Bubbling up from Florida’s limestone surface, the freshwater springs scattered throughout the peninsula promise a temperate climate and opportunities for snorkeling
, swimming, manatee spotting, and, of course, mesmerizing crystal-clear water. So head on over for a dip in any of these spectacular springs
Surrounded by a forest of maple trees, Alexander Springs’ natural waters make it the ideal spot for a refreshing soak. Located in Ocala—otherwise known as Florida’s horse country—the area also bears historic importance to one of Florida’s Native American tribes, the Timucua who settled in the forests surrounding the spring.
Alexander Springs, Ocala National Forest, FL, USA
With hundreds of bubbling springs along a seven-mile (11-kilometer) creek, this area is perfect for peaceful canoeing. Juniper Springs boasts a swimming area, nature trails, and plenty of shade under luscious oak trees.
Juniper Springs, FL, USA
Rainbow Springs is a local favorite. This scenic spring sparkles in a blue-green hue bordered by lush vegetation and is home to wading birds and turtles. The fourth largest river also served as an important source for Native Americans, and relics such as stone tools and mammoth fossils have been found here.
Rainbow Springs, FL, USA
Weeki Wachee Springs
Settle in for a unique performance of swimming mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs. The state park is a major attraction for families, as audiences can watch a shortened version of The Little Mermaid live from a submerged 400-seat auditorium. The Weeki Wachee mermaids perform several musical numbers and activities underwater, including eating and drinking. The park also provides educative wildlife shows and a riverboat cruise.
Weeki Wachee Springs, 6131 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, FL, USA, +1 352 592 5656
Perched on the south side of the Santa Fe River, Ginnie Springs shines for its clear blue water that draws in scuba divers and snorkelers to explore its limestone bottom and caves. Visitors will spot turtles, wading birds, and other wildlife near the area, while the bubbling string of springs along the river is perfect for tubing and kayaking.
Ginnie Springs, 7300 Ginnie Springs Rd, High Springs, FL, USA, +1 386 454 7188
Blue Hole Spring
The largest of springs at the Ichetucknee Springs State Park, Blue Hole Spring flows from an underwater cavern with a strong current; therefore, only experienced swimmers should venture here. The spring spurs out over 26,000 gallons of water per minute and runs 40 feet (12 meters) deep, which also makes it a top spot for scuba diving.
Blue Hole Spring, Fort White, FL, USA
Blue Spring State Park
A designated manatee refuge, Blue Spring is the winter home (from November through March) to a population of West Indian manatees. Though visitors may not swim in the waters during the winter season, there are plenty of opportunities for manatee-viewing. Swimmers, snorkelers, and certified scuba divers are welcome to swim during the summer months. Fishing and boating are also available along St. Johns River.
Blue Spring State Park, 2100 W French Ave, Orange City, FL, USA, +1 386 775 3663
You may not be able to swim in this artesian spring, but it’s worth a visit for its epic sunset reflections and natural beauty. Visitors can stroll along the river or enjoy kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, and experience a glass-bottom boat ride to spot alligators, manatees, and fish.
Silver Springs State Park, 5656 E Silver Springs Blvd, Silver Springs, FL, USA, +1 352 261 5840
Located in northern Florida, the Vortex Spring is home to koi fish, eels, and boasts platforms for diving. The spring is a popular site for novice and experienced divers. However, only certified cave divers are allowed through the dangerous sections of its underwater caves, as it has previously resulted in many accidents.
Vortex Spring, FL, USA