With the spring season being around the corner, you might be browsing spring destinations on the web. Quite common are the theme parks, especially if you plan to take your family with you. Well, honestly, everyone must be looking for the same. So, when the traveling becomes normal, hopefully soon, why not pick something unique that not only your family will enjoy, it will serve as a much-needed refresher during these challenging times.
That being said, taking your family to one of the charming Florida spring breaks is a good idea. Florida is famous for its natural beauty, mangrove forests, and unending sandy beaches, offering more than 700 springs. Some have shimmering and crystal clear blue waters, perfect kayaking spots, and its pleasant Spring serves as a paddler’s paradise.
Best Natural Springs in Florida For A Relaxing Soak
Out of whooping 700 springs, it can be difficult to choose which one to go for. Here are the best natural springs in Florida for a relaxing soak with family.
1. Three Sisters
As the name suggests, this Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River offers you crystal clear water that you can see straight through the waters. If you visit here at the rig time, you will witness amazing inhabitants such as manatees. To spot manatees, you should visit during the winter months.
As no motor vessels can go inside the park, you need to experience this place by kayaking. The purpose is to protect these species. Apart from kayaking, you can choose a paddleboard or canoe. Go to Hunter Springs Park or Kings Bay Park to access the in-waters. In case you want to enjoy this Spring without indulging in waters, take a walk along the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge. Its 57 acres of wetlands will be enough for you to explore the Spring.
Without a doubt, Gennie Springs is one of the best Florida springs you can find. Multiple springs attached by the Santa Fe River offer a fun-filled spring break. Its main attraction, turquoise water, compels every visitor to dip a toe in its waters.
You can even see the sandy limestone base, which adds to the spring experience. The reflecting sunrays and vibrant blue hues of waters are one of its own magical experiences. Trees canopy over lagoons make a natural tunnel for visitors to enjoy the Spring under shade.
My favorite activities are scuba diving, canoeing, snorkeling, and paddle boarding are not to miss at any cost. You can find the equipment on rent very easily. Another favorite activity of visitors is rafting at the Gennie Springs. It also has volleyball courts, picnic areas, playgrounds, and campsites.
3. Madison Blue
Situated 10 miles east of Madison and 70 miles east of Tallahassee, Madison Blue Spring ends at the Withlacoochee River’s western bank. This Spring is a famous swimming spot with 25 feet of depth and 82 feet of width. Like Three Sisters Springs, you will experience crystal clear waters, the best place for diving and snorkeling.
You will find aquatic creatures such as turtles, catfish, and sunfish by diving into the waters. Underwater caves offer you to experience hug aquatic life quite closely for expert scuba divers. Florida campgrounds are the best to enjoy trip adventures with your family, especially with the low covid-19 restrictions applied by the STATE.
The combination of 30 springs results in Homosassa Spring at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. This Spring is one of the largest Florida springs, and the first Spring discharges 100 cubic feet per second of water and feeds the Homosassa River. And because of its size and the main headspring flowing from the vents containing salt, you will experience fresh and salty water here.
While entering the Underwater Observatory, you will spot the West Indian manatee, especially during winters; they flock here. This Spring is an enclosed venue, ideal for those who don’t want to get wet. On land, you will be amazed to spot wildlife such as red wolves, alligators, black bears, and Florida panthers, and not to mention the famous hippos. This Spring is also ideal for a full-day trip destination.
5. Rainbow Springs
The Rainbow Spring is worth all the hype because it is one of the oldest, dating back to 10,000 years, and the largest springs in Florida. This Spring feeds the Rainbow River has a comfortable 72-degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year, and it is nearly 5 to 18 feet deep. Situated in Rainbow Spring State Park, 20 miles southwest of Ocala and 90 miles northwest of Orlando, this Spring is also one of the best Florida springs for a day trip.
If you visit during the Spring, Rainbow Spring displays a colorful floral paradise, and the edges burst with vibrant, colorful azalea blooms. If you go underwater, you will witness waterfalls, and a school of fish will grab your attention with their interesting underwater shows. Tubing and scuba diving are not to miss at all! And if you are more into camping, this Spring is the right place for camping.
6. Ponce de Leon
This Spring is named after a Spanish explorer. This Spring is one of the favorite spots for visitors and gives you every legit reason not to miss it. There are a whopping 14 million gallons of water produced daily in the Spring, and the water also remains cool at 68-degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year.
Swimming and snorkeling are world-famous here. In addition to these, the surrounding of this Spring offers you two hiking trails. These trails go through the forest. Moreover, it is also a good picnic area offering you some great time away from the heat. If you want to make the most out of your trip, arrive early. Because on weekends and holidays, this place is busiest. Or you can pick a weekday to explore the Spring in detail.
In Ichetucknee Springs State Park, nine springs feed the Ichetucknee River. This Spring is breathtaking! Floodplains, oak trees, pines, cypress, and hammocks make this place unmissable. And the turquoise blue water is simply mesmerizing. The mainspring is called the Ichetucknee Head Spring and is home to several of Florida’s precious wildlife.
The most famous activities you will find here are scuba diving, kayaking, canoeing, and SUPing. Additionally, tube riding is the most relaxing activity in this Florida spring. Because motorboats are not allowed here, there is nothing more than taking a quiet ride on the lazy river. Here, you will also witness wildlife such as wood ducks, beavers, and otters.
8. Devil’s Den
If you want to experience the scenic caves shown in the movies, this is the right Spring to visit. The Devil’s Den is located in a prehistoric cave, will all the natural beauties you can imagine. This Spring is a popular destination among Instagram pros for their photo-shoots. Devil’s Den is 120 feet in diameter and 54 feet deep Spring, with a pleasant temperature of 72-degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year.
As it is a privately-owned scuba diving center, you need to pay a fee at the entry. You can snorkel or scuba dive here, but only swimming is not allowed. You can rent the equipment on-site, so don’t worry if you don’t own one.
Night visit on the campground: if you still want to enjoy the coolness of the Devil’s Den, you can spend a night on the on-site campground. For this, cabins are also available for rent. As kids under six cannot snorkel, this place may not be suitable for you if you have small kids.
Juniper Springs offers one of the oldest recreational spots in Ocala National Forest. This Spring serves as a head-water for Juniper Creek leading to Lake George. Juniper spring has translucent water, typical of Floridian springs with crystal clear turquoise water that attracts visitors from all around the country. Its refreshing temperature stays at 72-degrees Fahrenheit all year round.
The Juniper Spring offers some of the best opportunities for bicycling, hiking, fishing, hunting, horse riding, and camping. And if you are bored with hiking, you can go snorkeling or canoeing, and Juniper Spring is a perfect place for an afternoon trip. St. Georga state park has one of the best campgrounds in Florida if you want to camp for a long time.
10. Silver Glen
Although you may find it difficult to swim at Silver Glen Springs, however, the fun is never-ending there. The Spring is filled with clear turquoise water that you can see through underwater creatures such as manatees. Spread on 4000 acres, this Spring also offers dense shades of oak, pine, and cedar trees. Water sports such as kayaking and canoeing are a must to try. Moreover, visiting the Silver River Museum and Cracker Village is also fun.
Being the deepest and largest freshwater spring globally makes Wakulla spring famous among swimmers, snorkelers, and scuba divers. It was also declared as National Archaeological and Historic District and National Natural Landmark.
There you will find a wooden tower encouraging adventurists to jump into the fresh and clear water below. There is a system of underwater caves spanning the area, a perfect attraction for scuba divers. It is located 30 miles south of Tallahassee and has more than 10 miles of trails. You will find floodplains and hammocks that offer scenic views from every angle. Take a 45-minute ride on River Boat along with the Spring. You will witness manatees, turtles, and alligators. You can do scuba diving, snorkeling, and kayaking for water sports.
Located in the Salt Springs State Park, Salt Springs is one of the best Florida springs for families. Given its name, the water here is slightly saltier than other springs. The reason is that Spring has several minerals and elements that include ancient salt deposits, and this makes the water salty.
You can take a walk along the edge of the water ‘pool’, measuring 90×20 feet. If you want to swim, the water with pleasant 72-degrees Fahrenheit temperature is there to freshen you up. Moreover, you can also opt for snorkeling or fishing here.
How To Have A Fun Spring Break For Families
If you have just started planning for your spring break, the tips below cab prove to help make your trip memorable and worry-free.
Know Your Budget
First, you should know your budget and see how much money you can spend on your spring break. If you are planning with another family, make sure they are also willing to spend. Maybe your finances don’t allow you to spend a week-long trip. That’s okay; you can spend a day or two or go somewhere more local. Stay away from using a credit card and spending on something you cannot afford. There are many affordable options, so go for them instead.
Make Sure Your Trip Early
If your favorite Florida spring break sees many visitors during weekends or holidays, you might face difficulty in enjoying it fully, given the crowd. It is a good idea to book your trip early for the day. Or even better, to take leaves and dedicate a few days to spring break and revitalize.
Go For An All-Inclusive Spring Resort
All-inclusive resorts are an idea for spring breaks. The biggest benefit of these resorts is that they include everything in the package, from activities to meals. Moreover, there are also activities for kids that they love. Our team compiled a list of the world’s elite all-inclusive resorts you can’t resist for your dream vacation.
Find The Packaged Deals
Make sure you look for some packaged deals. If you visit Florida during spring break outside the US, make sure you book in advance. This way, you will find the cheapest flights and accommodations. You can find the deals on different online travel booking websites. Make sure you pick an all-inclusive spring break within the deal when making a reservation.
Keep Clothes For Each Day
Well, if you are planning to spend a few days, like a week or two, make sure you have packed clothes separately for each day. For instance, you know beforehand which clothes to wear on a specific day or have an extra empty bag or two for dirty clothes.
Keep Only Essentials With You:
Well, let’s accept one fact that you have been there for a week or so. And you don’t want to overburden your suitcase with all the things you have in your closet! So, pack only the essential items. And when you are in doubt about something, just leave it at home.
Keep Your Swimsuit With You
Be it a beach, or spending a vacation in some other locale, bring your swimsuit with you. Because chances are higher, you will find a swimming pool at the location, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on this fantastic time!
Keep Snacks With You
It is advisable to pack a snack with you. None likes to stay hungry during travel!
Think About Variety Of Locations
While the beach holds a special place for spending vacations, you can think creatively this time. If you are moving to Florida, you can pick for breaks offering more variety, such as paying a visit to a museum or visiting some historical place.
Stay Away From Your Office
Keep your work, office, and even social media aside. Spring break is a short break from the daily hassle. So, make the best out of your break and share happy moments with your family in the natural setting.
Spare Some Time For You
While spending time with your family is important, it is equally important to spare some time for yourself. Go for a massage or some other fun activity you enjoy while alone.
Keep Your Itinerary Flexible
You never know what comes around and when to alter your schedule. So, if you are going to a very different location for spring break, it is good to stay flexible and calm. Also, keep your itinerary open to be adjustable accordingly.
Know About The Location
It is wise to learn about the location before you arrive. Do some research and read reviews about the local restaurants and locations while planning your spring break. Also, learn about the nearby streets and avenues or what to do during the day.
Know The Weather
Well, you might have checked the weather; check it again! It will not harm you to double or triple-check the weather, which is advisable. We know spring weather is pleasant and not unpredictable. But it will help you in backpacking the right clothes and essentials.
Buy Travel Insurance
The good thing about travel insurance is that it protects you from losses during your trip. So to avoid any disruption or losses due to weather conditions or cancellations, make sure you have bought travel insurance.
Whether you are coming from a nearby location or a different state, it is important to ensure your safety. Stay away from drinking too much or sharing your location on social media. Also, be aware of swimming alone at night. And if you are coming outside the US, make sure you have a copy of your passport and other documents shared with your family so that they can reach you in time of distress.
Pick Florida springs if you want to surprise your family with the best vacation this year. We have listed some of the best Florida springs for families. The list, however, is never-ending. As we said, there are more than 700 springs in Florida; you can pick the ones that suit you and your family best.
The best thing about Florida springs for families is that they have something to offer for nearly every age group. For instance, you will find games; there are many challenging activities such as hiking, exploring water caves, etc. And for couples, you can go swimming, take a walk together, or freshen up after a refreshing massage. For elders, there are many fishing opportunities. It depends on how you like to spend time during your spring break. There is no restriction to pick activity; however, kids cannot do some water activities.
That means you also need to keep in mind your family and their age groups while picking the right Spring. After all, you have to make sure everyone enjoys the trip, and none is left behind. Happy Springs!