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The Springs of Spring: Where to Cool Off in Central Florida

Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 9:00AM

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Looking for springtime fun, or a way to cool off? Not just any destination will do—head to a spot that’s so uniquely Florida, friends and family will be asking for postcards.

While Florida may be famous for its beaches, it’s inland springs offer an entirely unique sort of aquatic experience. Lush flora surrounds sparkling, clear and ethereally blue stretches of water—warm all year-round thanks to the region’s natural geothermal heat below the surface. And the best part? You get to jump right in.

Read on as we go “spring hopping” across the state—exploring some of the most beautiful destinations worth making the trip.

Blue Spring

For Volusia County residents, Blue Spring is especially easy to access. Just head west to Orange City, where you’ll find the largest spring on the St. Johns River and a veritable treasure trove of natural vistas to soak in. March marks the end of the manatees’ wintering season (in which the gentle sea cows flock to Blue Spring and similar spots for refuge from cold winter weather), so soon it will be re-opened for swimmers to explore the water on their own. With a 72-degree temperature, how could you pass up waters that comfortable?

Rainbow Springs

Head over to Marion County to visit Rainbow Springs, where you’ll find another stunning backdrop to your spring hopping adventure. This spot isn’t just beautiful but historic, too—it’s believed to have been supporting local peoples for more than 10,000 years—and offers scenery you can’t find just anywhere in Florida, such as a gorgeous, flowing waterfall and accompanying flora that’ll make you think you landed on a remote tropical island.

Silver Springs

Exploring the crystal-clear water of Silver Springs is easy to do—hop on a paddleboard, slip into a kayak or venture out on a one-of-a-kind glass-bottom boat that lets you see the array of aquatic life just below the surface. It’s also the perfect starting point from which to explore the greater Ocala National Forest, the largest of its kind in South and a spot that’s teeming with birds, wildlife and gorgeously green vistas to enjoy.

Ginnie Springs

Spending spring break near Gainesville this year? You’re in luck—a nearby destination by the name of Ginnie Springs offers just about everything you’ll need to enjoy a memorable aquatic escape. Known for its superb clarity, this spot is a popular one for cave diving in addition to other on-the-water diversions.

Wekiwa Springs

Don’t forget about Wekiwa Springs! Located north of Orlando, this spot is known for clear blue waters you’ll want to jump right into… and a comfy lawn where you can watch the swimmers go by, or simply lounge around with your four-legged friend.

Central Florida’s springs are true works of art—but unlike paintings in a museum, these landscapes aren’t just for looking at.

Grab a snorkel mask, towel and your favorite company to explore the springs nearest you… or go somewhere further and make a day trip out of it. Either way, you can count on Peach Valley to provide sustenance and a starting-off point for your day of springtime spring hopping.

 


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My Location: Ormond Beach - East
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