Do you honestly believe you have covered all the trendiest tourist attractions in the US? Then, we have prepared a surprise for you! Let’s organize a trip to a relatively unknown spot, yet, by no means is it a minor league player!
While on our adrenaline-fueled journey, we, as most travelers and nature-enthusiasts, crave to behold as many exotic animals and plants as possible in their natural habitat. And, hello, does Florida deliver big time when it comes to unique fauna and flora! Conclusion: There are still some nearly unexplored and unaltered places to visit in the glorious state of Florida, which, arguably, showcases the most tourist wonders and hotspots in America anyway.
The Peninsula State utterly revels in featuring the most mind-blowing springs in the entire world. In 2001, the Florida Geological Survey reported that the state features at least 700 freshwater springs, a true world champion in natural spectacles. Before getting to the juicy details, we must grab their essence somehow. For this purpose, we should highlight that springs are generally categorized from one to eight magnitudes based on the amount of water they unload from the underground water reservoir or aquifer.
Now, Florida displays 33, first-magnitude springs meaning that they discharge approximately 65 million gallons of water daily. The absolute celebrities among the springs are the Wakulla Springs, Rainbow, and Wachee Weeki. In addition, we can’t highly recommend living in Bonita Springs, FL, enough, and its coastline attractions are a blast!
First of all, the discovery of the springs might be a more revealing and refreshing experience during summer. You will agree with this once they provide you with a fresh breeze in an otherwise hot season since the water temperature never goes above 75 degrees.
Did you know that you can find these freshwater springs in twenty-one Florida State parks on more than 800,000 acres? All are equipped with outstanding recreational facilities and feature family-friendly programs. Fourteen cities have “Spring” in their names and turned into significant investment hotspots over the years designed to keep their habitat intact and clean its waters. Lastly, freshwater is the source of 90% of the drinking water for Florida residents.
You can choose from all four types of springs in Florida.
1. A river rise signals the occurrence of a river flowing below the surface.
2. A single spring has an underground source, sometimes though it can flow through many rock fissures.
3. A group spring collects water from several underground sources.
4. The last type is called a sink and identifies as a breach in the surface.
Much like the Galapagos Islands, all Florida springs boast a biological diversity of animals and plants, depending on each other. Consequently, a remarkable ecological complexity has been achieved. Throughout centuries, the ecosystem safeguarded water, food, and an excellent environment for the North American indigenous animals, such as the saber-tooth tiger, mastodon, and the sloth.
Nature enthusiasts may encounter one-of-a-kind species here, such as the American alligator, river otter, and limpkin, on a single visit to a spring. Underwater inhabitants such as the loggerhead musk turtle, manatee, and Florida gar! Many of these species may be viewed directly from the nature walk along the spring stream in some springs.
You should be more than delighted to visit as many springs as possible! Being one of the best places to visit in Florida, the freshwater spectacle with pines, hardwood, and lush scenery will stick with you for good! Subsequently, we compiled our best-of list not to miss if you wish to discover the mind-boggling ecosystem and have a chilling good time!
Nearly a 45-minute drive from the city of Tampa, the Weeki Wachee State Park is the absolute winner in our top five! The Springs, located on the west coast, provides a genuine green and pristine oasis for weary travelers. This state park has an ace up its sleeve with a never-seen-before mermaid show. Furthermore, the wildlife show, a classic boat cruise, and a crystal clear swimming bay for the whole family to enjoy will cut your breath away!
Can you imagine that divers haven’t yet found the bottom of one of the deepest springs ever! Moreover, don’t forget to experience the adventure of your life rowing down the river to the Gulf of Mexico on a tube!
Three Sisters Springs, one of the most striking manatee refuges, is located in Crystal River, serving as a popular snowbirds destination. Explore the spring via kayak, or canoe during summertime, but you’ll need a guide to show you around. Suppose your interest revolves solely around animals. Then, the Three Sisters Springs Refuge has a path with observation stations for its visitors. Unfortunately, they don’t permit swimming in this sanctuary so as not to disturb the sensitive fauna.
Are you searching for a scuba diver’s ultimate dream? From a structural point of view, the Devil’s Den is an exceptional spring in Florida, featuring a stairway leading down into the den. In addition, the water may appear colder than in regular springs due to its underground structure.
Because of its exquisite temperature, many divers and snorkelers visit the den mostly during summer. However, renting a wetsuit could be a bright idea once you’re staying in the winter. In addition, Devil’s Den showcases trendy tourist spots, for instance, two heated pools, picnic spaces, Recreational Vehicle campsites, and four cottages for visitors staying.
Are you here just to relax and enjoy a carefree trip? What is a better choice than a lazy river? Scuba divers and snorkelers can discover a bit extra fun in the waterways during this beautiful spring in Florida! You may canoe, kayak, or go tubing in the upper section of the state park for a peaceful day, where the beautiful waters will gently float you down the Ichetucknee River.
Do you feel like going for a hike? Choose one of the three hiking trails, all of them having access to the river’s north. On the first hand, you have the pleasant Blue Hole trail, showing the way to the park’s largest spring. Secondly, the transitional Trestle Point trail, a self-guiding trail; that accesses areas where miners used to dig phosphate ore out. Thirdly, seek out the longest one, the Pine Ridge trail passing through smashing sandhills and beneath the longleaf pine!
No list would be complete without Rainbow Springs! This Florida spring is about a lot more than just swimming in crystal blue waters. Any local guide will recommend you visit the butterfly garden, as well as a variety of plant life and waterfalls at this natural spring! So, go ahead, and rent a kayak or a canoe and conquer the sights if you’re searching for an authentic outdoor experience.
Freshwater springs is a top tourist destination, especially in summer! Families, friends, couples, work colleagues, the old and the young will indeed find something valuable here! Only ardent nature skeptics should stay away; anybody else is welcome!
Discover paradise in the Florida springs; home to the globe’s top nature observation, boating, and scuba-diving experiences with us! Hope to see you there!