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Florida springs are truly breathtaking and should be on everyone’s bucket list during their next trip to the sunshine state. While people flock to Florida all year round for its world-class theme parks and attractions, many of the natural hidden wonders and Florida’s original tourist attractions get forgotten. The natural springs in Florida are scattered across the state and are excellent alternatives to the usually crowded destinations. Check out this list of the top 12 springs in Florida to visit this summer!
CLICK HERE FOR A MAP OF FLORIDA’S SPRINGS
Table of Contents
1. Rock Springs Run
Rock Springs Run is located in Apopka, Florida which is only a short 45-minute drive north of Orlando. The headspring is where you can find Florida’s most beautiful natural lazy river. Visitors and locals alike love to go tubing down the crystal clear water at Kelly Park. Just down the street from Kelly Park is King’s Landing. King’s Landing is a locally owned kayak rental shop where you can begin your paddle through the jaw-dropping Emerald Cut. You’ll feel like you’re paddling through the jungle along this serene river that is one of Orlando’s best-kept secrets. Carry on your paddle for 8.5 miles towards Wekiva Island for a more local experience. This option can take 4-5 hours, so plan accordingly!
Use this address to navigate to the entrance.
Rock Springs Run At A Glance
|Open 8AM-5PM 365 days/year||Credit Cards Now Accepted!|
|$10 Launch Personal Vessel/$20 Full River Run W/ Return Shuttle||$50 Single/Canoe Full River Run W/Shuttle|
|$30 Canoe/$40 Single/$50 Double Kayak Out & Back Rental||Must Be On The River By 11AM To Complete Full River Run!|
|Tubing Kelly Park $3 per Car for 1-2 People, $5 for 3-8 P||No Tube Rentals at Kelly Park. Must Bring or Rent Offsite.|
2. Blue Spring
Blue Springs State Park is the closest spring to the downtown Orlando area and major attractions. Less than an hour drive, Blue Spring is a natural lazy river where people come to go tubing, swimming, and kayaking during the hot summer months. The run is fairly short, but the crystal clear water and the beautiful surrounding scenery is hard to beat! During the winter, this spring becomes a manatee sanctuary that is closed to water activities.
Use this address to navigate to Blue Springs State Park.
Blue Spring At A Glance
|Open 8 AM-Sundown 365 Days/Year||$20/Hour for Single Kayaks. $25/Hour For Tandem|
|$6/Vehicle or $4/Single Occupant||$44/Day for Single Kayaks. $54/Day For Tandem|
|Free To Launch Personal Kayak||Tube Rentals Available or Bring Your Own|
3. DeLeon Springs
DeLeon Springs just north of Orlando is a unique natural attraction. This Florida spring is a historical site with tons of wildlife that you can learn all about on their Fountain of the Youth boat tour. This tour departs every hour starting at 10 AM and is $14 per person. Most people will take a boat tour while they wait for a table at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Restuarant. This restaurant is one of the best and cheapest places to grab all you can eat pancakes that you make yourself right at your table! Be aware that wait times can be long and it can also get fairly warm inside the building due to no air conditioning. Kayaking, swimming, and hiking are all also available at DeLeon Springs State Park.
Use this address to navigate to DeLeon Springs.
DeLeon Springs At A Glance
|Open 8||Boat Tours $14/Person Starting at 10AM|
|$6/Vehicle or $4/ Single Occupant||All You Can Eat Pancakes For $5.25|
|Restaurant Opens 8 AM/Weekends & 9 AM/Weekdays||Get There Early Because The Restaurant Is Know To Have a Long Wait|
4. Silver Glen Springs
Silver Glen Springs in the Ocala National Forest is only about an hour’s drive north of Orlando. This spring truly is one of Florida’s hidden gems. It’s a short, but beautiful run with crystal clear water and plenty of wildlife! This place is known to be a bit of a party on the weekends and holidays, but in the winter months and weekdays, it is much more peaceful. A huge swimming hole is great for cooling off and a small kayak launch is available free of charge. Rentals can be obtained at the office, but there aren’t many vessels to choose from. There are a few hiking trails and plenty of grassy space to picnic or play on. The restroom facilities are only port-o-potties so be aware that on a busy day, they could get dirty.
Use this address to navigate to Silver Glen Springs.
Silver Glen Springs At A Glance
|Day Use Fee $6.00/Person||Free To Launch Personal Vessel|
|$16/2-Hour Canoe Rental||Primitive Style Park W/Port-O-Potties|
|Opens At 8 AM & Can Get VERY Busy In The Summer & Holidays||Short Run For Kayaking, But Crystal Clear/Beautiful|
5. Alexander Springs
Alexander Springs located in the Ocala National Forest is one of the best springs in Florida to take your family swimming. This gorgeous, crystal clear spring has shallow areas, deeper areas, and plenty of green space to run around. There are tons of picnic tables and plenty of shade to enjoy a hot and humid Florida day. A kayak launch just past the swimming area is a great way to explore a little bit of wild Florida. Gators are known to hang out at this spring run but aren’t usually near the crowded swimming area. Get to Alexander Springs early because this spring will fill up to capacity on weekends and holidays in the summer!
Use this address to navigate to Alexander Springs.
Alexander Springs At A Glance
|Opens At 8 AM & $6.00/Person Day Use Fee||Camping $24/Night|
|Can Get VERY Busy In The Summer & Holidays||Shallow Swimming Area/Nice Bathrooms|
|$16/2-Hour Canoe/Kayak Rental||Free Personal Kayak Launch|
6. Salt Springs
Another crystal clear oasis tucked in the middle of the Ocala National Forest
Use this address to navigate to Salt Springs.
Salt Springs At A Glance
|Opens At 8 AM||Free Boat Launch For Personal Vessels|
|$6.50/Person Day Use Fee||Can Get Busy In The Summer/Holidays|
|Canoe Rentals Available At The |
Nearby Salt Springs Marina
|$5 To Park At Salt Springs Marina Just Down The Road|
7. Rainbow Springs
Rainbow Springs is named appropriately named for its vibrant colors that stretch all along the Rainbow River. This Florida spring is known for its beautiful state park at the headspring and is one of the best tubing opportunities in Florida. Stop at any of the vendors along the Rainbow River to rent a tube and hire a shuttle to drop you off for a four-hour float. This spring is great for swimming in the summer months and even boasts some of Florida’s only waterfalls hidden throughout the park.
Use this address to navigate to Rainbow Springs.
Rainbow Springs At A Glance
|$2/Person For Entry To Headspring||Single Kayak/SUP Rental $16/Hour or $50/Day|
|Opens At 8 AM||Double Kayak Rental $22/Hour or $60/Day|
|No Extra Fee To Launch Kayak, |
But VERY Long Walk To Launch
|Tubing $20/Person For Tube/Return Shuttle|
(Not Available Oct-March)
8. Weeki Wachee Springs
Weeki Wachee Springs is a favorite among the many springs in Florida. This longtime tourist attraction has been entertaining guests with mermaid shows, wildlife encounters, and boat tours for decades. The headspring is massive and is able to accommodate not only an underwater mermaid show but also a lazy river and water park! Launch your kayak at the Weeki Wachee State Park and float with the current through the lush Florida forest. The water is crystal clear for miles and depending on the time of year, you may observe manatees seeking refuge in the warmer spring water.
Use this address to navigate to Weeki Wachee Springs.
Weeki Wachee Springs At A Glance
|Waterpark Opens at 9 AM||Kayak Rentals 8 AM-Noon. Must Preregister Online!|
|$13/Adult, $8/Kid For Waterpark||Rentals Start At $40. Personal Boat Launch Is $10|
|Mermaid Shows, Boat Tours, |
Lazy River, Waterpark/Slides/Swimming
|Strict Policy On No Disposable Items Such|
As Plastic Bags Or Bottles.
9. Seven Sisters Springs
One of the lesser-known springs on this list of top springs in Florida is the Seven Sisters Springs in the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge. This area still remains a hidden gem among the other major springs nearby like Three Sisters, Weeki Wachee, and Rainbow Springs. The Seven Sisters is located just a short paddle from the Chassahowitzka (also known as the Chaz) Campground. This spring is known for the shallow cave tunnels that open up to form several openings. Many snorkelers will dive and swim through these openings. Be cautious though, swimmers have lost their lives here! Though Seven Sisters steals the show at the Chaz, there are dozens of other freshwater springs hidden, like the Crack, throughout this massive refuge.
Use this address to navigate to the Chaz Campground.
Seven Sisters At A Glance
|Parking Lot Opens At 8 AM||Camping About $26/Tent Site|
|$5 To Launch Kayaks/$7 If Parking W/ Trailer||Camping About $42/RV Site|
|Single Kayaks $25/Day. Double Kayaks $35/Day||Check The Online Reservations For More Info|
10. Silver Springs
Silver Springs is one of the original tourist attractions in central Florida. It’s crystal clear water has been a draw for famous movies which now can be seen during the historic glass-bottom boat tours offered at the headspring. Kayak rentals and launching are available for paddling inside the park which offers views of some of Florida’s iconic wildlife like gators, manatees, and even the famous Silver River monkeys.
Use this address to navigate to Silver Springs State Park.
Silver Springs At A Glance
|$2.00 State Park Entry||1.5 Hours North of Orlando/Tampa|
|Kayaking, Boat Tours, Hiking||8 AM to Sundown 365 Days/Year|
|$4.00 to Launch Personal Kayak Located |
Outside The Park
|$35 Single/$50 Double Kayak Rental Plus |
State Park Entry Fee
11. Ginnie Springs
Ginnie Springs is an area along the Santa Fe River near Gainesville, Florida that boasts a handful of crystal clear swimming holes and tons of space for primitive camping. This spring tends to be a bit noisier and more crowded especially on the weekends and holidays in the summer. Ginnie Springs is one of the few springs that allow alcohol so it can be a bit rowdier. For a more family-friendly experience check out Poe Spring or Gilchrist Blue Spring which are just down the road. Tubing is a common activity here where visitors can tube down the Santa Fe River. The river water will not be as clear as the multiple springs just off the main waterway. Kayaking is also available and it’s only a 30-minute paddle upstream to a few other springs like Gilchrist Blue Springs.
Use this address to navigate to Ginnie Springs.
Ginnie Springs At A Glance
|Gets Very Busy on Weekends/Holidays||$6/Tube For The Day|
|Kayak/Canoe/Paddleboard $12/3Hours||Kayak/Canoe/Paddleboard $20/6Hours|
|Camping $22.43/Night PP||$14.02 Day Use Fee|
12. Gilchrist Blue Springs
Gilchrist Blue is a favorite Florida spring among the locals for its sheer size and beautiful blue colors. This spring is only a short paddle from Ginnie Springs and is known to be a much quieter and more family-oriented outdoor destination. The paddle in from the Santa Fe is just as beautiful as the spring head. An old diving dock lines the one edge of the spring but is no longer in use. Plenty of picnic space at this state park as well as another option for camping in the area.
Use this address to navigate to Gilchrist Blue Springs.
Gilchrist Blue Springs At A Glance
|Opens At 8 AM Every Day||$4-$6/Vehicle Based On Occupancy|
|Kayak Rentals Available As Well|
As Personal Kayak Launch
|Camping Reservations Start At $18/Night|
|Small Campground So Book Online Early!||A Quieter Option Compared To Ginnie Springs|
Please remember to respect all of Florida’s natural places by always picking up after yourself, never harassing the wildlife, and taking only pictures for memories!