Beneath the surface, you are likely to encounter fossils and unique rock formations, which the park asks to leave untouched and in place. This spring is only open to visitors for snorkeling or scuba diving, and you must be over the age of 18 or accompanied by an adult.
In addition, you will be asked to sign a waiver before entering. The park is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, making it an especially great choice for the weekend!
A short distance from downtown Orlando, Wekiwa Springs is an easy choice on short notice. Located in Apopka, Florida, it is a lush and open oasis with plenty of spring-side grounds for sunbathing, including a concrete-enclosed springhead that covers just over a half-acre. Due to the shallow depths, neither scuba diving nor jumping or driving is allowed in the spring.
This spring is, however, a good choice for guests looking for accessible amenities, such as a chair lift and/or ramp. The spring is filled directly from an underground cave and also remains a near-constant 72 degrees. Aside from swimming and snorkeling, canoes and kayaks are also available for rent. Entry to Wekiwa Springs costs $6 per vehicle, and it is open from 8 a.m. until sundown.
One of Florida’s largest springs, Rainbow Springs is a waterway rich in both cultural history and natural beauty. One particular draw to this spring is a large headspring with limited shallow areas, making it a popular location for swimmers and snorkelers. If you are looking for a more relaxing activity, we recommend a lazy float downstream, where you may catch a glimpse of fish, turtles, and birds.
Canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding are also allowed, and rentals are available onsite. Admission to Rainbow Springs is $2 per person–a great deal! The park hours are generally between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., and it is closed from October through March. However, while this park may not be open as long as some of the others, it’s still very much worth the trip!
Silver Glen Springs
Silver Glen Springs in Salt Springs, Florida is the perfect place to spend a sweltering afternoon just relaxing in the electric blue waters and exploring the bottom of the sinkhole. The spring pours out into Lake George, so swimming areas are restricted to avoid boats for safety reasons. Snorkeling is allowed and encouraged, but no scuba diving is permitted.
Despite this restriction, visitors are likely to see several local inhabitants, such as crabs, gators, rays, and even manatees! Numerous reviews recommend paddling a mile or so out, where you might see large schools of fish. Entrance is $6 per person and the hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Along the banks of the Suwannee River in Branford, Florida is Troy Spring. This quiet, 70-foot-deep spring offers a prime opportunity for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Particularly unique is the history of the sunken civil war-era steamboat Madison, which has left a clear outline on the floor of the spring. It is highly visible on clear days, even from the boardwalk.
The unique experience of seeing Madison is definitely what makes Troy Spring one of the best (and most popular) springs in Florida. In addition, there is a large variety of birds, aquatic life, and even large turtles. Troy Spring is open to visitors from 8 a.m. until sundown year-round, and admission is just $5 per vehicle, making it a great value!
Among the cypress trees in Chiefland, Florida is the majestic Manatee Springs. Aside from swimming and snorkeling, guests can canoe, kayak, paddle boat, and paddle board. Rentals are available onsite. Scuba diving is allowed in the main spring area and also in the suitably named Catfish Hotel. Participating in any of these water activities will allow visitors a chance to see the plethora of wildlife in the area, including fish, turkey, deer, and more.
During the Florida winters, you will be able to see the migrating manatees. Entrance to the park is $6 per vehicle, and the park is open from 8 a.m. until sundown. However, this park is so remarkable that these details pale in comparison to what you’ll get the chance to see!
Madison Blue Spring
Surrounded by the lush forest in Lee, Florida is the magnificent Madison Blue Spring. On the west bank of the Withlacoochee River, this 150-foot deep spring has not only made the list of the best springs in Florida but has also been rated the number-one spring in the entire United States! And it’s easy to see why. To say the least, Madison Blue Spring is breathtaking.
Here you can witness several fish and other aquatic creatures as well as the beautiful underwater limestone and rock formations. Certified divers are also allowed in the cave and caverns. If you are looking to kayak or canoe, rentals are not currently offered, and drop-in sites are carry-in only.
Instead, consider tubing down the spring and the adjacent river. The park is open from 8 a.m. to sundown, and entrance costs between $4 to $5 per vehicle and $2 for pedestrians. With all of its natural attractions, however, you can be sure this spring is worth your day’s investment!
Have you already had a chance to enjoy one, or several of these springs? If not we would highly recommend it. These springs aren’t rated the best springs in Florida for no reason! Visiting a spring this summer, or any time of the year, even if just to see wildlife can be a really enjoyable experience.
Not only is it enjoyable, but it’s easy on the wallet! These springs are perfect for a family outing, a date day, or even just a relaxing day in nature. No matter when or why you decide to visit the springs we want to know about your experience! Happy Trails!
What are the prettiest springs in Florida?
Alexander Springs. …
Rock Springs Kelly Park. …
Little River Springs.
Rainbow River/Rainbow Springs. With such an enchanting name, it’s no surprise that Rainbow River is home to one of the best springs in Florida with a variety of natural wonders. …
Ginnie Springs. …
Ichetucknee Springs. …
Juniper Springs. …
Where is the clearest spring in Florida?
Ginnie Springs, which has some of the cleanest waters of all the natural springs in Florida, is the best place to go for tourists looking to experience authentic Florida. It is off the main road but still easily accessible, being only a two-hour drive from important centers like Orlando, Jacksonville, and Tallahassee.
What are the warmest springs in Florida?
Additionally, it is Florida’s first publicly accessible hot spring. Warm Mineral Springs in North Port, which is halfway between Venice and Port Charlotte, maintains a steady temperature of 87°F all year.