10 natural springs in Florida perfect for swimming

Florida is well known for its beautiful landscapes and natural wonders. It has the most fresh water springs on the planet, more than 700, all have the most breathtaking and memorable sights. Exotic fish and manatees can be seen in their waterways as they are so pristine. Snorkelers and divers flock to the springs because of the winding maze of underwater caverns. Others rent kayaks and canoes to better appreciate the vast expanses that feed the local rivers. Whether you’re planning a family vacation or just want to cool off on one of Florida’s notoriously hot summer days, the refreshing water from one of these unique natural springs will be more than enough.

Related: Check out these 10 must-see hot springs in Colorado

ten Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park

Peacock Springs is known for its two beautiful springs, a spring trail and six sinkholes. It attracts cave divers from all over the world who want to see one of the longest underwater cave constructions in the country. There is also a small swimming hole and trails to explore for those not interested in cave diving. This allows visitors of all ages to appreciate this gem in all its glory. Award-winning nature hiking trails with educational signs are also available for visitors to learn as they go.

  • The opening hours of the national park: 8 a.m. at sunset each year.
  • Admission fees : $4 per vehicle, $2 per pedestrian/cyclist

9 Alexander Springs

Because it is located in the Ocala National Forest, Alexander Springs is a famous destination, well known to locals, as well as those who live outside of Florida. It’s a great site to snorkel and watch all the fish, and you might even see a turtle swimming through the lily pads. Kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) are some of the most popular activities, along with visiting the nearby trails lined with cabbage palms, magnolias, and maple trees. Many consider it to be one of the most accessible for visitors to explore and enjoy, especially for younger and older explorers, as it has a gradual slope that facilitates swimmers and snorkelers in the cool, crystal-clear waters.

  • Admission fees : $6 per person, plus additional fees for scuba diving

8 Silver Glen Springs

The Silver Glen Springs is a sensory delight as it contrasts with the nearby oak, pine and cedar forests. The blue-green waters, ideal for swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing, will take your breath away and are some of the most beautiful in Florida, but what lies below the surface will draw attention; Tilapia, striped bass and a variety of other species float on the shallow sandy ground. It’s no surprise that this place, which dates back 7,000 years, was popular with Native Americans and European settlers.

The spring is also an important archaeological site and visitors can see a variety of fossilized snail shells embedded in middens along the shore. As space is limited, visitors are recommended to arrive early.

  • Admission fee: $8 per person on weekdays, $11 on weekends

seven Blue Springs State Park

Blue Springs State Park is the largest spring in the Saint John River and was voted the nation’s best swimming hole by USA Today. It is a manatee sanctuary that spans approximately 2,600 acres. During manatee season (November to March), swimming is prohibited; however, the 73 degree spring temperature is ideal for summer activities such as swimming, canoeing, scuba diving, kayaking, fishing, camping, hiking, and wildlife viewing. Swimming is the most popular recreational activity since the swimming hole’s wooded shores and pale blue waters are a quarter mile from perfect. Visitors can also explore and snorkel in a huge self-guided cave system or float downstream for a short lunch on the small beach.

  • Admission fees : $6 per vehicle, $2 per pedestrian/cyclist

6 Ginnie’s Springs

Ginnie Springs is one of Florida’s purest springs and a favorite spot for swimming, tubing, snorkeling, and diving. It has seven springs, caves and white sand and is popular with cave divers and snorkelers. Kayaking, tubing, swimming, and canoeing are also available to visitors, as well as campgrounds with picnic grills, tables, and volleyball courts. There is also a rental cabin available for those wishing to stay longer. The 1,000 feet of underground channels below a 50 foot spring that lead to another breathtaking 30,000 feet of passages are the crown and pearl of this place, a paradise for cave and open water divers looking for adventure. . The crystal clear water of Florida Springs can reward snorkelers or paddle boats with views of bass, catfish, mullet and, if they’re lucky, turtles.

  • Admission fee: $15 for adults ($20 in high season), $5 for children (5-12), free for children under 4, $24 for certified cave divers

5 Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Ichetucknee Springs State Park has nine crystal springs in which tubers can float at will. Blue Hole Spring is located within the park and is the only area where cave diving is permitted. It’s the largest of the nine, and divers looking for something truly unique flock there. The Ichetucknee River can be navigated by canoe, kayak, or tube in the upper state park, where the pristine waters will gently float them. At this beautiful Florida spring, snorkelers and divers can experience a little more fun in the waters. Hikers can also choose from three hiking trails, all of which have entrances on the north side of the river.

  • Admission fee: $6 per vehicle ($4 for single occupant vehicle), $2 for pedestrians

Related: Follow these tips when cruising the Ichetucknee River in Florida

4 Rock Springs, Kelly Park

Kelly Park is centrally located in Apopka, Florida, approximately 30 minutes from Orlando. It has free-flowing springs that are slightly cooler than their counterparts, frequently peaking at 68 degrees, making this resort ideal for Florida’s hottest summers. Tubers can have fun floating through the mangroves and watching fish and turtles swim alongside them. Visitors can also paddle downstream in a canoe or glass bottom boat until it reaches the open swimming areas. Freshwater outlets pour into a series of pools, with crowds of people grabbing tubes and floating a quarter mile along the crystal clear waters. The grounds also offer RV parking, pavilions, and nature walks, making it one of the ideal spots for a quiet family picnic or a romantic getaway.

  • Admission fees : $3 per vehicle for 1-2 people, $5 per vehicle for 3-8 people and $1 for an additional person/walk-in/motorcycle/bicycle

3 Rainbow Springs State Park

It is one of the oldest and best springs in central Florida, with evidence dating back over 10,000 years. Before taking a soothing dip, reviewers suggest strolling through the moss-covered cypress trees to view floral gardens, spectacular waterfalls, and five main springs. Swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and snorkeling are all popular activities in Rainbow Springs. The more daring can hire a tube and paddle the river, or hike one of the trails where you can see turkeys, foxes, deer and squirrels. A huge swimming area with white sand and limestone under your toes is upstream of the river. Man-made waterfalls and natural gardens surround nature trails, making it a popular destination for Florida birdwatchers.

  • Admission fee: $2 per person

2 Weeki Wachee Spring State Park

Weeki Wachee is a popular destination for tourists seeking crystal clear water ideal for swimming, kayaking and snorkeling. It’s a great place to cool off and have fun for all ages with waterslides feeding into Buccaneer Bay, especially when combined with a water park for younger kids. Swimmers can enjoy the beautiful blues and greens of Florida’s natural springs while divers can explore the freshwater cave system, which is found to be the deepest in North America.

  • Admission fees : $13 for adults, $8 for children 6-12, free for children under 5

1 Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River

Crystal River is only accessible by boat and has earned the nickname “water lover’s paradise” due to the abundance of activity and wildlife to see. This is a must visit if swimming alongside manatees is on your bucket list. Locals travel to the area to see these gentle giants interact in their native setting, which is loved by photographers and wildlife enthusiasts. Visitors can either take a guided tour and learn more about manatees, introducing them to one of the most endearing endangered species, or rent a canoe, kayak or snorkel gear and explore the park on their own . They can also go to Kings Spring, which is 75 feet wide and 30 feet deep at its deepest point, where daring divers can explore an underwater cave or go to Three Sisters Spring, where they can swim alongside manatees in cold water during the winter months.

  • Admission fee: $12.50 for adults (summer) and $20 (winter), $12.50 for seniors 55 and over (summer) and $17.50 (winter), $11.50 for military (summer ) and $15 (winter), $7.50 for children 6 to 15 in summer and winter, free for children under 5

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