- Travel and Places
Springs All Around!
There is more to Florida than beaches and Disney!
Some people from other states wonder how Floridians beat the summer heat. One answer...SPRINGS!! We have so many natural springs all over the state. The is the bubbling up, crystal clear, freezing cold, piece of heaven in the harsh summer heat. If a dip in the springs doesn't cool you down, nothing will. Even when it hits over 100 degrees in the summer. Here are just a few of the springs that are close to Disney and Universal...or otherwise known as Orlando. :)
Crystal clear and freezing cold...this is how Floridians beat the summer heat!
DeLeon is a very nice spring and only an hour from Disney and all it's splendor. It is shaped like a huge swimming pool and your chances of seeing an alligator there are extremely slim because it is closed off from the river that it feeds. There is only a small opening that just water can fit through so it can feed the river and have a place for the water to go. There is also a restaurant here that makes excellent pancakes, so go in the morning and bring your breakfast appetite! You can also rent kayaks and take them down the river.
You could make a road trip just to see the springs!
Wekiwa Springs is also close to Mickey Mouse. It is another closed off spring that has a great swimming area. There is not a lot of places to sit close to the springs, or a restaurant, but there are a lot of places to have a cookout. And you can keep your towel and other items at your picnic table. There are a lot of grills, so just bring your own charcoal and flipping tools. There are not any benches or anything like that near the springs so if you do want to set up camp close to the swimming area, make sure to bring your own chair!
Manatee and baby at Blue Springs
Quiet and gentle, the manatees were once thought to be mermaids from early Floridian settlers.
Blue Springs is near DeLeon Springs, but it is not a closed off swimming area. This is one spring you can actually kayak through the crystal clear water. You can also see where the river and the spring meet, that part is actually kind of neat because the water does not mix. And you can see manatees there. Manatees are our gentle giants of the fresh water. They are like water cows. They just swim along and eat the grass in the rivers and springs. They have certain springs they can go to as a safe haven in the winter time and Blue Springs is one of them. Keep in mind, if you go to Blue Springs and they have manatees in the water, you cannot swim there. But fear not, if you are not able to swim, you can still kayak and there is a long walking trail and a nice little playground for the little ones and, of course, lots of grills to make some delicious lunch! :)
Rainbow Springs is a little bit farther away than the last three springs, but its also a little more interesting. There are a few man-made waterfalls, we don't have too many waterfalls in Florida. The swimming area in the springs is roped off but not enclosed and make sure you bring some sort of flotation helper, like pool noodles, because the most shallow part is a little over 6 feet deep! You are constantly swimming in this one! If you forget your pool noodles, fret not, there is a gift shop that is more than happy to sell them to you. There is also a concession stand that has hamburgers and small snack foods and there are a few vending machines. The line to get in can be quite long sometimes in the heat of the summer, but it is well worth the wait! There are walking trails that take you through the woods and by some smaller waterfalls, then you end at the waterfall that put Rainbow Springs on the map.
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