Residents and visitors to the state of Florida can enjoy recreational opportunities in water that comes from an aquifer in many places, also known as springs. Florida springs are a huge part of Florida’s natural beauty as the state boasts more freshwater springs than any other state, with approximately 1,000.
The entire state is a popular place to visit Florida state parks and enjoy some of the most beautiful springs with families and friends.
With an average temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, you will have plenty of time to enjoy the sun on the beach or in one of many outdoor activities that are available.
The state is filled with culture by way of museums, art galleries, theaters, and more!
There is nothing quite like swimming in crystal clear waters and exploring the many caves that line the shoreline.
Here are some of the best spots for fun in the Florida Springs Sun!
1. Devil’s Den
Florida Devil’s Den Spring is located in the Ocala National Forest and features one of Florida’s deepest freshwater springs.
This natural springs wonder has a constant temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit, making it perfect for swimmers during Florida summers!
The spring was named after the legend that tells of an old man who had escaped from his burning cabin to find refuge inside this deep cave—but he died there when pinned beneath a fallen tree while trying to escape.
The entrance is about 100 feet long and drops 15 feet into the water below before curving down through sandstone bedrock with various depths bubbling up against your toes as you walk along the soft sandy bottom.
Though more than 200 people swimming here at once may seem crowded, Floridians get to enjoy this spring all year round!
We’ve covered a lot of Florida ground together so far.
Now that we have made it through the northern coast of Gulf County and are entering Walton County, let’s take another quick look at some more swimming spots along our journey south from Perry to Wakulla Counties.
2. Wakulla Springs State Park
Wakulla Springs is an important piece of Florida history. Its lodge is the heart of a state park that was established in 1937 as a private retreat by Edward Ball.
The spring is 69 degrees all year, so there are many people who come to its beach in the warmer months.
A swimming platform is floating out in the spring while a multi-platform diving board invites you to plunge into the 180-foot deep spring basin. This is the perfect spot as it’s home to many springs, sinkholes, and an underwater cave system
The waterfront is grassy, so you can spread a blanket and enjoy the sun. However, you should be aware of alligators.
The Wakulla River emerges as the deepest freshwater spring from the mouth of the largest freshwater spring in the world. It is part of Florida’s Statewide System of Greenways and Trails.
The paddling trail, which is 10 miles long, takes you through the river’s cool, clear waters. It’s a half-day trip that allows you to see the diverse animal and plant life of the area.
You can choose from a three- or six-mile paddling excursion.
The current is gentle enough that you can paddle up and down the river as many times as you wish.
3. Silver Glen Springs, Ocala National Forest
Silver Glen Springs is a hidden gem just an hour outside of Gainesville, Florida. The many springs flow year-round at about 60 degrees Fahrenheit with no sulfur or other impurities making it perfect for swimmers looking for a refreshing dip on these hot days!
You can spot a mixture of freshwater and saltwater fish floating above the sandy bottom of this spring. This area is no surprise that it was popularized by Native Americans and European settlers nearly 7000 years ago.
Glass Bottom Boat Tours shows the clear springs and the underwater world that inhabit Silver Springs State Park.
4. Crystal River
Ever wanted to swim with Florida’s gentle giant manatee? This is how you can make your dream come true. You don’t even need to book a tour in order to see them. These gentle giants, also known as sea cows or sea cows, are native to Florida and hang out at the Crystal River in Florida.
Crystal is most well-known for its manatee swimming. It’s also a trendy place to catch scallops. It is only legal to swim with manatees in the Crystal River.
It is not a river, despite its misleading title. Crystal River is an area that is a mixture of freshwater springs and an estuary that leads to the west coast ocean.
You can also enjoy freshwater and saltwater within the same area.
5. Fanning Springs State Park
Fanning Springs State Park is a stunningly natural and historic setting. This site has been attracting visitors for thousands upon thousands of years.
Fanning Springs State Park’s main spring is popular for spring and summer snorkeling, swimming, and scuba diving. All year-round, the waters are crystal clear at 72 degrees F.
In winter, manatees can be seen swimming upstream in the warm spring waters. There is a platform for viewing the spring, as well as a sandy bottom.
From the spring’s swimming area, a boardwalk that is wheelchair-accessible runs to a Suwanee River gazebo.
A 3/4 mile densely canopy-covered nature trail runs through the park’s forested areas of pine, hardwood, and cedar trees.
Nearby is a picnic area, with a volleyball court and a playground. You can allow your dog to walk in the area, but they must be on a leash.
If you bring your own watercraft, there is a kayak launch area.
A concessionaire is available on-site to rent kayaks.
Five rental cabins are available for visitors at the Park. Each has a screen porch, a kitchenette, and central heat and cooling.
The cabins come with dishes, kitchen utensils, and linens.
Weekend stays require a two-night stay. Primitive tent camping is also permitted in the Park for hikers as well as kayakers. It is prohibited to park overnight at primitive campsites.
6. Ginnie Springs
You don’t need to spend a whole day at the springs. Your camping gear can be brought along and you can camp under the stars. You can expect to see all kinds of animals, including manatees and alligators.
Ginnie Springs an East Coast, water lover’s paradise, is surrounded by 600 acres of forest and cypresses, as well as other hardwood trees.
Picnic tables, a playground for children, and volleyball are all available.
The visibility in the Santa Fe River can reach up to 30-40 feet during the dry summer months. River diving is popular when it happens.
Although there are many Santa Fe River dives available, most divers prefer to dive at Devil Spring and then drift down to Ginnie Spring.
They may also see Pleistocene-era fossils of giant ground sloths or other prehistoric mammals along the way.
State law requires you to tow a flag and float while diving in the river due to the high overhead boat traffic. These can be rented from Ginnie’s Rental Department.
7. Weeki Wachee Springs
Weeki Wachee Spring, located in Central Florida, combines naturalist ecotourism and traditional tourist landmarks to create a unique blend of kitsch, glam, and nature. It’s great fun, no matter how you describe it.
This park is the home of Weeki Wachee Mermaids. It features live performances, nature tours, and a waterpark in natural surroundings,
Buccaneer Bay water park is located in Weeki Wachee Springs State Park and features two water slides that lead to natural Weeki Wachee Springs.
These slides will give you a rush of excitement that will keep you coming back for more.
Just downstream of the spring is access to the river for canoes and kayaks.
The launch fee is a small amount and watercraft can also be rented from a concessionaire at the park.
The majority of paddlers make the journey downstream to Roger’s Park, which is managed by Hernando County.
This is a distance of approximately 5 1/2 miles. Shuttle service is available to those who do not want to paddle upstream against strong currents.
8. Ichetucknee Springs State Park
This park is such a unique and beautiful place, with some of the best springs, so it has been designated a National Natural Landmark. This 2008 New York Times article beautifully captures the experience:
It’s a hot late-winter afternoon, and three young women are descending half-dozen wooden steps to reach a pool of transparent water. The pool is surrounded by cypress trees.
The spring water is so cold and clear that it almost seems invisible. It rises from underground spring vents and joins together to create the Ichetucknee River.
Ginnie Springs is the state’s largest natural artesian spring. With an average flow of 110 million gallons per day, this is Florida’s most popular swimming hole!
The water temperature ranges from 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit and can be explored year-round at depths ranging from five feet at its shallow end to a whopping fifty-four feet deep near the deepest point.
This 150-foot-long pool has underwater caves that are perfect for exploring or just relaxing on one of Florida’s best beaches – all without ever having to leave the water!
Bring the Family!
Florida springs offer something for everyone no matter your age or skill level so get out there and enjoy them while they’re still around!
9. Madison Blue Spring State Park
Madison Blue Springs is the winter home to hundreds and thousands of manatees.
It is a simple decision to go there because of the manatees and the beautiful, clear blue water. It’s just 45 minutes away from Orlando.
You can snorkel and tub down the crystal clear water to see a happy manatee.
You will find the swimming area near the first parking garage.
After you have parked, walk towards the Camp Store. You will find a wooden boardwalk leading you to the water from there.
From here, you can swim to the spring boil. It is not possible to swim to the second parking area.
10. Alexander Springs
Alexander Springs is a great place to snorkel in Florida. It has crystal-clear waters, unique underwater scapes, and a variety of freshwater fish.
The constant flow of water from the vent is at 72°F/22°C, which makes it possible to enjoy comfortable underwater exploration throughout the year.
Alexander Springs does not have a dive shop or rental of swim snorkel equipment. You will need to bring your own gear and snorkeling equipment or rent one from a company.
If you are a snorkeler, I recommend purchasing a set of snorkels, masks, and fins before you go.
Although there may be a few pairs in the gift shop, they are not guaranteed and can cost twice or more than what you would pay online.
11. Peacock Springs State Park
Wes Skiles is a hidden treasure, located between Gainesville and Tallahassee. The area’s name is in honor of an outdoor enthusiast who helped to preserve it.
There are many activities available this spring, including snorkeling, swimming, picnic tables, and grills.
This park is unique among other Florida springs.
A Florida State Park typically has one bubbling spring leading to a river/swimming spot of natural resources. This park however has FIVE bubbling springs.
A vast network of underground tunnels was created by the incredible amount of fresh water that flows from one location.
To dive here, you will need to have your scuba divers certification.
This is a must see for all divers in Florida.
12. Rainbow Springs State Park
Rainbow Springs State Park campground, which is located along the clear Rainbow River, has 54 campsites and full hookups (20-30 and 50 amp).
Each campsite has a table and fire ring, as well as a grate. Maximum 2 tents per campsite are permitted
From late spring to fall, swimmers love the clear, cool waters of the headsprings. The swimming area averages 5-18 feet in depth with the water temperature at 72 degrees all year.
Outdoor recreation also includes canoeing and kayaking, fishing as well as tubing, boating, canoeing, and kayaking.
You can also bike, hike, do your laundry, and play horseshoes.
Rainbow Springs Aquatic Preserve is located within the East Florida section of the Great Florida Birding Trail due to the wide variety of bird life that can easily be seen from the preserve and adjacent woodlands.
Rainbow Springs Aquatic Preserve is home to many aquatic plants and species, including the bald eagle, swallow-tailed Kite, and wood ducks.
Rainbow Springs State Park also offers boat rentals.
13. Juniper Springs
Juniper Springs, a 2nd Magnitude spring in the Ocala National forest’s central area, is its central feature. It is unique in that the spring flows from the higher elevations surrounding the hills.
This spring’s rare beauty may have been one reason President Theodore Roosevelt designated Ocala National Forest in 1908 as the first National Forest east of the Mississippi.
Fern Hammock Springs should also be mentioned whenever Juniper Springs is mentioned.
Fern Hammock spring is actually part of a scenic group that includes about 20 springs located within the Juniper Springs Recreation Area.
Fern Hammock can sometimes be listed separately because it has unique visual characteristics. The main spring is accessible via a hiking trail. Fern Hammock is not suitable for swimming or wading due to its fragile environment.
Photographers and lovers of nature’s treasures should not miss a visit to Fern Hammock Springs. The Fern Hammock Springs discharge is approximately the same as Juniper Springs’ and they join to create Juniper Creek.
A swimming area, picnic areas, and a barbecue are all available.
14. Three Sisters Springs
If you love manatees, you’ll want to pay a visit to Three Sisters Springs, Florida. Located near on-the-water homes, this spring is a refuge for these gentle giants during the cold winter months.
The spring is a popular destination year-round, but the winter season is the busiest time to visit.
There are three spring areas within the Three Sisters Springs complex. The springs are characterized by vents and sand boils.
The water from the springs feeds two rivers:
- The Crystal River
- Kings Bay
Florida was one of the first states to enact a manatee law. It was amended in 1907, adding a $500 fine for killing a manatee.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service classified manatees as threatened in 1967.
The waters of Three Sisters Springs are surrounded by lush flora and fauna. The water temperature is 72 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, making it a great swimming spot in the summer and a manatee sanctuary in the winter.
If you visit during this time, you will be rewarded with the sights and sounds of manatees.
If you want to get a closer look at the manatees, you can explore the boardwalk that surrounds the area. The boardwalk is wheelchair and stroller-friendly and offers a good view of the waters. Three Sisters Springs is open year-round.
15. Suwannee Springs
Suwannee Springs is a beautiful, natural spring located in the Suwannee River Valley of North Florida.
The spring is surrounded by 100-foot-tall live oak trees draped with Spanish moss. It’s the perfect place to swim, sunbathe, canoe, and kayak in the crystal clear water of the spring.
It is also a popular spot to enjoy nature.
Hiking and biking trails wind through the forest around the spring.
Bird watching is excellent in the area, and deer and other wildlife are often seen in the woods.
Suwannee Springs is a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. It’s also a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
So if you’re looking for a little bit of paradise, you can paddle your kayak or canoe down the quarter-mile spring run that runs from the main Spring headwaters to reach the Santa Fe river.
16. Gilchrist Blue Springs
Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park is one of the many natural wonders in Northern Florida, a spring break favorite for college students. The park is home to a large, deep blue spring that bubbles up from the ground. Visitors can swim in the spring, relax on the beach, or explore nature trails.
The spring is fed by the Santa Fe River and is surrounded by a limestone formation.
The water is crystal clear and very refreshing.
There is also a variety of fish that swim in the spring, including largemouth bass, catfish, and sunfish.
Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park is a great place to enjoy a day in nature. The park has something for everyone, whether you want to swim, relax on the beach, or explore the hiking trails.
17. Warm Mineral Springs
Warm Mineral Springs is a naturally heated spring in North Port, Florida. The water temperature is a constant 86 degrees Fahrenheit and the spring is fed by an underground aquifer.
Warm Mineral Springs is a unique destination in Florida. The spring water is comfortable 86 degrees year-round and the natural minerals are said to have health benefits.
The springs are located in North Port, about an hour’s drive from Sarasota. There are several ways to enjoy the springs. You can swim in the main pool, soak in one of the private baths, or try out massage therapy services.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or a healing experience, Warm Mineral Springs is worth a visit.
18. De Leon Springs
De Leon Springs is a beautiful town located in Central Florida. The town is home to a variety of businesses and attractions, including the famous De Leon Springs State Park.
This is one of the best places to enjoy a variety of marine life and activities, including hiking, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and more.
The town is also home to a variety of restaurants and shops.
If you’re looking for a place to enjoy the outdoors and take in some Florida history, De Leon Springs State Park is the perfect spot.
The park is also home to the historic sugar mill ruins, which date back to the early 1800s. Visitors can learn about the area’s sugarcane industry and see how syrup was made in the olden days. De Leon Springs State Park is a great place to spend a day or two exploring all that Florida has to offer.
19. Wekiwa Springs
Wekiwa Springs State Park is one of Central Florida’s first state parks. The park is located in Apopka and is a popular spot for swimming, hiking, and picnicking. The park also has a campground with cabins and RV sites.
Wekiwa Springs is a great place to cool off in the summer heat. The spring-fed pool is 72 degrees year-round. There are also two sand volleyball courts and a playground. Hiking trails wind through the woods and around the springs.
Wekiwa Springs State Park is open from 8:00 am until sunset. Admission is $6 per vehicle with up to 8 people. Campsites start at $24 per night.
20. Rock Springs
Looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life? Then look no further than Rock Springs, Florida – a small town with a big heart.
This charming town is located in the Panhandle region of Florida and is known for its scenic views and friendly locals.
While Rock Springs may be off the beaten path, there are still plenty of things to see and do.
Here are just a few ideas of how to spend your time in Rock Springs:
- Take a stroll through one of the many parks or nature trails in town.
- Visit one of the local museums or art galleries.
- Head out to the nearby state park for a day of hiking or picnicking.
- Spend an afternoon horseback riding or fishing on one of the many lakes or rivers in the area.
21. Blue Hole Spring.
If you’re looking for a breathtaking natural wonder to add to your travel bucket list, look no further than Blue Hole Spring. This gorgeous swimming hole is fed by a deep underground spring, making it refreshingly cool even on the hottest days.
Whether you’re an experienced diver or simply looking to take a dip, Blue Hole Spring is worth a visit.
The spring is surrounded by cliffs that offer jumping opportunities for those seeking an adrenaline rush, and there’s plenty of space for lounging and picnicking on the rocks.
If you find yourself in north-central Florida, be sure to add Blue Hole Spring to your itinerary. You won’t regret making the trip to see this natural wonder!
22. Morrison Springs
Morrison Springs is a beautiful place to visit in Florida Panhandle. The springs are located in a serene forest and the water is crystal clear.
Even though it’s one of the smaller springs, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy while you are visiting, including swimming, hiking, and kayaking.
If you are looking for a place to relax and enjoy nature, then Morrison Springs is the perfect spot for you.
The springs are located just outside of Crestview, Florida, and offer visitors a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
The water is clear and refreshing, making it the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day.
There are also plenty of hiking trails through the surrounding forest, so you can explore the area at your own pace.
First-Magnitude Springs of Florida
The volume of water flowing per unit of time determines the magnitude of a spring. Florida is home to more than 1,000 springs.
The largest springs are known as a “first magnitude spring”. First-magnitude springs are the largest and most prolific springs that can discharge at least 64.6 million gallons of water flow per day, or 100 cubic feet per minute (CFS).
What are the Florida 1st magnitude springs?
There are 33 (some claim 27) first magnitude springs located in Florida, which is home to the highest concentration of freshwater springs anywhere on the planet.
The 33 first magnitude springs that have been recognized in Florida are located in the northern peninsula, and the eastern panhandle. These springs are close to the surface of the Florida Aquifer limestone.
These 33 springs produce more water each day than the state’s residents use for drinking water.
Looking to Head Out to Florida’s Springs on Your Next Trip?
If you’re looking for a refreshing and natural escape from the hustle of city life, then come to Florida. The state provides easy access to the largest collection of freshwater springs.
You can find them all over the Sunshine State and they represent some of our most popular tourist attractions and natural Florida springs
No matter if you’re looking for a theme park or an adrenaline-packed adventure or a relaxing day trip to some of the best natural springs in the United States to enjoy nature at its finest, there is something for everyone on this list!
We know that it might be hard to pick just one, but we’ve narrowed down a list of great places for you to start looking into!
Book your trip today so you don’t miss out on all the amazing things our state has!
Whether you want to go camping or stay in the comfort of a hotel suite, make your plans today!