Crystal River is on Florida’s Gulf coast in Citrus County. It has a reputation for being Florida’s “water lover’s paradise” and has an abundance of springs that flow throughout the region. This provides many cool places for people to relax during the summer heat. Crystal River is a first magnitude spring system which originates in Kings Bay. It has more than 40 springs that flow into the river as it moves past 6 miles west to the Gulf of Mexico. Those who want to visit the area have to go by boat. Locals can take you to a location where a beautiful world above and below the water awaits you. The largest spring in Kings Bay is called Kings Spring and it is 75 feet across and 30 feet deep at the entrance of the 60 foot cave. This is a popular location for swimmers snorkelers and scuba divers. Another spring which is considered to be one of the best is the Three Sisters Springs. Locals transport swimmers by boat to an enclosed swimming and snorkeling area. This is a spring that is heavily populated by manatees, which makes it a great tourist attraction.
North of Orlando and only around an hour from the theme parks, Wekiwa Springs State Park is another great place to check out. Wekiwa is the Indian word for ‘bubbling water’, which is known to perfectly describe this freshwater spring area. The Wekiwa Springs releases 45 million gallons of water on a daily basis. The second magnitude emerald green spring sits at the base of a grassy amphitheater that has steps that lead down to the swimming area. The 7800 Wekiwa Springs Park is part of the Wekiva Basin ecosystem. There are locations nearby such as the Rock springs Run State Preserve, Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park, and the Wekiwa Springs State Park that make up the full basin. There is plenty of authentic locations to enjoy and explore in the area. Those who want to find some solitude may want to consider a kayak or canoe trip to help them see more of the park. Rentals are available in the concession stand near the spring.
Thirty minutes south of Tallahassee, the Wakulla Springs State Park is a popular swimming location with a jumping tower near the spring. It’s great fun for anyone who is trying to avoid the heat, but it’s also awesome for kids who want to line up to climb the steps and jump into the watering hole. More than 200 million gallons of water a day pour out of the first magnitude spring, which is the origin of the Wakulla River. It is one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world. Although you can visit this location during the day, it’s also a great location to stay overnight. Camping is available, but one of the best experiences for most visitors is to stay at the Wakulla Springs State Park Lodge.