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.
Florida has the highest concentration of springs and spring runs in the world, and many offer recreation such as swimming, scuba diving, paddle trails, camping, fishing and summer escapes.
One of the classic experiences of an Old Florida vacation was a scenic boat tour. Here are nine iconic boat tours. How many of these have you taken?
The Ichetucknee is the most pristine spring run in the state. It has eight major springs, crystalline water, lush jungly vegetation plus plentiful birds and wildlife. It’s a shame that most visitors only experience it as a busy tubing river. It’s a fabulous winter kayaking destination in North Florida — worth a drive!
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.
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 spectacular natural setting. In winter, it’s a peaceful place to kayak and perhaps see otters. In summer, it’s full of tubes floating through a cool paradise.
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.
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 has started.
Wakulla Springs State Park has a historic lodge, spectacular spring/swimming hole, scenic boat rides and many spots to hike, bike and kayak nearby. The Big Bend region of Florida is often overlooked by visitors, who are missing out on a rustic, rural area.
Kayaking the Chaz on the central Gulf Coast takes you over turquoise springs, down twisty creeks, and you might just see a manatee, otter or bald eagle. This is one of Florida’s premier kayaking rivers.
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.
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park has reopened with its iconic mermaid show and water park. The gorgeous spring-fed river is also open for kayak and SUP rentals, although the route from the park has been shortened.
Juniper just might be the most pristine spring-fed river in Florida. It’s also stunningly beautiful. On a hot day, the 72-degree water and shaded run help keep you comfortable.
Tucked into 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.
Silver Springs State Park near Ocala lets kayakers launch at the famous springhead and paddle an exquisite waterway where paddlers often see monkeys, manatees and an array of birds and other animals.
Kelly Park is best known for popular Rock Springs Run, but this fabulous Orange County park also has one of the nicest campgrounds anywhere, a fabulous swimming area, playgrounds and picnic areas.
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.
Fanning Springs and Manatee Springs state parks on the Suwannee River offer beautiful springs, cabins, camping, kayaking & biking in Northwest Florida. Where is this Florida wonderland? Far off the beaten path.