Springs

The spring at Fanning Springs State Park on the Suwanee River. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Fanning & Manatee Springs: Hidden treasures for cabins, camping

Fanning Springs and Manatee Springs state parks offer beautiful springs, cabins, camping, kayaking & biking in Northwest Florida. Where is this Florida wonderland? Far off the beaten path.

Clear turquoise water along Silver River. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Silver Springs State Park: Famous spring plus cabins, hiking, history

If you haven’t experienced Florida’s most famous spring, you’re missing one of the most beautiful spots in Florida. This weekend, Ocali Country Days, a special living-history festival, will re-create the Ocala of the 1800s. Year-round, this park has it all: kayaking, hiking, glass-bottom boat rides, horseback riding and terrific cabins.

De Leon Springs: State park known for pancakes has much more

De Leon Springs: State park known for pancakes has much more

DeLeon Springs, about an hour north of Orlando, is a state parks with swimming, kayaking and fantastic history. But it’s best known for — of all things — its pancakes.

Ichetucknee Spring

Cool escapes: A guide to Florida’s refreshing springs

Floridians weather the heat and humidity of brutal summers by turning to the state’s wealth of clear, refreshing springs, spilling cool water out of crevices in the ground at the rate of thousands of gallons a minute..

Lithia Springs Run at the Alafia River

Lithia Springs: Camp at this cool, secluded park near Tampa

Tucked into in a corner of Hillsborough County is a quiet, well-shaded campground that packs a lot of nature into a small 160-acre preserve along the Alafia River. And the camping is among the best in the Tampa Bay area.

Campsite at Kelly Park/Rock Springs.

Cool Camping Near Orlando: Kelly Park/Rock Spring

Kelly Park is best known for the hugely popular Rock Spring, but it also has one of the best campgrounds anywhere in the state. Summer visits require a bit of planning because of the crowds, especially on weekends.

Video: Florida’s spring waters run deep

Video: Florida’s spring waters run deep

There are an estimated 700 springs in the state of Florida, representing what may be the largest concentration of freshwater springs on Earth. The cool, clear waters offer unique beauty and host diverse wildlife communities, offering recreational opportunities for swimmers, kayakers, wildlife observers and cave divers. This video takes you on a special journey you won’t want to miss.

Blue Spring State Park: Manatees in winter; swimming & tubing in summer

Blue Spring State Park: Manatees in winter; swimming & tubing in summer

The park is beautiful, and the paddling opportunities are numerous, but the campground is just fair. The spring is a great place to swim when you seek to escape the summer heat, but you can’t swim here in winter because its overrun by manatees seeking safe haven.

Ichetucknee Springs ( 
FWC photo by Karen Parker)

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

All those “lazy river” water attractions at hotels and parks are just trying to recreate the exhilarating experience of tubing the Ichetucknee River in north central Florida. Try the real thing, where you’ll float past pristine cypress forests and look into water so clear you can see a pebble on the river’s bottom through six or seven feet of water.