Beat the summer heat at Florida’s freshwater springs

If you haven’t visited a Florida spring, you haven’t truly visited Florida. Sure, there’s beautiful beaches, poolside lounging and plenty of laying around in hammocks underneath palm trees, but if you really want to experience the real Florida, head to a gin-clear freshwater spring.

Here are a few of our favorite day trip spots:

Ichetucknee Springs State Park, Fort White


If you are up in North Florida, this is one spot you don’t want to miss. Spend time bobbing around in the headsprings or set out on a tube trip down the Ichetucknee River – either way, this is the classic Florida summer day trip.

Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River


If you are into springs, this is definitely one to add to the bucket list. In the winter, Three Sisters is a major wintering refuge for Florida manatees, and in the summer it’s where you want to be with your kayak, snorkel gear or paddleboard. Don’t miss it.

Madison Blue Spring State Park, Lee


If you had to visit just one spring, this is it. Sure, it’s a little off the beaten path, but that’s part of the adventure. This picture-perfect first magnitude spring is about 25 feet deep, and there’s a short run complete with a sandy beach where the spring meets the Withlacoochee River.

Kelly Park/Rock Springs Run, Apopka


Near Orlando, this is the perfect intro to Florida’s springs. Scenic and crystal clear, the headsprings provide the perfect launch point for a short tube trip that only takes a few minutes to complete. Extend the fun by walking your tube back to the beginning to do it again. Rinse and repeat – the day is yours.