With summer in full swing, so too have been the heat waves. Between high temps and raging humidity, the real feel temperatures may have you pining for a cool dip at some of the Sunshine State's top beachy shorelines. But if sand in your cracks isn't where it's at for you, opting for the blue waters of some of the best springs in Florida may be more your speed.
From prehistoric underground springs to lazy river runs with crystal clear blue waters that you can float down for hours, this list of 6 Springs in Florida to cool down in during these summer heat waves is sure to have you ready to don your cutest suit and pack your bags for a different kind of 'beach day.'
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
Address: 6131 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee FL, 34606
Hours: 9 am to 5:30 pm, daily during open season.
Cost: $13 for adults, $8 for children aged 6 through 12; children under 5 are admitted free.
Why Weeki Wachee: As Florida's only spring-fed water park, you can enjoy a day of slipping down slides and embracing your inner mermaid in this historic park. Alongside the springs, a river run offers the opportunity to float by boat or inner tube or paddle the day away in a kayak, with mermaid shows and food options also on-site by land. The ultimate day escape with a touch of thrill, Weeki Wachee is ideal for families looking for a uniquely fun place to keep cool this summer.
Rainbow River Springs State Park
Address: 19158 S.W. 81st Place Road, Dunnellon FL, 34432
Hours: 8 am to sunset, year-round.
Cost: $2 admission per person for headspring access; tubing is $24 per person, plus a $2 state fee, and includes the tram ride back. Kayak and paddle board rentals are also available, with prices ranging from $19 to $67 depending on your selections.
Why Rainbow River: The sapphire blue waters of Rainbow River's headsprings are only $2 to swim, making this spot a fairly cheap escape from the heat. While tubing and kayaking will cost you a bit more, the approximately one-and-a-half hours of sightseeing while floating downstream are worth the extra dollars.
Kelly Park/Rock Springs Run
Address: 400 E Kelly Park Rd, Apopka, FL 32712
Hours: 8 am to 8 pm during the summer, 8 am to 6 pm during the winter. The waterfront and nature trails close daily one hour prior to the park closing.
Cost: Admission of $3 per vehicle for 1-2 people; $5 per vehicle for 3-8 people; and $1 for additional persons/walk-ins/motorcycles/bikes. Tubing, kayaking, and paddle boarding are $3 for 1-2 people; $5 for 3-8 people; and $1 for an additional person. Launching hours are between 8 am and 12 pm; guests must return no later than 5 pm.
Why Kelly Park: While the river run float is only approximately a half hour downstream, there are plenty of spots where it's shallow enough for you to stop, swim around, and take all the photos your heart desires. If you want to turn this into a weekend trip, the on-site campground makes it the perfect place to settle down for a few days and have easy river and swimming access.
Devil's Den Prehistoric Spring
Address: 5390 NE 180th Ave, Williston, FL 32696
Why Devil's Den: While you'll have to reserve your time and date to check out this underground spring, it's one of the most unique places you can swim, snorkel, and cool off this summer. With stairs that lead down to a rocky pool with crystal clear and cool blue waters and a natural skylight above that creates a unique sight, this is one destination you have to check out at least once.
Address: 7300 NE Ginnie Spgs Rd, High Springs, FL 32643
Silver Glen Springs
Address: 5271 FL-19, Salt Springs, FL 32134
Hours: Hours are not listed; you can check their website here for open status notifications and additional information regarding parking pass requirements for 2023.
Cost: $12 per person.
Why Silver Glen: With waters remaining a crisp 73 degrees year-round, the blue waters of Silver Glen offer the perfect place for you to pack your go-pro and don your snorkel to swim with the fishes. However, you'll also find picnicking and trail use options as well if you want to turn it into a multi-faceted adventure. Silver Glen Springs was also once a village site and is now home to heaps full of fossilized snail shells and ancient items of everyday life tucked beneath a canopy of live oaks within the Ocala National Forest.
Which spring do you want to check out most? Let us know in the comments!
Article by Rachael Volpe