Day Trips

The Best Natural Springs in Florida near Orlando

Florida is home to nearly 900 natural springs, including several springs near Orlando. Florida springs are great to visit year round since the water is between 68 and 72 degrees, no matter what the temperature is. In the summer months, you can take a dip in the cool water. In winter, some springs are home to manatees, where you can see several hundred of these animals at once! Visiting things is one of the best things to do in Orlando with kids besides theme parks.

Here are our favorite natural springs to visit in Central Florida, all located near Orlando so you can combine your theme park trip with some natural beauty.

best time to see manatees at blue spring state park

Things to Bring when Visiting Springs

  • Sunscreen: It’s Florida after all! Don’t forget your sunscreen!
  • Pool float: Some parks you can rent them, but others you need to bring your own. You’ll need one to enjoy the springs!
  • Snorkel and mask: If you plan to snorkel, be sure to bring your own equipment. We like this snorkel set for adults and this snorkel set for kids. If your kids need a little help snorkeling, this snorkeling vest will give them more confidence while still allowing them to view the wildlife underwater. We have personally used all of these in the Galapagos Island and feel confident they work well!
  • Waterproof phone case: Plan on bringing your phone? Pop it into this waterproof phone case so you don’t lose or damage it.
  • Waterproof dry bag: Plan on going kayaking? We always bring a floating, waterproof dry bag for our belongings. They are lightweight and keep your items dry while you’re in the water.

The Best Natural Springs near Orlando

Blue Spring State Park

Located in Orange City, this spring is a great place for free scuba diving. In the summer months, you can swim here, snorkel, and go tubing. There is a playground here, picnic tables and lots of shade, making it a great place to spend a few hours on a warm day.

In the winter months, you are in for a treat! From approximately January-March, manatees call this spring their home. They come here to warm up in the 72 degree spring water. This means you can’t go into the water, but you can view these amazing creatures from the many view points in the park. This is one of the best springs near Orlando and has become so popular that you might have to wait 30 minutes or more just to park during manatee season but it’s worth it! Blue Spring State Park is one of the best places to see manatees in Central Florida near Orlando and should be on your list of springs to visit!

best time to see manatees at blue spring state park
So many manatees at Blue Spring State Park!

Rock Springs at Kelly Park

Located in Apopka, Rock Springs is a popular spring with kayakers and swimmers alike. This spring is 68 degrees year round and offers a natural lazy river. You can rent tubes on your way to the park (you will see a stand jus before you enter the park) or bring your own. There’s a large swimming area, benches, picnic areas and a playground, making this one of the best springs near Orlando.

Feeling adventurous? Rent a kayak and explore King’s Landing. The paddle takes you to a stunning, natural area that is Instagram worthy!

Rock springs, surrounded by lush tropical landscape.

Wekiwa Springs State Park

Another spring located in Apopka, just minutes from Rock Springs, is Wekiwa Springs. This is one of the best springs in Orlando to visit with kids. This spring is shallow throughout and quite popular in the summer months, so be sure to arrive early. Be sure to bring a tube if you want to float around! You can also rent kayaks here and go exploring. There are hiking trails nearby and lots of areas to picnic making it one of the best springs to visit near Orlando.

Best springs to visit near orlando
Crystal clear water in Wekiwa Springs.

De Leon Springs State Park

Located in De Leon Springs and one of the best springs in Florida, this spring is full of rich Florida history. For 6,000 years, native people known as the Mayaca called this area home. In 1832, the first water-powered sugar mill in Florida was built here. Today, you can visit the Sugar Mill Restaurant inside of the park, where you can cook your own pancakes at your table. This spring ranges from 18 inches to 30 feet in depth, so be sure to keep an eye on your kids if you plan to swim!

where to see manatees near orlando

Alexander Springs

A spring with a sandy beach, Alexander Springs is located in the city of Altoona. One of the best springs to visit near Orlando, Alexander Springs has lots of amenities for a full day of fun. Hiking trails, a beach, swimming and lots of picnic areas are just some of the amenities this park offers. Alexander Springs is classified as a first magnitude spring, meaning it discharges an excess of 64 million gallons of water per day, making it one of the largest springs. The natural slope of this spring provides a shallow area for young kids, making this one of the best springs near Orlando to visit with kids.

Silver Glen Springs Recreation Area

Located in Salt Springs near Lake George, Florida’s 2nd largest lake, Silver Glen Springs is a popular destination for boaters since they can anchor just beyond the spring and enjoy the warm, 73 degree water. This spring has lots of shallow areas, making it a great Florida spring to visit with young kids. Bring a picnic lunch and plan to spend a few hours enjoying this beautiful spring near Orlando.

best springs to visit near orlando with kids

Juniper Spring

Located in Silver Springs, this is a shallow spring that’s perfect for kids. Kayaking is popular here and you are likely to spot wildlife at this spring. While it’s not the best spring for snorkeling, you can go for a hike or kayak and explore the lush, tropical landscape.

best springs near orlando

Have you visited any of the natural springs on your trip to Florida? They are a great way to add some nature to your vacation and take a break from the theme parks. Next time you’re in Orlando, be sure to visit one of the local springs! We hope our best springs near Orlando post will motivate you to visit one soon.

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