Need a Break From the Heat? Cool Off in One of These Five Freshwater Springs in Florida.

Devil’s Den Springs. Photo by Adrian Diaz Cadavid / Shutterstock

By Cynthia De Saint

October 4, 2022

Florida is well known for its beaches and theme parks, but one of the best things about the Sunshine State is its natural springs.

Longing to escape the oppressive heat and humidity to enjoy a refreshing (and maybe even rejuvenating!) adventure? These unique spots offer visitors crystal clear waters, lush forests, gorgeous waterfalls, ornamental gardens, and the opportunity to go tubing, kayaking, picnicking or birdwatching in the most magical and historical places in the Sunshine State. 

Devil’s Den Springs

In case you’re wondering how this spectacular natural wonder got its devilish name, wonder no more. On cold winter mornings, visitors can see steam rising (like smoke from Hades!) from the chimney opening. This inspired the early settlers to name it Devil’s Den.  

So what makes it unique? With crystal clear waters, year round 72 degree water temperatures, and fossil beds dating back 33 million years, one of North America’s most prehistoric places is an underground spring inside a dry cave that dates back to the Pleistocene Age. 

Among its many attractions, Devil’s Den Springs features 120 ft. surface diameter, inverted mushroom shape below the surface, and a maximum depth of 54 ft.  Recreations include a heated swimming pool, picnic tables, 5 cabanas, and assorted lawn games.

5390 NE 180th Ave. 

Williston, FL 32696

Phone: (352) 528-3344


Ginnie Springs

Need a Break From the Heat? Cool Off in One of These Five Freshwater Springs in Florida.
Image via Zoe Esteban / Shutterstock

This charming place boasts not one, but seven springs, and rightfully claims to be “a slice of pure Florida.” And we promise that once you look over its amenities, you’ll wholeheartedly agree. That’s because from innertubes to kayaks, and from paddleboards to canoes, there’s a lot of water fun to be had at Ginnie, where swimming and snorkeling in the crystal clear 72 degree water is fun year round. 

If diving is your thing, this place is considered by many to be the world’s favorite freshwater dive. It is even claimed that famed French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, a connoisseur, if there ever was one, remarked on its “visibility forever!”

Love camping? Imagine over 200 wooded acres and spring-side tent sites at your disposal, including by the river, and full electric and water hook-ups for your RV. 

7300 Ginnie Springs Rd.

High Springs, FL 32643

Phone: (386) 454-7188


Rainbow Springs

Need a Break From the Heat? Cool Off in One of These Five Freshwater Springs in Florida.
Image via IrinaK / Shutterstock

As their website poetically describes it, “when swimmers take their first dip in the sapphire-blue waters of Rainbow Springs, they become characters in a story that stretches back over 10,000 years, when humans first visited this place.” 

Today, visitors can experience the unique beauty of the springs’ ornamental gardens, constructed waterfalls and sloping hills. And after an invigorating walk through lush, mossy hammocks, they can participate in a time-honored tradition: cooling off in the lush springs. 

In addition to picnic facilities, amenities include paddling under moss-draped cypress trees; tubing the Rainbow River; and birding, as this site is part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. Species that are commonly seen include woodpeckers, wading birds, hawks, songbirds, and owls.

19158 S.W. 81st Place Rd.

Dunnellon, FL 34432

Phone: (352) 465-8555


Ponce De Leon Springs State Park

Legend has it that visitors could regain their youth by dipping in these beautiful clear waters. But, of course, so far no one has come forward with miraculous results. Still, although not literally the fountain of youth that Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de Leon hoped to find when he landed in Florida in 1513, the spring bearing his name is a beautiful place to visit. 

Visitors love to take a dip in the crystal clear waters where the temperature remains a cool 68 degrees year-round. The invigorating water sure is… rejuvenating. But that is not all that Ponce De Leon Springs State Park offers. Amenities include snorkeling, picnicking, and hiking down trails that take visitors though lush forests. Birding is another attraction that families can enjoy, and birds like brown creepers and golden-crowned kinglets often make an appearance. Additionally, rangers conduct seasonal guided walks, but self-guided tours are also available. 

2860 Ponce De Leon Springs Rd.

Ponce De Leon, FL 32455

Phone: (850) 836-4281


Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Need a Break From the Heat? Cool Off in One of These Five Freshwater Springs in Florida.
West Indian manatee at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. Image via Sunshower Shots / Shutterstock.

If you love Florida’s wildlife, and we don’t mean the South Beach kind, this park features a variety of captive animals that for different reasons are unable to survive on their own in the wild. They include alligators, black bears, red wolves, Key deer, flamingos, whooping cranes, and the oldest hippopotamus in captivity. 

But that’s not all: the Underwater Observatory allows visitors to “walk underwater” beneath the spring’s surface to watch the various fish and manatees swim about. There’s also a Wildlife Walk consisting of elevated boardwalks that are accessible for visitors in wheelchairs or strollers and allows an elevated view of the natural habitats. 

4150 S. Suncoast Blvd.

Homosassa FL 34446                                                                                        

Phone: (352) 628-5343





Local News

Related Stories
Share This