5 Natural SpringsMay 2022
Discover the Crystal-Clear Wonders
By Kevin Mims, Visit Florida
Freshwater springs are the ultimate year-round Florida attraction and we’ve got more of these crystal-clear natural wonders than any other place in the country. The highest concentration of natural springs in Florida is in the north and central regions, making it super simple to create your own personalized trip, depending on your schedule and how much you’ve previously traveled in the area.
1. Wakulla Springs State Park
Located just 15 minutes south of Tallahassee, Wakulla Springs State Park is the perfect northern anchor for a road trip exploring springs in North Florida. History, nature, and film buffs, if the scenery looks like something from a Tarzan movie, that’s because it is. Wakulla Springs is the location of many Hollywood classics, including “Creature from the Black Lagoon.” Be sure to take the famous river cruise while you’re there, too.
2. Ichetucknee Springs State Park
While there are several places around the state where you can take a tube trip, the Ichetucknee River rules them all. It’s a no-frills, easygoing adventure that can be enjoyed by all, no matter if you’re 8 or 80. While there, hang out at headsprings and take the half-mile trail to Blue Hole Spring, another outstanding gem located in the park.
3. Fanning Springs State Park
Make a stop at Fanning Springs State Park for a relaxing afternoon of swimming and picnicking. If you have a kayak, make sure to bring it along — Fanning Springs feeds the legendary Suwannee River, so you’ll definitely want to spend some time paddling while you’re there. Alternatively, Manatee Springs State Park is located just a few miles north of Fanning Springs in Chiefland, so you have a couple of great options in this area.
4. Homosassa Springs State Park, Three Sisters Springs
Folks, this is manatee country. While you’ll be out of the water at Homosassa Springs, you will be entertained by plenty of wildlife exhibits and attractions. Make sure to visit Lu the Hippo, one of Homosassa’s most famous residents. Just 7 miles away is Crystal River’s Three Sisters Springs, one of the most magnificent jewels in the state. Most visitors access the spring by tour boat, kayak, or paddleboard, but you can also walk the Three Sisters Springs boardwalk.
5. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
Make a visit to the world-famous mermaids, who have made Weeki Wachee Springs State Park loved by visitors from around the globe. In the summer months, hang out at the park’s Buccaneer Bay attraction, with waterslides and a white sandy beach. Round out the whole experience with a kayak trip on the Weeki Wachee River, one of the most scenic paddling trips found anywhere.