There's no question that Florida's beaches are understandably popular with tourists and locals alike. They're arguably beautiful, but if you're looking for consistently crystal-clear waters, you may want to check out Florida's springs. This is especially true in the summer when the cool waters of the springs feel particularly refreshing.
Florida Has More Freshwater Springs than Anywhere on Earth: Florida is home to 700 springs that allow visitors to swim, snorkel, dive, paddle, and tube. Most of the springs require very inexpensive admission fees, and their temperature is usually between 68-75 degrees.
Determining the Top Springs in Florida: Almost all of Florida's springs are alluring, and a nice way to spend the day. Southern Living recently listed what it felt were Florida's best, most clear springs. They were as follows:
Devils Den: This underground spring inside a dry cave is popular with history lovers and scuba enthusiasts since its been home to Pleistocene-Age fossils. The destination has limited lodging on-site, an RV park, and campgrounds. It is located at 5390 NE 180th Avenue in Williston.
Weeki Wachee Springs: These springs are so deep that the bottom has never been found. Although one can snorkel and swim here, the attraction is most famous for its mermaids, who perform 16 to 20 feet below the surface. The Springs and the State Park that houses them are located at 6131 Commercial Way in Spring Hill.
Juniper Springs: Located within the Ocala National Forest, these springs are one of the oldest and most well-known in the state. The corresponding complex that includes swimming, picnic areas, campgrounds, and trails was constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. This destination is located at 26701 E Hwy 40. in Silver Springs.
Homosassa Springs: Not only are these springs among the largest in Florida, but both fresh and salt-water animals call the Springs home. The attraction's, underwater observatory allows visitors to view fish and manatees. There are also captive animals like black bears, red wolves, Key deer, flamingos, whooping cranes, and the oldest hippopotamus in captivity. You can find these Springs at 4150 S. Suncoast Blvd. in Homosassa.
Three Sisters Springs: These Springs are part of the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge. They're arguably gorgeous and are a popular place to view manatees. The Springs must be accessed via boat, which is why they're a popular place to canoe or kayak. They're located at 123 NW HWY 19 in Crystal River.
Rainbow Springs: These Springs feeds the Rainbow and Withlacoochee Rivers and are located at 19158 Southwest 81st Place Road in Dunnellon. Tubing is a popular pastime here, but you can also canoe or kayak. These Springs are among the largest in the state.
Wekiwa Springs: These Springs are located very close to Orlando and may be a good choice for families who want a break from the expense of theme parks since admission is just $6 per vehicle. The springs are Orange County’s longest-running tourist attraction, as they were discovered in the 1860s. They're home to many varieties of animals and are located at 1800 Wekiwa Circle in Apopka.
Gilchrist Blue Springs: This attraction only became a state park in 2017, which may be why it's so pristine. There's are many wildlife species, including turtles, fish, and invertebrates. The fish are easily spotted because of the clear visibility of the water. Redbreast and spotted sunfish, largemouth bass, bluegill, and channel catfish are some examples of what you might see. The Springs are located a short drive from Gainesville at 7450 N.E. 60th St. in High Springs.
Wakulla Springs: These Springs are the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world. They're very reminiscent of "Old Florida" and movies like Tarzan's Secret Treasure and The Creature from the Black Lagoon were filmed there. Manatees, alligators, and other wildlife can be seen. Visitors can find the springs at 465 Wakulla Park Drive in Wakulla Springs.