We all know of its world-famous beaches, but Florida’s best-kept secret is its plentiful and beautiful natural freshwater springs. Steadfast water temperatures and a wonderland of wildlife make these springs a year-round must-see, and a quick road trip to remember for a lifetime.
Warm Mineral Springs
In south Sarasota County, Warm Mineral Springs is a hidden gem. A constant 85+ degrees, the water flowing from this spring is believed to have been trapped underground for over thirty thousand years at depths exceeding 7000 feet. Eight million gallons of water a day flow down a natural run on the surface and eventually into the Gulf of Mexico. Its rich mineral content and healing properties are why many locals call it the “fountain of youth.”
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
This state park is known for its underwater theatre and live mermaid show. Visit the water park for thrills and spills, or spend a day kayaking with manatees on the downstream float trip. Weeki Wachee Springs is located near Spring Hill and is a little over an hour northwest of Tampa.
Rainbow Springs State Park
Archeologists estimate that people have been enjoying Rainbow Springs State Park for over 10,000 years! It’s no wonder with its plethora of floral and fauna delights, spectacular underwater scenery, and a little something for everyone. Rainbow Springs in Dunellon is just under two hours north of Tampa.
Three Sisters Springs
Located near Crystal River north of Tampa, these springs are your best bet of swimming alongside Florida’s beloved gentle giants, the manatee. Tours are available of the springs for those who enjoy a guided lesson, or grab a snorkel and a tube for a self-guided swim in the cool, clear springs.
Silver Glen Springs
Silver Glen Springs is a true oasis among the towering trees and vegetation that shades the crystal clear shallow water. These natural springs boast some of the clearest, most beautiful natural water you will ever see in Florida. Enjoy canoe rentals, snorkeling, and a feeling of Old Florida.