6 Florida Springs You Just Have to Visit

 

M O N K E Y S, M E R M A I D S,  a n d M A N A T E E S - oh my!

 

 



Florida’s springs offer many recreational opportunities such as swimming, kayaking, and diving. Florida's Springs are openings to the Florida Aquifer, the source of over 90% of Florida's drinking water. From the Weeki Wachee Mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park to the magnificent blue hues at Blue Springs, Florida has no shortage of amazing springs to visit and see. WaterVentures has compiled a list of important tips to review before planning your next trip to a Florida Spring.






Best Spring for Cave Diving: Ginnie Springs

 

Ginnie Springs is not only a fantastic place to cool off but has incredible freshwater dives with over 1,000 feet of subterranean passages for adventure-seekers. Part of Ginnie Springs, Devil’s Eye cave system deserves a mention of its own. Offering 30,000 feet of various passageways, this is one of the most famous cave diving spots in the world.










Best Spring to ride on a Glass Bottom Boat: Silver Springs State Park

 

Located in the central and charming Ocala, Florida, Silver Springs State Park has been a natural landmark since the 1870s. Florida’s first tourist attraction features one of the largest artesian springs in the world. The park became renowned for the Glass Bottom Boat tours: guided boat rides where guests could travel around the spring on a vessel with a clear bottom to view life underwater.











BONUS:

You can find Macaques Monkeys at Silver Springs! Macaques Monkeys were brought to Florida’s Silver Springs State Park as a tourist attraction almost 100 years ago. They are a rare spotting but worth searching for if you visit this unique state park.

 






Best Springs to See Manatees: Three Sisters Springs & Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park


Three Sisters Springs

During the colder months, manatees take shelter from the calm coastal waters in Florida's springs. Crystal River has been dubbed the Winter Home of the Manatees. The best times to spot a manatee in the springs are November through April when the temperature of the ocean is more relaxed than the temperature of the springs.



Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

 

If you want a guarantee spotting of a manatee then check out Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, you can view and learn about the West Indian Manatees. These gentle giants can be seen year-round. The state park currently provides a permanent home to three non-releasable captive manatees. Manatees become non-releasable when their injury or illness is so severe that they are no longer able to survive in the wild. There is a paved trail around the park which leads to all kinds of other animals for you to view including alligators, various birds, and even a hippopotamus.





Best Spring to see Mermaids: Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

 

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is an enchanted spring where you can see live mermaids. The spring is so deep that the bottom has never been found. Each day, more than 117 million gallons of clear, fresh 74-degree water bubbles up out of subterranean caverns. Now unless you are a mermaid you can not swim in the mainspring, that is reserved for the mermaids themselves, but you can swim at the water park that is connected to spring!






Best Grotto: Blue Grotto

 

Blue Grotto is the coolest cave in Florida, this 80ft cavern with some of the most transparent water in the state, and even has a diving bell at the 30ft mark so you can stop to chat with your dive buddy before continuing down to the deep-water cavern lined with fossils.

 

Hundreds of parks in Florida are built around the spring waters. A spring is any natural occurrence where water flows on to the surface of the earth from below the surface and is thus where the aquifer surface meets the ground surface.





Resources:

http://www.silversprings.com/

https://weekiwachee.com/

http://www.divebluegrotto.com/

http://www.threesistersspringsvisitor.org/

https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/ellie-schiller-homosassa-springs-wildlife-state-park

http://www.floridasprings.org/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_major_springs_in_Florida