When you think of Florida, you might imagine sun-soaked beaches and theme parks. While those are certainly some of the highlights, there is much more to explore in this diverse state. Just a short drive from Tampa, you’ll find natural springs that offer a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Tampa is located in the middle of some of Florida’s most beautiful natural springs. Here are 10 Natural Springs Near Tampa You Must Visit!
- 10 Natural Springs Near Tampa You Must Visit
- Tips for Visiting These Natural Springs Near Tampa
- Related Facts You Must Know About Tampa
- What are the closest cities to Tampa?
- How much does it cost to visit these springs near Tampa?
- How long does it take to visit each one?
- What is the best time of year to visit natural springs near Tampa?
- Can I bring my pet with me when visiting natural springs near Tampa?
- Can I bring a cooler full of drinks with me into natural springs near Tampa?
- Do I need to wear a swimming suit when visiting natural springs near Tampa?
- What are other tourist destinations in Tampa, Florida?
- What time do some of these places close in wintertime?
- What kinds of wildlife can I expect to see when visiting these places?
10 Natural Springs Near Tampa You Must Visit
Ichetucknee Springs is a natural oasis in the middle of Florida that you don’t want to miss. It blends soothing sounds with clear water and sparkling rocks, giving visitors an unforgettable experience they’ll never forget
Catch your breath while exploring this unique spring-fed river where nature’s beauty comes alive around every bend–from lush trees on either side as well as refreshing springs along its banks! There are so many activities available here: hiking trails winding through hardwood forests or scenic views from high bluffs overlooking both rivers; fitness facilities including yoga studios equipped with cardio machines flanking one end (perfect after morning tubing or canoeing down the river!); and of course swimming, tubing, kayaking (or just floating) down six miles of the Ichetucknee River.
This park is a designated National Natural Landmark due to its archeological and ecological significance. It’s no wonder it’s one of Florida’s most popular state parks!
The first-magnitude artesian spring formation in Marion County, Florida is Rainbow Springs. The historic blue waters of this natural wonder have been a popular attraction for both locals as well as visitors since it was discovered by early settlers to the area more than 100 years ago.
The water in this area has a history that spans centuries. Native Floridians have visited these crystal clear blue lakes for their magical healing powers, and people continue to make the trip today despite modern day conveniences like hotels or restaurants nearby.
The river is a great place to kayak, canoe and tube. Enjoy views of tall oaks that line the banks as well! Some parts of it are dedicated just for these activities– Rainbow Springs only takes an hour from downtown Tampa so you can make some time disappear on your day trip there.
Hike through lush rainforests, trailed by alligators and Florida birds.
The trails at Rainbow Springs are some of the best in this part of Florida! Walk past man-made waterfalls or explore gardens full with native flora on your way to amazing views that overlook both nature preserves as well as Lake Louisa National Wildlife Refuge just outside their doors – it will be hard not stop for a few minutes before taking pictures from every angle possible!
You can also enjoy fishing, picnicking or camping in this beautiful state park. It’s easy to see why it is one of Florida’s most popular natural attractions!
The Three Sisters Springs are a hidden natural wonder just 90 minutes north of Tampa Bay. They’re actually part of the larger network called Crystal River and there’s about 40 springs in all.
Three Sisters Springs are a unique geological site that have been attracting visitors for years. The springs contain many sand boils and vents, making it an amazing spot to see.
The manatees are so majestic! If you get a chance, jump aboard and enjoy the view. You can also launch your glass-bottom boat or kayak into their natural springs for some underwater exploration with no obstructions in sight – it’s like being on another planet come alive right before our eyes
You don’t even need water wings when out there as these gentle giants glide through saltwater effortlessly; all while keeping cool during winter months thanks to migrating from rivers where they keep warm by conserving energy stored underneath thick layers of blubber then surface at specific times every day just long enough breathe fresh air before diving back beneath depths once more.
Kayaks and canoes offer the best way to see these gentle creatures up close. You’re also able to get a little closer without scaring them off (or worse yet–taking an accidental selfie). If you’re feeling lucky, you might even be able to witness one of their daily feedings!
The Three Sisters Springs are definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for a natural wonder near Tampa!
Wekiwa Springs is a scenic wonder in Orange County, with miles of hiking trails waiting to be explored on foot or bike. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just looking for some peace and quiet outdoors, this nature preserve has something perfect.
Wekiwa Springs is a lovely nature reserve located just 1 hour and 33 minutes from Tampa, offering spectacular natural beauty. A tiny oasis in Florida’s humid climate with crystal clear springs that bubble up into pristine pools for you to enjoy on your visit – what more could anyone want?
Jumping in the spring is a great way to spend an afternoon, but make sure you follow these rules so that no one gets hurt. The water near Tampa may look inviting with its crystal clear depths and gentle waves – however there’s never been any lifeguard on duty at this location! It would be best not jump or dive because 4 feet deep is too shallow for such activities anyway.
Wekiwa Springs offers some amazing amenities for families or groups on the go. You’ll find picnic tables with BBQ grills where you can enjoy a peaceful lunch while enjoying the sounds of nature all around you.
The beautiful blue water of Blue Spring is a new feature at Florida State Parks.
The Blue Spring State Park, located in Gilchrist County, was the first park established in Florida. The springs are especially interesting because of their clean, clear water and the second-magnitude which makes them worth seeing for any naturalist out there.
Gilchrist Blue Springs is a hidden treasure in Florida, with clear waters and an array of native fish. It’s just over two hours away from Tampa by car on I-75 southbound before it becomes State Route 491 towards Lakeland.
Gilchrist Blue Springs is a picturesque spot for outdoor enthusiasts to explore the great outdoors. The trails also allow you to Geocache, which is comparable to treasure hunting games like stamping or golf but utilizes positioning rather than landmarks as hints!
The best way to relax and decompress is by taking a much-needed break in one of Florida’s most beautiful natural resources. Ginnie Springs, located on the shoreline between Sarasota Bay and Tampa Bay offers visitors everything they could hope for; including world class fishing (including flats) as well plenty of other water activities like swimming or snorkeling.
Ginnie Springs is truly a slice of Florida in the middle, nestled along this Santa Fe River. With its clear waters and welcoming getaway feel it’s no wonder that GINNIE SPRINGS boasts some of Tampa Bay’s finest natural springs!
A true escape from hustle bustles outside city life just 2 hours away – only 16 minutes by car or 1 hour 30 Minutes via train if you’re more inclined towards public transportation.
Make sure you check out these natural springs near Tampa before your next visit! Whether you’re looking for a day trip or somewhere to spend an afternoon, these locations have something for everyone.
The allure of its name doesn’t lie. This vacation destination is a delightful, bustling place where you can swim in crystal clear waters and snorkel among lush trees offering shade from summer sun rays or cuddles up under one during winter’s chilly evenings
The Silver Springs area provides relaxation for every visitor who ventures into this small town surrounded by nature that surrounds it like an embrace; there are so many things to do here – including exploring around only 1 hour 38 minutes away from Tampa.
Fishing, with a suitable freshwater license of course, is permitted downstream from the swimming hole area!
Winters in Florida often see people turn their attention away from scenic hiking trails like this one at first light when there’s snowfall but don’t let these cold days spoil your trip-you can enjoy fishing for trout or bass right off shore after an afternoon spent exploring those Archeological sites located only minutes away by car.
Silver Springs is a nature lover’s dream and should definitely be on your list of places to visit near Tampa. With plenty of activities to keep you busy, this is the perfect place for a day trip or weekend getaway!
8. Devil’s Den
A journey to find this place has been said to be magical! It takes only 1 hour and 49 minutes away from Tampa which includes some scenic views on your way there like Sarasota Bay or Clearwater Beach Communities as well additionally you can enjoy nature up close without having any worries about getting lost because every turn leads towards more fascinating discoveries until finally we reach our destination; Devil’s Den Spring – homebase during all kinds of adventures in open water but also rich with wildlife encounters.
This swimming hole and natural spring is a favorite spot for hikers, kayakers and campers who love its primitive beauty. The area was once inhabited by the Timucuan Indians and there are still many artifacts to be found if you’re willing to look for them!
Devil’s Den offers visitors crystal clear water perfect for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and canoeing. The natural beauty of this place is truly something to marvel at as it’s surrounded by lush trees that offer shade from the hot summer sun or a layer of protection against those winter winds.
The Devil’s Den is a karst window where the roof over an underground river has collapsed and exposed water to the open surface. Near Williston, Florida
The Devilian’s den was formed from years of rainwater that seeped through weak spots in limestone bedrock before flowing down towards earth as springs or rivers below ground level at slopes greater than 30 degrees with steep drops off edges into caves underneath this area – giving rise to spectacular formations now known colloquially as “the devil’s playground”.
9. Kelly Park/Rock Springs
Kelly Park is a great day trip destination if you’re looking to get out of the theme parks and explore some new places. Not only does it have an extensive nature preserve, but there are many things in close proximity like nearby attractions or events that might interest your family too!
The best part? It takes less than two hours by car from the Tampa Bay Area so even those who don’t want their wallets feeling heavy with souvenirs can enjoy themselves on this little adventure through Apopka’s natural beauties.
The swimming area is a great place to take a dip and cool off on those hot summer days – with lifeguards on duty during the busiest hours, you can relax and let your kids play in safety; Rock Springs Run flows beside the park which gives kayakers and canoeists plenty of opportunity for a fun day out on the water.
All of your favorite things are right here! You’ll float through mangroves and see fish swimming alongside you, while turtles bask in the sun on riverbanks. You can also take a canoe or glass bottom boat downriver until it opens up into an open area for swimming if that sounds like something fun to do as well.
10. Juniper Springs
Juniper Springs is one of the best springs near Tampa. The seven-mile Juniper Springs run has been called “a spectacular and beautiful route,” for kayakers in Florida by those who have traveled it before you!
Dappled sunlight peeks through tall oaks, otters play about while alligators drift lazily along with their heads underwater at your feet – making this an ideal spot to take Relief from that summer heat wave or just get a little exercise when nature calls
The best springs near Tampa are only two hours away! Juniper Springs is a beautiful, natural place that offers many benefits for those who want to find a more tranquil and natural experience. Visitors can enjoy the crystal clear waters, traversing over white sands and limestone outcrops while you sit back in your kayak or canoe on calm water at your own pace as you take it all in!
Tips for Visiting These Natural Springs Near Tampa
- Be cautious around alligators and other wildlife.
- Stay hydrated! Bring plenty of water with you.
- Wear closed-toe shoes and avoid wearing sandals when exploring the springs.
- Be aware of your surroundings and respect wildlife – don’t harass or feed any animals!
- Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and bug spray! Mosquitos can be pretty bad in some areas.
- Check park hours before you go, as many close at nightfall.
- Pack a lunch or snack if you plan on spending the day. There are usually no food options available once you’re inside the park.
- Pack a towel or blanket to sit on if you plan on bringing it. Some of these spots are natural and have no seating available!
- Remember, you’re visiting an area where nature rules supreme so please be respectful by picking up your trash.
- Leave Fido at home – many areas do not allow pets for everyone’s safety.
- Most importantly, have fun and enjoy your time!
Follow these helpful tips and you’re sure to have a great time visiting any of these amazing natural springs near Tampa!
Related Facts You Must Know About Tampa
There are some facts about Tampa that you should know before visiting!
What are the closest cities to Tampa?
The closest city is Orlando, which is located about two hours away from Tampa.
How much does it cost to visit these springs near Tampa?
Admission varies depending on where you plan on visiting. Juniper Springs costs $11 per vehicle for non-campers and an additional $32 if you want a camping permit. Paying to get into Rainbow Springs will cost you $15 per adult and if you want to take a glass bottom boat ride, that costs an additional $12. Weekday rates are usually cheaper than the weekend admission fee for these springs near Tampa!
How long does it take to visit each one?
Each spring has different access points, so it’s hard to say exactly how long it would take you to visit each one. However, if we averaged it out and said that it takes about two hours to explore each park, visiting all of them would take a little over 12 hours.
What is the best time of year to visit natural springs near Tampa?
Anytime! The weather is great all year round in Florida. Just be sure to check park hours before you go, as some close at nightfall.
Can I bring my pet with me when visiting natural springs near Tampa?
Most areas forbid pets, as they can be dangerous to wildlife and their surroundings. Make sure to check before you go!
Can I bring a cooler full of drinks with me into natural springs near Tampa?
As long as it fits within the size limit (usually around 12×12 inches), then yes. Just avoid glass as it’s not allowed.
Do I need to wear a swimming suit when visiting natural springs near Tampa?
It is recommended, but you can always opt for wearing your underwear and covering up with a t-shirt if that makes you more comfortable! Just do what works best for you and the area!
What are other tourist destinations in Tampa, Florida?
Other tourist destinations in Tampa, Florida include Busch Gardens Africa, Adventure Island water park, and the Lowry Park Zoo. All of which offer family-friendly fun for all ages!
What time do some of these places close in wintertime?
Many of the natural springs near Tampa shut down during wintertime and do not reopen until March or April. Make sure to check park hours before you go!
What kinds of wildlife can I expect to see when visiting these places?
You’ll find all sorts from birds, turtles, snakes and even gators in some areas so be on the lookout when you’re exploring the springs!
There are many springs near Tampa worth visiting. If you want nature, beauty and the chance to see some of Florida’s most amazing habitats for yourself, these natural springs offer plenty.
There are plenty of natural springs near Tampa to explore. If you find yourself in the area, make sure to take a dip and enjoy some time out on the water! We hope this article has helped you discover your new favorite spot around town.