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Ponce de Leon Springs, A Cheap Day in Central Florida

Updated on December 31, 2012

The best tourist breakfast in central Florida

A visit to Walt Disney World in central Florida near Orlando, what could be more exciting than that? The kids will remember this forever. Central Florida is the number one tourist destination in the world. We live here. Do we ever go to Walt Disney World? We don't make it often. It is expensive.

While you are here in central Florida, why not check out the real Florida for ten per cent of the costs. Just twenty miles north of Orlando is a beautiful spring named Ponce de Leon State Park. Who is Ponce de Leon? He was a Spanish explorer that "discovered" Florida and claimed it for Spain in 1513. Ponce de Leon was out in unknown waters in a wooden boat looking for the fabled " fountain of youth"

Today in Florida, we call these springs. Millions of gallons of crystal clear, clean, drinkable water erupts up out of the ground. This water is 72 degrees year round. In July, that is cold. This water flows out of the ground and into a river. We have a dozen of these springs in central Florida. Google my other articles about springs in central Florida.

Since you have spent a couple of thousand dollars to get here, take the kids to Ponce de Leon State Park for breakfast. This is not as cool as breakfast with the characters at Walt Disney World but it is a lot cheaper. It is super cool. They have this restaurant at the spring. The restaurant is in an old grist mill. They have a griddle in the middle of every table and the kids can cook there own pancakes for breakfast. They will be talking about it next year.

Take your bathing suit. After breakfast, let the kids swim in the spring. Swimming in a spring is not like swimming in a lake or pool. It is exhilarating. The kids will love it.

Let me tell you how to get there. From Interstate four, take exit 118, go west towards Deland. Turn right (north) on U.S. 17. It is about five miles to the city of Ponce de Leon Springs. The state park is on the left. There is a small admission fee to the state park.

After you have had your breakfast and swam in the spring, you have to head back to your hotel or timeshare near Walt Disney World. As you head back south on U.S. 17, drive through the city of Deland. Don't go back to Interstate four. At the south end of Deland, turn left on Orange Camp Road. That will take you to the town of Cassadaga. It is about two miles. Cassadaga, Florida is the spiritual capital of the universe. You can have your palm read or your fortune told by experts.

If you mail a post card to a friend from Cassadaga, that will send good fortune to your friend as well as to you. Please send me a post card from Cassadaga. Send it to: Ron Climer 5104 N. Orange Blossom Trail, suite 218 , Orlando, Florida 32810. I can use all the good fortune I can find.

As you are driving south on U.S 17, and you discover that the kids don't really want to check out Cassadaga, you can keep driving south on U.S. 17 into Orange City. That is about two miles south of Orange Camp Road in Deland. As you enter Orange Coty, you will see a big sign that says Blue Springs State Park. Turn right . It is about two miles to a another beautiful Florida spring. Blue Springs is bigger and better than de Leon. Blue Springs has a run. The kids can go to the spring and drift down to the dock. By the time time they swim there for a couple of hours, you will not have to rock them to sleep back at the timeshare near Walt Disney World.

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