Springs

Tubing Ichetucknee Springs State Park. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Best tubing in Florida: Four beautiful springs for cool fun

It takes some chilly water to cool you off during a Florida summer day, but these spring-fed Florida rivers have that and more. These four springs are among the most beautiful spots in Florida and are ideal locations for tubing. They’re so popular, however, you need to do your homework before going.

Tubing Ichetucknee Springs State Park. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Cool idea: Florida’s best river for tubing, Ichetucknee Springs

All those “lazy river” water attractions at hotels and parks? They’re just trying to recreate the exhilarating experience of tubing the clear, wild Ichetucknee River in north central Florida. Try the real thing. Summer tubing season starts the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.

Five favorite places to paddleboard in Tampa Bay area

Five favorite places to paddleboard in Tampa Bay area

For paddle boarding, it would be hard to find a better destination than Tampa Bay. In addition to beaches and bays, you can paddle amid mangrove islands, in tannic rivers with alligators and, within a two hour drive, one of the most spectacular clear spring runs in Florida.

You could spend an hour just browsing all the stuff at the Grumbles Antique and Garden Shop in Dunnellon. (Photo: David Blasco)

More than the Rainbow River; Dunnellon is a good base for exploring

Dunnellon is known for its spectacular Rainbow Springs and River, especially during tubing season. But there are more reasons to visit in cool weather, including another exquisite river– the Withlacoochee — several good restaurants, and trails for both hiking and biking.

Weeki Wachee Springs: Kayaking, manatees and mermaids

Weeki Wachee Springs: Kayaking, manatees and mermaids

The Weeki Wachee is being overwhelmed with visitors. It’s partly because of a viral video of people on SUPs watching a herd of manatees float by. But it is also because of this: It is SO BEAUTIFUL, as I was reminded when I paddled it last week.

Kayaking the Rainbow River. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Rainbow River: Pure spring water makes kayaking, tubing tops

Rainbow Springs and the Rainbow River are among Florida’s top tubing and kayaking spots. People love this waterway because of the pure, clear water and the spectacular natural setting. In winter, it’s a peaceful place to kayak and perhaps see otters and birds. In summer, it’s full of tubes doing a four-hour float through a cool paradise.

The view from the diving platform at Wakulla Springs. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Wakulla & St. Marks: Out of the way, this Big Bend area is full of discoveries

The Big Bend area of Florida around St. Marks and Wakulla Springs is rich in things to do and see: Kayaking, biking, historic sites, springs, lighthouses. Yet, it is a less visited area off the tourist trail.

Lafayette forms two beautiful pools of water, each lined with limestone rocks, surrounded by hard packed earth and separated by a natural limestone bridge.  (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Springs & the Suwannee: Two northwest Florida parks are great bases for exploring

Remote, rural and picturesque, northwest Florida rewards your long drive with sparkling springs, the beautiful Suwanee River and scenic rural roads. Two state parks with cabins and campgrounds make great bases to explore the region.

Rhesus monkey at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Kayaking Silver Springs: Exquisite trail for kayaks is highlight of Silver River

The new Silver Springs State Park near Ocala gives kayakers their first chance to launch at the famous springhead and paddle an exquisite waterway that has never been open to kayakers before.

Wekiva River Basin’s stunning beauty invites paddlers, campers, hikers and bikers

Wekiva River Basin’s stunning beauty invites paddlers, campers, hikers and bikers

Not all of Central Florida’s magic is at Disney. North of Orlando is a vast ecological preserve that offers an abundance of recreational opportunities with unique exposure to Florida’s great outdoors.