The Best Hot Springs in Florida You Have to Visit

Florida has many hot attractions to offer, including some of its natural springs. They are one of the many reasons why the Sunshine State is a fantastic place to visit almost all year round.

Florida hot springs are relaxing places to soak or drift, and they are also pristine estuaries. They cannot be compared to the springs in the West, one of which is one of the largest of its kind in the world.

What else is so special about these somewhat mysterious and wondrous natural wonders?

Let’s find out!

What are the hot springs in Florida?

The natural springs in Florida are so clean and pure because the water bubbles deep from the earth.

They are refreshing places to visit for many reasons. The water is invigorating, but so is the natural beauty of the surroundings. In many cases, they are living ecosystems teeming with plants and animals. Urban sprawl has often not affected them.

They are warm, but not super hot. Many thermal springs in the West have intense volcanic activity as a heat source. Florida springs are warm due to contact with high temperatures in the earth’s crust.

How hot are the hot springs in Florida?

You’ll find that the water at Florida’s natural hotspots is soothing, but not scalding hot. In fact, with one major exception, they tend to be cool. Warm Springs is the outlier, with a temperature of 87 degrees Fahrenheit. Florida’s other springs hover on either side of the 70-degree mark.

For many visitors, this is the perfect temperature. The water is warm enough to chase away the chill of winter and dispel the sweltering summer heat.

Are there many natural springs in Florida?

Technically, a spring is a hole in the ground from which water flows from an aquifer. Florida has nearly a thousand of them, one of the highest concentrations in the world.

They are more than just sources of good drinking water. Many are also desirable places for outdoor recreation. Generally, they are healthy ecosystems that also attract many wildlife watchers.

The 12 Best Hot Springs in Florida

The term “hot” is relative, but here’s our guide to visiting the best of Florida’s many natural springs.

We’ll tell you where to find the springs, what to do there, and what makes them so unique.

Warm Springs Mineral Park

We’ll start with the biggest and best. This is Florida’s only natural hot spring open to the public.

Address: 12200 San Servando Ave, North Port, FL 34287

Price: Starting at $20 for adults and $15 for 6 – 17 year olds. Children under 5 are admitted free.

A public attraction since the 1940s, Warm Springs covers more than 43,000 square feet and has nine million gallons of water. It may not feel that hot when you slide in, but it gets hotter the deeper you go. Surface temperatures range from 85 to 87 degrees, but at the spring 250 feet below, they are 10 degrees higher.

How to visit: Take Interstate 75 to Exit 191 and head south to U.S. 41/Tamiami Trail. Turn left onto Ortiz Boulevard and look for Warm Springs on the right.

Rainbow Springs State Park

These springs, the third largest in the state, are located in north central Florida, west of Ocala.

Address: 19158 SW 81st Pl Rd, Dunnellon, FL 34432

Price: Normally $2 per person.

This spring-fed pool is five feet deep at the shallow end and gets as deep as 18 feet. The remarkable clarity allows you to observe an underwater menagerie of aquatic life. Nearby, you can also enjoy hiking trails, waterfalls, kayaking, or tubing on the Rainbow River.

How to visit: Drive three miles north of Dunnellon on U.S. 41 to the park’s Headsprings entrance.

Silver Glen Springs

This recreation area is one of the most popular areas in the Ocala National Forest.

Address: 5271 N Highway 19 Fort McCoy, FL 32134

Price: Normally $9 per person on weekdays, $12 on weekends.

A visit to Florida’s natural springs can also be a history lesson. There are huge piles of fossilized snail shells and other evidence of ancient life at this site.

The crystal clear water has a constant temperature of 73 degrees. Outside the swimming area, you can rent a canoe or kayak or take a three-mile hike along the shore of Lake George.

How to visit: Drive to the east end of the National Forest. It is located on State Road 19, about six miles north of the intersection of State Roads 40 and 19.

Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Nine springs empty into the Ichetucknee River, which flows through six miles of the park.

Address: 8294 SW Elim Church Road, Fort White, FL 32038

Price: Regular $6 per vehicle (two to eight passengers) or $4 for cars and motorcycles with only one occupant. For pedestrians, bicyclists and additional passengers, the fee is $2.

Dive into this picturesque cypress-shaded pool, which is a comfortable 72 degrees any time of year.

These Florida hot springs may not be boated, but elsewhere on the river you can kayak, canoe, tube, or paddleboard. There are private operators near the park.

How to visit: Take I-75 to Exit 423, then go south on State Road 47 and turn onto County Road 238. Follow signs to the north entrance of the park.

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

This water wonderland is about a 45-minute drive from Tampa and about two hours north of Orlando.

Address: 6131 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, FL 34606

Price: Starting at $13 for adults, $8 for children ages 6-12 and free for children under five.

Visitors may know this place as a family-friendly destination that promises regular appearances by real mermaids.

In addition to tourist attractions, there are pristine waters and the deepest freshwater caves in the United States. Take a boat tour on the Weeki Wachee River or dine at a waterfront restaurant in Buccaneer Bay.

How to visit: From Exit 293 off I-75, take U.S. 98 North/Cortez Boulevard and follow State Highway 50 West to the park.

Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park

This scenic park northwest of Gainesville on the Santa Fe River is home to six springs.

Address: 7450 NE 60th St, High Springs, FL 32643

Price: Normally $6 per vehicle.

Refreshing is probably the best word to describe this magnificent swimming hole and adjacent picnic areas. Gilchrist Blue Springs Park produces an astounding 44 million gallons of water daily.

Be sure to explore the river, too. It’s just a mile away, and an elevated boardwalk will get you there and back.

How to visit: From U.S. Highway 27 (south of High Springs), turn west on NW 182nd Ave (CR 340) and drive 4.5 miles.

Madison Blue Springs

This charming gem on the Withlacoochee River is a popular North Florida swimming destination.

Address: 8300 FL-6, Lee, FL 32059

Price: Normally $4 to $5 per vehicle and $2 for pedestrians, bicyclists and additional passengers.

Popular with divers and swimmers, this picture-perfect pool measures 82 feet wide and about 25 feet deep. A wooden deck and stairs lead to the limestone pool. The surrounding landscape of mixed hardwoods and pines completes the idyllic setting.

How to visit: From Interstate 10 exit 262, go north on County Road 255 (through Lee) to State Road 6. Slow down before the river bridge to the park.

Juniper Springs

Also located in the Ocala National Forest, this spring is the counterpart to Silver Glen Springs.

Address: 26701 FL-40, Silver Springs, FL 34488

Price: Normally $6 per person.

The CCC built this area in the 1930s. It is one of the oldest recreation areas on the East Coast. The massive Florida hot springs lie enticingly beneath a canopy of tropical palms and stately oaks.

The inviting pool is mostly shallow, but deep enough at one end for diving. Watch for eels lurking in the lush ribbon grass on the bottom.

How to visit: From Ocala, drive west on Silver Springs Boulevard to State Highway 40 and follow signs to the recreation area.

Please note: Are the national parks in Florida worth a visit? Let’s see which parks you really should visit!

View of Juniper hot springs in Florida

Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring

Located in a cave, this private property is for snorkeling and diving only.

Address: 5390 NE 180th Ave Williston, FL 32696

Price: From $38 for divers and $18 for snorkelers ($25 on weekends and holidays), $7 per person for site visit.

Devil’s Den is what geologists call a karst window or collapsed roof to an underground river. It is essentially a 50-foot-deep sinkhole on private property that is not easily accessible to the general public.

For those serious about diving or snorkeling, it is an unforgettable experience.

How to visit: Take I-75 to Alachua County and turn onto State Highway 121 South (Exit 382). Follow to NE 180th Allee/NE 50th Street. NOTE: It is not open for general swimming. Snorkelers must register in advance, and divers will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Three Sisters Springs

This restored wetland is located in the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge.

Address: 601 Three Sisters Springs Trail, Crystal River, FL 34429

Price: Normally $20 or $12.50 for adults, depending on season, and $7 for 6- to 15-year-olds. Free for children under five.

Here you can swim with the manatees. You might even accidentally bump into one, because at certain times of the year there are hundreds of them.

The 57-acre sanctuary includes pristine springs and a boardwalk for viewing wildlife. A pontoon boat ride is another way to experience this beautiful area.

How to visit: Parking is limited, so visitors take a shuttle bus behind City Hall in Crystal River. Also, you must enter the spring area by boat from a nearby dock rather than on foot.

Ginnie Springs

This privately owned oasis is located outside of High Springs on the Santa Fe River.

Address: 7300 Ginnie Springs Road, High Springs, FL 32643

Price: Normally $20 or $15 for adults, depending on season, and $5 for children ages 5-12. Free for children under 5.

The beautiful and somewhat remote Ginnie Springs in Florida is home to three different hot springs with underwater caverns and amazingly clear water.

One of the customs at the so-called Devil’s Spring system is to dive deep and count the leaves on the trees above the water. You can also rent scuba gear and camp on site.

How to visit: From the city of High Springs, turn left on State Road 27/41 and travel one-half mile to County Road 340/NE 182nd Avenue. Turn right on CR 340 and travel west 6.5 miles to NE 60th Ave. Turn right and travel another mile.

View of Ginnie Hot Springs in Florida

Rock Springs (Kelly Park)

Many Central Florida residents love this spot for a day trip to escape the summer heat.

Address: 400 E Kelly Park Rd, Apopka, FL 32712

Price: Around $3 per vehicle for 1-2 people, $5 per vehicle for 3-8 people, and $1 for motorcycles, bicycles, and additional passengers.

Visitors often describe Rock Springs as a natural version of the popular Lazy River attractions.

The spring-fed water is a bit chilly at 68 degrees, but flows gently through a pretty park just a 40-minute drive from Orlando. You can bring your own tube (raft or noodle) or rent one from a concessionaire near the park.

How to visit: From Interstate 4, take Exit 92 and follow State Road 436 West 6.5 miles to the junction with U.S. 441. Continue north and turn onto SR 435 (Park Avenue/Rock Springs Road). Travel five miles and turn right.

Tips for staying safe in Florida hot springs.

Remember that you share these waters not only with other tourists, but also with other creatures. During your stay in Florida you need to watch out for alligators, snapping turtles and snakes.

Avoid jumping into the water if you have open cuts or wounds. Certain types of dangerous bacteria can multiply in these warmer waters.

It may sound silly, but stay hydrated. Even if you are soaked to the chin, you need to drink water when you are outside.

Don’t forget: Looking for a campground in the Sunshine State? These are the best Florida state parks for RV camping

Are Florida hot springs worth a visit?

Most hot springs in the U.S. are located in the western states, but Arkansas also has some famous springs. So are the hot springs in Florida worth a visit?

In a word, yes, they are a reminder that some of the best parts of Florida are far from the legendary theme parks and crowded beaches.

Many are off the beaten path in small, friendly communities you might not otherwise discover. Plus, state parks usually have overnight accommodations, including campgrounds for tents and RVs.

Some are more touristy than others, but you can count on the consistency of the waters. Depending on the time of year, the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico may be too warm or too cold.

But either way, chances are the temperature of Florida’s hot springs is “just right.”

Are you ready to visit the hot springs in Florida?

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