15 Best Springs In Florida— Florida is recognised for its natural wonders. The azure waves that crash on the Sunshine State’s coast are surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Straits of Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico, attracting swimmers, surfers, and scuba divers from all over the world. Florida’s freshwater springs, on the other hand, are even more spectacular.
Nearly 700 natural springs dot this verdant East Coast peninsula, providing some of the most breathtaking and unique views in the world. Visitors to the calm ecosystem, which is home to magnificent fauna, are greeted by crystal clear turquoise water bubbling up from the limestone floor (we see you, manatees). Swimming is a nice and refreshing sport because the bulk of the springs are kept at 72 degrees Fahrenheit all year.
Snorkelers and scuba divers love the meandering labyrinth of underwater caverns found in several of Florida’s premier springs. Others hire kayaks and canoes to guests who want to take advantage of the huge stretches that feed into surrounding rivers.
You can find the best springs in Florida for your vacation be it with family and kids to a romantic honeymoon for couples, this place has it all.
It’s difficult to choose which freshwater spring to visit first because they’re all stunning. This list of the greatest Florida springs will help you narrow down your options.
15 Best Springs In Florida
Table of Contents
1. Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River
Three Sisters Springs is one of the best springs in Florida, and the water here at Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River is so clear that you can see right through it. If you arrive at the correct time, you might see one (or more) of the state’s most cherished residents: manatees. Just a heads up, they’re more common in the cooler winter months.
No motorized vessels are allowed inside the park, and you can’t get to the springs by land, either, to protect this and other species. Kayak, canoe, or paddle board are the only ways to explore this natural wilderness.
Insider tip: Launch your kayak or canoe at adjacent Hunter Springs Park or Kings Bay Park for in-water access to the springs.
Take a walk down the boardwalk at the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, which has 57 acres of wetlands to explore, if you want to see the springs without getting wet.
In the summer, Citrus County is teeming with people looking to cool themselves in the same, but now much cooler, water.
Crystal River is a first-order spring system that starts in Kings Bay and includes over 40 springs that feed into the river as it meanders six miles westward to the Gulf of Mexico.
You’ll have to travel by boat to observe this spring system. Local outfitters will accompany you to the springs, where you will find a wonderful world both above and below the water. Kings Spring is the largest spring in Kings Bay. At the entrance to a 60-foot cave, it stretches 75 feet across and is 30 feet deep.
Swimmers, snorkelers, and scuba divers flock to this spot. However, there is one that sticks out above the rest:
Three Sisters Springs is regarded as one of Florida’s most beautiful springs. Swimmers and snorkelers are transported by local outfitters to the roped-off spring, where they can swim into the region for a closer look.
It’s a lovely spring, and because to the kindness of local residents, it’s been protected for future generations.
2. Ichetucknee Springs & River State Park
The Ichetucknee Springs and River comes at number two on the list of best springs in Florida. The Ichetucknee Springs and River, located northwest of Gainesville near Fort White, has long been a popular location for campers, college students, and Floridians seeking the relaxing pleasure of floating down the six-mile river before it empties into the Santa Fe River.
In Ichetucknee Springs State Park, just an hour north of Gainesville, nine gleamingly lucent springs feed the Ichetucknee River.
And they’re absolutely stunning! The turquoise-hued river mirrors each waving limb as it flows through floodplain forests of cypress, pine, and oak trees, as well as towering hammocks.
The main spring (also known as the Ichetucknee Head Spring) is a national natural landmark and home to some of Florida’s most endangered wildlife species.
While canoeing, kayaking, scuba diving, and SUPing are all popular activities in this wonderful location, tube riding is the most soothing.
Don’t worry, they aren’t being towed behind a boat (due to the fact that motorised boats are prohibited). Take a seat and ready for a peaceful ride along this natural sluggish river’s six-mile length. Along the route, turtles, beavers, otters, and wood ducks will assist you.
The Ichetucknee Springs State Park resembles a popular summer camp from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Families and larger groups “raft up,” attaching their tubes to the riverbank as they float down. There will also be certain sections when you will have the river to yourself. And one thing is certain for everyone who goes: everyone on the river will experience one of Florida’s most genuine delights.
Go early and, if feasible, on a weekday to get the most out of your Ichetucknee visit. Weekends and holidays are particularly packed.
This captivatingly pure freshwater spring finishes along the western bank of the Withlacoochie River, about 10 miles east of Madison and nearly 70 miles east of Tallahassee.
The spring is 25 feet deep and about 82 feet broad, making it a popular swimming place. It is surrounded by a lush forest with strolling paths. Take a float on a raft or paddle your canoe down the spring’s 150-foot stream. While you won’t be able to rent a canoe on-site, many local retailers will rent one to you.
The water here, like at Three Sisters Springs, is crystal clear, making it an excellent place to swim, snorkel, or scuba dive. Catfish, turtles, and sunfish are just a few of the aquatic species that may come up to say hello. If you’re a certified diver, visit the underwater caves to witness even more incredible aquatic species up close.
The Florida State Park system just purchased this beautiful blue “Shangri-la” located west of High Springs.
Blue Springs is located on a 250-acre farm in a peaceful rural setting. It also discharges 55 million gallons of freshwater every day, which finally flows into the Santa Fe River.
Swimmers jump from a giant wooden diving platform into the crystal blue bubbly water, families eat under the shade of the vast oak trees, and paddlers launch kayaks or paddleboards along the spring run, which is reminiscent of a “Central Florida” summer camp.
A visit to Blue Springs isn’t complete without a stroll over the rustic wooden boardwalk to the picturesque Santa Fe, where you can see more springs. Turtles bask in the sun on the logs.
The Homosassa Springs at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park are made up of about 30 springs.
They’ve been dubbed one of the state’s largest springs. The Homosassa River is fed by this first magnitude spring (one that discharges 100 cubic feet or more of water per second).
Because of its size and the fact that the main headspring runs from three vents with varied degrees of salt, both salt and freshwater animals can be found here.
The West Indian manatee is one of the most well-known visitors. These Florida sea cows come here in the winter because they enjoy the warm water of the spring. Entering the Underwater Observatory is the greatest method to get a close look at them. What’s the best part? You won’t get wet because it’s an enclosed facility.
Keep a look out for animals on the ground, such as red wolves, black bears, alligators, and the Florida panther. The resident hippo is a sight to behold.
Ginnie Springs is one of Florida’s most popular tourist destinations. This enormous property dishes up a plate full with entertainment, since it is connected to many springs by the Santa Fe River.
It’s difficult to beat the main attraction. Every tourist is enticed to at least dip a toe in the crystal clear turquoise water.
The spring’s appeal is enhanced by a sandy limestone base that reflects the sun’s rays and enhances the bright blue hues. It’s so beautiful here that you’ll think you’ve entered a mystical realm. This is probably one of the best springs in Florida.
Tall trees shade parts of the lagoon, creating a natural tunnel for visitors to follow along the spring’s length.
Popular activities include snorkelling, scuba diving, canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Each of these sports has equipment that may be rented on-site.
Tubers can drift aimlessly down a two-mile length of the Santa Fe River. It’s also an excellent area to paddle board, kayak, or canoe. Laughter and good times abound along this section of the Santa Fe River, where everyone may enjoy the tranquilly.
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Weeki Wachee Springs State Park may appear tacky to some. The most famous attraction is a mermaid show, which is followed by waterslides at Buccaneer Bay and a riverboat cruise.
It is located about an hour north of Tampa. But don’t be fooled by this. Weeki Wachee Springs, a first-magnitude spring with a bottom so deep that it has yet to be discovered, is also located in the park.
Swimming is only authorised at Buccaneer Bay, despite the fact that you can kayak or canoe here. The spring meets the Weeki Wachee River at this point on its more than seven-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico.
This glistening and translucent creek is one of the best places to kayak. You might see an alligator, a bald eagle, a turtle, or an otter if you look closely.
7. Rainbow Springs : Best Springs In Florida
It’s simple to see why Rainbow Springs is so popular. This transparent waterway is breathtakingly beautiful. It is one of the state’s oldest (it dates back 10,000 years) and largest springs. The springs that feed the Rainbow River are between five and 18 feet deep and maintain a constant temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit all year.
Rainbow Springs State Park is located little over 20 miles southwest of Ocala and over 90 miles northwest of Orlando, making it an ideal day travel destination.
Rainbow Springs transforms into a flowery paradise in the spring, with its margins bursting with vibrant azalea blooms. Sharp-eyed visitors will see waterfalls, and a plethora of fish will entertain them with their underwater displays. Tubing, scuba diving, and camping are among popular activities here.
Wekiwa Springs State Park, located north of Orlando, is a beautiful hideaway with a “Old Florida” vibe. Wekiwa is an Indian name that means “bubbling water,” which fits the freshwater spring well. The emerald green freshwater pool is located at the base of a grassy amphitheatre, with steps leading to the pool.
The Wekiva Basin habitat includes the 7,800-acre Wekiwa Springs Park. The entire basin is made up of nearby neighbours such as the Rock Springs Run State Preserve, the Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park, and the Wekiwa Springs State Park.
To get a better view of the park, hire a kayak or canoe. A simple paddle up the Rock Springs Run and down the Wekiva River will prove its status as a National Wild & Scenic River. You should keep an eye out for otters and birds grazing near the water’s edge in the early morning.
This gorgeous site, named after the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, is well worth a visit. The main spring, which is kept at a slightly cold 68 degrees Fahrenheit all year, produces 14 million gallons of water every day.
The neighbouring Ponce de Leon Springs State Park includes two hiking paths through lush forest, as well as picnic sites with shelters and grills, in addition to swimming and snorkelling.
Devil’s Den is another name in the list of best springs in Florida.
Devil’s Den, the most unusual of Florida’s natural springs, is housed in a prehistoric cave. The spring is 120 feet in circumference and 54 feet deep at its deepest point, making it a favourite location for Instagram photo shoots. It’s also 72 degrees Fahrenheit all year, so you might not need to bring a wet suit with you.
Because it’s a privately owned scuba diving centre, you’ll have to pay an entrance charge when you arrive. In order to appreciate the venue, you’ll need to snorkel or scuba dive, as swimming isn’t permitted. If you don’t have your own equipment, don’t worry; you may rent it on-site.
Alexander Springs, another watery wonder in the Ocala Natural Forest, is a great place to go snorkelling. Viewing the underwater populace (we’re talking to you, fish, turtles, and lilies) is a breeze because to the crystal-clear water. It’s no surprise that so many photographers bring their best underwater cameras to this stunning location.
Alexander Springs is a first magnitude spring, with about 70 million gallons of water flowing from it every day. Its water flows to Alexander Creek before joining the St. Johns River after a seven-mile journey.
One of the nicest spots for families to visit is Alexander Springs. It has a sandy beach and is relatively shallow. Swimming (obviously), hiking, snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking, SUPing, camping, and canoeing are all popular activities.
While you won’t be able to swim in Silver Glen Springs, that doesn’t mean you won’t have a good time on the water. Take a glass-bottom boat tour to see the lovely wildlife (including manatees) that live beneath the clear surface of this tranquil spring. What’s the best part? You will not be soaked.
Silver Glen Springs is a photographer’s delight, set against a gorgeous, forested backdrop of pine, oak, and cedar trees. It’s also in the Ocala National Forest, but it’s in Silver Springs State Park, which is 4,000 acres.
13. Wakulla Springs
When you visit Wakulla Springs in Ed Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, you won’t be alone. This is the world’s deepest (and largest) freshwater spring, and it’s a popular spot for swimming, kayaking, snorkelling, and scuba diving. It’s also a National Natural Landmark, as well as a National Archaeological and Historic District.
At the main spring, a wooden tower tempts adventurers to jump into the crystal blue water below. Those looking for even more thrills can find it beneath the turquoise waves of Wakulla Spring. A network of underwater caves stretches across the region, beckoning all scuba divers to discover their hidden riches.
This sprawling park, 30 miles south of Tallahassee, is dotted with more than 10 miles of trails that snake through floodplains and hammocks, providing stunning views at nearly every turn.
14. Salt Springs : Best Springs In Florida
Salt Springs is another naturally beautiful springs in Florida.
Salt Springs, another gleaming highlight of the Ocala National Forest, is located in Salt Springs State Park. This big spring (which produces 53 million gallons of water per day) has significantly saltier water than other springs in the vicinity.
What is the explanation for this? The spring contains a variety of minerals and components, as well as ancient salt deposits, which mix to produce the flavour.
On the observation walkway, visitors are permitted to wander along the edge of the “pool,” which is a 90-by-20-foot portion of the spring that is fenced on three sides. Swimmers can expect temperatures of 72 degrees Fahrenheit and a depth of two to 20 feet, depending on how far they are from the spring’s vents.
15. Juniper Springs
Last but not the least on the list of best springs in Florida is Juniper Springs.
Juniper Spring, the headspring, is where the major swimming hole is located. The park’s spring is enclosed by a limestone wall surrounded by a lawn and picnic tables, which was erected by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.
The magnificent deep blue spring delights swimmers and campers alike. The swimming area is near to an antique historical mill that was built by the hardworking conservation corps to supply electricity for the park camping.
For park visitors, this features a historical and informational exhibit centre. The neighbouring Juniper Springs Run is regarded as one of Florida’s most beautiful kayaking destinations.
SO this was our list of top 15 best springs in Florida, hope you enjoyed reading.