Florida sits atop an aquifer, and fresh water bubbles up from below ground, mainly in the central and northern parts of the state.
Swimmers can dip into over 700 springs of natural fresh water, where all activities from swimming, diving, and splashing around are an alternative to the beaches of America’s Sunshine State. The clear waters remain 72 degrees no matter the time of year, so deciding which spring to visit can be difficult. Here are the best springs to visit in Florida.
Visitors can find some of the clearest waters at Ginnie Springs, giving swimmers the best taste of Florida. This off-the-beaten-track spring is easy to reach and is just two hours outside city hubs like Orlando, Jacksonville, and Tallahassee. The crystal clear waters are perfect for freshwater divers, offering one of the most stunning diving experiences in the world. Swimmers can enjoy floating around on an inner tube, kayaking, paddle boarding, and canoeing. Admission for the spring is located in a privately owned park.
Rainbow Springs is located in the Rainbow Springs State Park, along with several waterfalls and hiking trails. Seeped in thousands of years of history, the spring offers tubing, swimming, and paddling. It is a privately owned tourist attraction and one of the most beautiful springs in Florida.
Madison Blue Spring
The Madison Blue Spring is on the west bank of the Withlacoochee River near the Florida-Georgia border. The spring is home to caves, sapphire-colored waters, and a lush forest making the spring a perfect spot for swimmers and scuba divers. Madison Blue Spring is one of Florida’s 33 first-magnitude springs.
Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring
Near the town of Williston, Devil’s Den Spring is an underground spring inside a dry cave. Karst formed the spring, which is where the ground above a subterranean river collapsed. The remote spot is perfect for visiting snorkelers and divers, with some of the world’s most beautiful underwater caves. Many extinct animal fossils have been found in the caves.
Wekiwa Springs State Park is a natural theme park with horseback riding, biking trails, kayaking, fishing, snorkeling, and wildlife spotting. The park is located just 20 minutes outside of Orlando. It was one of Florida’s first tourist attractions, with a bathhouse complex and hotel already established by the 1890s.
Three Sisters Springs
Situated on Florida’s west coast, the Three Sisters Springs is accessible only via a private boat or kayak on Kings Bay on Crystal River. The best way to see all that there is on offer from the area’s natural beauty is to book a tour on the GetUp And Go Kayaking Crystal River. Kayakers can see through the clear kayaks into the water below and get an unclose encounter with Florida’s sea cows, the manatee, during the right season.
Ichetucknee Springs feature emerald waters from eight major springs, which bubble to the surface and create the Ichetucknee River, a six-mile-long bay of water. Found in the Ichetucknee Springs State Park, visitors can float under the lush tree canopies, snorkel the blue hole, and enjoy sightings of beavers, otters, and wild Turkey.
Wakulla Springs is the largest and deepest of the all the freshwater springs in the world, found in Florida’s Panhandle. The spring is enclosed by an ancient cypress swamp and is steeped in hundreds of years of history. Films like Tarzan’s Secret Treasure (1941) and The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) were filmed in the historic location.
Weeki Wachee Springs
Florida’s freshwater springs are filled with natural wildlife. But Weeki Wachee is the only spring that is home to mermaids. The spring is a natural tourist attraction where visitors can have a front row view of underwater mermaid performances, or take a trip on a riverboat cruise, kayak, and swim in the water. The Seminoles named the spring as “little spring” or “winding river.”
Ocala National Forest Springs
The Ocala National Forest Springs is located in the center of the state in houses four of Florida’s most popular springs, Juniper, Alexander, Silver Glen, and Salt Springs. The springs are mesmerizing waters with blue greens and crystal clear waters. Diving, swimming, and kayaking are all on offer, perfect for Florida’s blazing hot summer days.
Florida’s springs make the perfect escape from the busy