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Silver Springs in Florida - Beautiful Attractions - Tarzan Movies and Jungle

Updated on September 1, 2017
Peggy W profile image

The southern states have a charm all their own. From beaches to deserts there is a wide array of landscapes to please almost anyone!

Beautiful Silver Springs in Florida
Beautiful Silver Springs in Florida | Source

Silver Springs, Florida

In the north-central part of Florida is an attraction definitely worth seeing at Silver Springs. It includes the filming location of many of the original Tarzan movies and much more.

You are cordially invited to join us during the one day we spent at this most lovely of Florida tourist attractions. The setting as you might imagine is lush and tropical.

Silver Springs, Florida
Silver Springs, Florida | Source

The year was 1990 and my mother, niece and I had just spent five fun filled summer days at Walt Disney World. What an experience!

We were now to visit a wonderful lady who resided in Crystal River, Florida and we became her house guests for a three day visit.

Part of what our hostess had planned during our stay was to show us Silver Springs and we became forever grateful to her that she had introduced us to that most splendid of Florida tourist attractions.

George DeBenedicty with leading Sire Leroidesanimaux at Stonewall Farm in Ocala, FL.
George DeBenedicty with leading Sire Leroidesanimaux at Stonewall Farm in Ocala, FL. | Source

Horse Farms

Driving from Crystal River and approaching Ocala on our way to Silver Springs, we passed numerous horse farms. Silver Springs is actually a part of the Ocala metropolitan area.

The beautifully painted white fences with various thoroughbred breeds of horses grazing and frolicking on the verdant pastures is a resplendent sight that will remain forever implanted in our memories.

Horse farming is a major industry in that part of Florida with approximately 1,200 horse farms in existence. As a matter of fact, Ocala is listed as the "horse capitol of the world."

Much more was to capture our attention on that fine June day and all of it had to do with Silver Springs.

The location of Silver Springs in the north-central part of Florida
The location of Silver Springs in the north-central part of Florida

Silver Springs

About five miles east of the City of Ocala lies the tropical splendor of Silver Springs.

It consists of a 350 acre theme park which for the most part showcases one of Florida's oldest and stunning natural attractions.

Nature created these crystal clear waters and this is one of the world's largest artisan spring formations.

Entrance to Silver Springs in Florida
Entrance to Silver Springs in Florida | Source

There are seven major springs at the headwaters of the Silver River which pump out 73,500,000 cubic feet of fresh water ( 2,080,000 cubic meters ) on a daily basis.

To put it in perspective, this amount of water would be enough to supply a large city like New York for all of its daily water consumption uses.

This spring water is filtered through native limestone and is 99.8% pure - all 550 million gallons of it.

A constant temperature of 74 degrees Fahrenheit (or 23 degrees Celsius) adds to the tropical nature and enjoyment of this special place for people and animals alike.

Walking into the attraction of Silver Springs in Florida
Walking into the attraction of Silver Springs in Florida | Source

It is no wonder that this has been the chosen location for so many filmmakers as well as television producers over the years.

Supposedly over 200 movies and television shows have been produced utilizing this setting to good advantage.

Silver Springs, Florida
Silver Springs, Florida | Source

Some of the movies filmed here include the following:

  • Tarzan
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon
  • Thunderball
  • Moonraker as well as others.


African Crowned Cranes and Chilean flamingos at Silver Springs, Florida
African Crowned Cranes and Chilean flamingos at Silver Springs, Florida | Source

A lush natural water environment with tall cypress trees and other luxuriant foliage help create a jungle-like setting. There are also beautifully landscaped grounds with cultivated botanical gardens on site which some people choose to utilize for wedding photos and similar purposes.

This setting at Silver Springs encapsulates it all!

Movie Legends - Johnny Weismuller as Tarzan

Glass Bottomed Boats

The glass bottomed boats began operating here in Silver Springs back in the late 1870s.

Innovative entrepreneurs realized that this crystal clear water provided a chance for them to introduce the sights beneath the water's surface to individuals who might never have been inclined to don a scuba suit and see similar things for themselves via that method of exploration.

Boats were constructed with clear glass bottoms and people are seated around the interior sides of the boat while still under cover protecting them from the sun as well as inclement weather.

This arrangement enables tourists to be able to look straight down the center of the boat to the bottom of the river and view the aquatic plants, fish, turtles and everything else that exists in the water moving beneath them.

Glass bottomed boats at Silver Springs, Florida
Glass bottomed boats at Silver Springs, Florida | Source
One can view the springs, fish plants, etc. through these glass bottomed boats at Silver Springs, Florida
One can view the springs, fish plants, etc. through these glass bottomed boats at Silver Springs, Florida | Source

An amazing sight awaits those who are able to peer through those translucent waters and visualize the openings in the river floor where the spring water emanates from deep within the earth bubbling to the surface.

The depth of the river bottom varies, but the water remains sparkling clear no matter how deep is the riverbed beneath one.

Silver Springs, Florida
Silver Springs, Florida | Source

Our hostess and the three of us enjoyed this glass bottomed boat ride and everything that we were able to view while on the watercraft.

The captains of each vessel are all Coast Guard certified and offer a running commentary on statistics of what we are getting to view. Also pointed out are impromptu sightings of birds, alligators in the wild or animals seen on the shore as the boats move through their paces.

Not being scuba divers, never before have we gotten to see such shimmering colors of fish or the effects of glancing rays of sunlight slicing through the crystalline waters with such great effect.

At times we saw clusters of an aquatic plant called water lettuce. Yellow hued in color, it drifts and floats freely through the water deriving sustenance through a four to six foot root system.

This vegetation floating on the water with a yellow hue is called water lettuce.
This vegetation floating on the water with a yellow hue is called water lettuce. | Source

Petting Zoo

Silver Springs also sports a large petting zoo which keeps children and adults equally entertained.

Stacks of rye crisp crackers can be purchased at dispensers positioned in this part of the Silver Springs park and it is allowed to hand feed the animals.

Some of the animals one will encounter include the following:

  • Goats
  • Turkeys
  • Sheep
  • Rabbits
  • Donkeys
  • Giraffes and other animals as well.

We all took turns feeding the animals.

A black insistent goat keep bleating and begging my mother for special attention. Naturally he got the majority of her crackers.

It is fun watching the interaction of children and adults with the animals in this part of the park.

Sea Hunt episodes shot here in Silver Springs, Florida
Sea Hunt episodes shot here in Silver Springs, Florida | Source

Sea Hunt

Do you remember the television series Sea Hunt starring Lloyd Bridges? We were surprised to learn that the series was shot on location in Silver Springs.

The following was posted on a sign:

"FLORIDA'S SILVER SPRINGS

Sea Hunt Episodes

Not all of the films shot at Silver Springs were for entertainment. Many scientific films have been produced and training films for the Army, Navy and Marine Corps were made at Silver Springs to prepare young men to survive in jungle warfare during World War II.

In more recent years television production crews have been beating a path to Silver Springs. Producer Ivan Tors and his company have made many trips to the Springs to film the popular television series, "Sea Hunt", starring Lloyd Bridges. The underwater portions of more than 200 episodes of "Sea Hunt" were filmed right here at Silver Springs. The area in which you are standing now was used as Lloyd Bridges headquarters while filming here.

Even though most of the episodes dealt with the sea, many of the underwater portions were shot right here in the main spring and in the river without interfering with our Glass Bottom Boats passing overhead.

This series ran for many years here in the United States and is still running in many other countries throughout the world."

Part of a Sea Hunt Episode

Wildlife

One can enjoy seeing other wildlife at Silver Springs in addition to the tamed varieties seen in the petting zoo.

At the Big Gator Lagoon in the middle of a one acre cypress swamp are dozens of wild alligators.

Fortunately for the viewing public elevated boardwalks with railings have been built where one can look down and see these formidable looking creatures in a natural habitat.

Feedings of the alligators take place daily at 2:30 PM and if one wishes to see a frenzy of swishing tails and hungry creatures devouring their food, set your watches to be there at the appointed time.

Alligators at Silver Springs, Florida
Alligators at Silver Springs, Florida | Source

Endangered Florida panthers can also be found on site at Silver Springs. One was even being walked on a leash the day we were there as the photo shows.

A Florida panther being walked at Silver Springs, Florida
A Florida panther being walked at Silver Springs, Florida | Source

According to the literature there is a two acre site where one can view black and Kodiak bears in a natural setting. Either this is a new feature or we missed seeing it the day we were there.

African Crowned Cranes at Silver Springs, Florida
African Crowned Cranes at Silver Springs, Florida | Source

The animals that we most enjoyed seeing were those on our Jungle Cruise. This cruise takes one past islands where there are free roaming monkeys, giraffes, zebras, llamas, and wild birds of all descriptions.

Also seen on the banks of rivers or on logs or even swimming in the translucent waters are turtles.

Many monkeys on this island living freely in a natural habitat at Silver Springs, Florida.
Many monkeys on this island living freely in a natural habitat at Silver Springs, Florida. | Source

Adorned with Spanish moss the trees blend in with the other lush vegetation forming a rich tropical atmosphere of sights and sounds.

One can almost imagine Tarzan swinging through these trees!

Looking at the pictures taken that day and displayed in this post hopefully readers will understand why this portion of the park as seen from aboard ship on the Jungle Cruise was this author's favorite part of Silver Springs park.

The scenery is simply spectacular!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Giraffes roam freely here as well as other animals like zebras, llamas, etc.Some twin llamas at Silver SpringsViews from the glass bottomed boat tour at Silver Springs, Florida.
Giraffes roam freely here as well as other animals like zebras, llamas, etc.
Giraffes roam freely here as well as other animals like zebras, llamas, etc. | Source
Some twin llamas at Silver Springs
Some twin llamas at Silver Springs | Source
Views from the glass bottomed boat tour at Silver Springs, Florida.
Views from the glass bottomed boat tour at Silver Springs, Florida. | Source

Additional information

  • A Jeep Safari Jungle Safari drive is also available where one can view animals living and roaming in natural looking habitats created at Silver Springs.
  • Special concerts and special events are held at Silver Springs throughout the year.

The park is open daily from February 7 - August 17 from 10 AM to 5 PM.

August 22 - December 11, the park is only open on Friday - Sunday.

From December 12 - December 28 it is once again open daily except closed Christmas Day.

One ticket admission price admits one to all the attractions within the park. Practically everything is operated on a 30 minute schedule so it is possible to take in most of the sights in one day.

Food can be purchased on site as well as souvenirs.

Apparently there is now a ride that takes one high up overhead so as to be able to view the entire Silver Springs park from above.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Jungle Cruise in Glass Bottomed Boat Ride at Silver Springs, FloridaNote the monkey in the treeLook for the monkey and bird in this photo.
Jungle Cruise in Glass Bottomed Boat Ride at Silver Springs, Florida
Jungle Cruise in Glass Bottomed Boat Ride at Silver Springs, Florida | Source
Note the monkey in the tree
Note the monkey in the tree | Source
Look for the monkey and bird in this photo.
Look for the monkey and bird in this photo. | Source

If you ever plan a visit to Florida and wish to see the attractions which drew the creators of Tarzan and other movie and television makers to this lush Silver Springs area, you now know some of the reasons why they were attracted.

You might also by now realize just how very much we enjoyed our one day visit to this stunningly beautiful spot.

A hearty thumbs up to this spectacular Florida tourist attraction!

Can you visualize Tarzan in this setting?
Can you visualize Tarzan in this setting? | Source

What do you think of Silver Springs park in Florida?

See results

Some of the wildlife and scenery viewed at Silver Springs

A markerSILVER SPRINGS -
Silver Springs, FL, USA
get directions

© 2009 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed. Thanks!

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    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi vespawoolf,

      So happy to know that you enjoyed learning about this very scenic part of Florida. Hope you do get to visit it someday.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi pstraubie48,

      That is sad to hear. Hope the state manages it well. It is so beautiful!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

      This was very interesting! I didn't realize there were so many horse farms in this part of Florida. I always think of Kentucky when it comes to horses. I can see why so many movies were filmed in Silver Springs. It does look like a jungle! I remember seeing The Keys when I was a child. Maybe I'll have the chance to return to Florida someday. Thank you for sharing your photos and experience with us.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Silver Springs is a short drive from where I live . I have visited there many times . It has changed in a negative way over the years and is being taken over by the state.

      Angels are on the way to you ps

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Margaret,

      Lucky you camping in the Ocala National Forest! If you are that close to Silver Springs, DO plan a visit. It is such a beautiful park and one never knows when parks change hands what will become of them. We saw Cypress Gardens prior to the change, as an example. You can check out that hub to see what it used to look like. If you go to Silver Springs and write a hub...let's link them. Will we be seeing one from where you are now camping? Thanks for your comment and votes.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      I'm camping in Ocala National Forest right now, and heard on the evening news that the park may be turned over to the state. Palace Entertainment company has a lease to run the park until 2029, but wants to get out of it. I've never been there, but may stop in this year. Great hub - voted up and interesting.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi again Mary,

      Thanks for sharing this article about Silver Springs. Hope that many people who are planning a trip to Florida have the time to check out this gorgeous spot. It is so beautiful and a great place to spend a day or at least part of a day.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi Pegggy, I just came back to read this again, and the "share" button is back, so I will share!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks for commenting on this Silver Springs hub. Florida has such an abundance of beautiful spots! I have gone swimming in the Crystal River and just like you said, the name does it justice. It is crystal clear!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      You brought back some good memories for me with this Hub. I've been to Silver Springs many times. The state of Florida is bless with so many attractions. When we would have guests from out of town, Silver Springs was one place we would take them. Always had to take them to Disney, too!

      The area around Crystal River has clear springs that you can swim in. The water is just as clear as Silver Springs. If you ever go back, plan to swim there.

      You got some great photos of Silver Springs, too.

      I voted this Hub UP, etc. and I will share so others can see this part of Florida. P.S. there is NO share button on this Hub!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Eddy,

      Just around almost every bend in the road in Florida is another great attraction. Silver Springs is one with so much natural beauty. Glad to hear that you enjoyed this hub. Thanks for your comment.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Another gem from you Peggy;I really am on a catch up day today and I have had a great time.

      Eddy.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello borneo,

      Just like you, I had no idea that the Tarzan movies were filmed in Florida's Silver Springs area. Also the television movie Sea Hunt was filmed there. It is surely a beautiful area. Glad that you liked the photos. Thanks for your comment.

    • borneo profile image

      borneo 5 years ago from Austria

      That is a really nice hub, i love your pictures. I enjoy your references to the movies, before I had no idea about the locations in the Tarzan movie.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Ripplemaker,

      So glad you liked the photos from Silver Springs, Florida. It is truly beautiful there! Thanks for your comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi dahoglund,

      I used to watch Tarzan and also Sea Hunt. The water at Silver Springs is really clear so when in glass bottomed boats, one can see the fish swimming and everything that passes below one. One of my brothers liked to scuba dive. It would be a fascinating hobby! Thanks for your comment and votes.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Ann,

      Since you live not far from Silver Springs in Florida and have been there several times, your compliment about my capturing the place well pleases me. It is truly beautiful and I can see why movies were chosen to be made there. You certainly live in a beautiful State!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      What a lovely place to visit Peggy. Thank you for sharing these photos. :)

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Long time since I've seen a Tarzan movie.A high school friend of mine was a big fan of Sea Hunt because he was into Scuba diving.I have seen glass bottom boats somewhere but i don't recall where.Although Florida looks nice there are places that draw me more.Up,beautiful and interesting votes.

    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 6 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      I've been there several times. It's not too far from me. You captured it well.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Florida Collection Agency,

      Not sure which photos you were referring to, but yes...there are some cypress trees in Silver Springs, Florida. The cypress trees form roots that come up (sometimes referred to as "knees") around the tree sometimes sticking up through the water if the tree is on the side of a bank. They shed their leaves in the winter. Hope this helps?

    • profile image

      Florida Collection Agency 7 years ago

      Are those Cypress trees? They are absolutely stunning. Great hub.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello daisyf1305,

      So glad that you happened to visit this hub so that you will know of the beautiful natural beauty and attractions of the Silver Springs area of Florida. It is no wonder that your parents fell in love with it! Wishing for you a good move there and a happy life.

    • daisyf1305 profile image

      Daisy Fabelo 7 years ago from miami beach

      I loved your hub for one I am planning to move to sliver springs area and was looking for info. My parents went in 96 and fell in love. I want the beauty and tranquility of natures best. Thanks

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello samanthagardner,

      What a wonderful vacation you had every summer getting to not only see your grandparents in Florida, but also getting to see the attractions at Silver Springs. Did you visit other closeby places as well? So happy to have generated these fond memories for you with this hub.

    • samanthagardner profile image

      samanthagardner 8 years ago from Palm Beach Gardens, FL

      I went here almost every summer when I went to visit my grandparents in Florida! Thank you for bring back my found memories.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi again James,

      Well........you can live vicariously by looking at the photos of Silver Springs. LOL

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      I've never been. I'm not much of an outdoor person. :)

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi James,

      Lucky friends of yours who get to enjoy Florida's Silver Springs area often. Do you get to join them? Glad you enjoyed the photos and thanks for the comment.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Truly a lovely place. I have a number of friends who go there often and they love it. Thanks for the fine report. I enjoyed it—especially the fine photos.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi maggs224,

      Hope you do get back to Florida and get to see Silver Springs as you wish. So....another Sea Hunt fan! Guess I should have put that in the title instead of Tarzan. Ha! Thanks for the comment.

    • maggs224 profile image

      maggs224 8 years ago from Sunny Spain

      I used to love Sea Hunt and I loved your hub I am putting this on my to see list should I get back to Florida again.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      You and me both, Candie, were fans of Sea Hunt. Oh...the good old days! LOL

      Glad you enjoyed learning about Silver Springs in Florida. Hope you get there someday. Need anyone to carry your bags? Call me!

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 8 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      I'm packing.. right now.. when are we leaving??

      PS I used to L.O.V.E. Sea Hunt! WooHoo!!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I agree Melody. We absolutely loved our visit to Silver Springs in Florida. Thanks for the comment.

    • Melody Lagrimas profile image

      Melody Lagrimas 8 years ago from Philippines

      What a fantastic place!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi shamelabboush,

      So you don't think Silver Springs in Florida looks like a U.S. State? That is one thing about America...there is so much variety in the features of different landscapes. We pretty much have it all somewhere in the U.S. What we don't have are the centuries old buildings and history of other countries because of our relative youth as a nation. Glad I could introduce this to you. Maybe I will keep surprising you? Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello dohn121,

      I agree with you that your 8 days (and our 5) was not enough time to take in all the sights at Walt Disney World. So much to see! Maybe next time you to to Florida you can take in other attractions like Silver Springs. Thanks for your comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello loveroflife,

      Yes, I would agree with you that Florida is filled to the brim with attractions just about every bend in the road. Silver Springs is a great one! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    • shamelabboush profile image

      shamelabboush 8 years ago

      Wow, it doesn't even look like a US state!!! Nice experience and great pictures.

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      What a visually entertaining and inviting hub, Peggy! I especially liked the wider array animals on the tour. What a great time you must have had. I certainly now wish that I visited this place when I was there (I spent 8 days in Disney World and felt that it was not nearly enough time enjoy thoroughly! Thank you very much for sharing this!

    • profile image

      loveroflife 8 years ago

      Thanks for the tour. Silver Springs is just one more great attraction in Florida.