Your ultimate guide to springs in Central Florida

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Three Sisters Springs | Photo via @briannejanae

Hey, Lakelanders, it’s intern Emmie checking in. 👋 Summer is officially in full swing…with nearly triple degree weather. I don’t know about you, but when the heat strikes, I’m most comfortable surrounded by H2O. Thankfully, there are several springs within road-trip distance from Polk Countyand they’re all less than two hours away. If you decide to go with your school of friends or just ride solo, these parks feature springs that will have you cooled off in no time. Now water you waiting for? Head on down to these parks and float your troubles away (with social distancing, of course). I’ll sea you there! 🌊

*Note: Due to COVID-19, some of these springs may be closed. Call ahead of time to find out. 

Eureka Springs Park

Eureka Springs Park | ~30 min. from Downtown Lakeland | $2 per car | 9 a.m.-5 p.m. | Amenities and features of this spring in Tampa includes a greenhouse, lush forests + orchid room. 

Lithia Springs Park

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🌳💦🌞🌿💫

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Lithia Springs Park | ~45 min. from Downtown Lakeland | $2 per car | 8 a.m.-7 p.m. | Although swimming is currently closed due to COVID-19, this spring in Lithia also provides places for bird-watching, hiking, fishing + many more family-friendly activities.

Purity Springs Park

Purity Springs Park | ~45 min. from Downtown Lakeland | Prices Vary | 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. | Hidden in Tampa, this spring has amenities that will have you spending time right next to the Hillsborough River. While you’re there, don’t forget to stop at Bo’s Ice Cream which is just two minutes away.

Boyette Springs Park

Boyette Springs Park | ~1 hour from Downtown Lakeland | Free | 6:30 a.m.-8 p.m. | This spring in Riverview is family-friendly and offers creeks, places for picnics + hidden nooks and crannies that are ready to be explored.

Blue Springs State Park

Blue Springs State Park | ~1.5 hours from Downtown Lakeland | $6 per car | 8 a.m.-8 p.m. | Not only does this spring offer perfect 73-degree water temperatures, hiking trails, + picnic spots, but it is also a well-known manatee refuge.

Rock Springs Kelly Park

Rock Springs Kelly Park | ~1.5 hours from Downtown Lakeland | Prices Vary | 8 a.m.-8 p.m. | With a free-flowing spring of 68-72 degrees year-round, this park also offers nature lovers to go tubing down the water.

Rainbow Springs State Park

Rainbow Springs State Park | ~2 hours from Downtown Lakeland | Prices Vary | 8 a.m.-8 p.m. | At this spring, you’ll not only be surrounded by waterfalls + gardens but will be able to take a trip 10,000 years ago when the park was first discovered.

Ponce De Leon Springs State Park

Ponce De Leon Springs State Park | ~2 hours from Downtown Lakeland | $6 per car | 8 a.m-8 p.m. | Previously called “Healing Waters” by Mayans who lived in the area, this spring is open for fishers, hikers, swimmers + adventurers

Silver Glen Springs Recreation Area

Silver Glen Springs Recreation Area | ~2 hours from Downtown Lakeland | $6 per person | 8 a.m.-8 p.m. | Doubling as an archeological site, this park places for swimming, snorkeling + canoeing in a spring that pours into Lake George, the biggest of the St. Johns River Chain of Lakes.

Silver Springs State Park

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more springs please

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Silver Springs State Park | ~2 hours from Downtown Lakeland | $2 per person | 8 a.m.-8 p.m. | Not only does this park have gorgeous springs to visit, but it also offers glass-bottom boats, hiking + an on-site museum

Three Sisters Springs

Three Sisters Springs | ~2 hours from Downtown Lakeland | Prices Vary | 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. | Found in Crystal River, FL, this spring not only offers five swimming spots but trolley rides, guided walking tours on the boardwalk + manatee viewings. 

Crystal Springs Preserve

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Our field trip to @crystalspringsfoundation in Crystal Springs, FL was epic! We go once a month to this private 530 acre sanctuary to learn about the natural spring & the wildlife all around it. 💧This spring is actually one of the sources of Zephyr Springs & goes into @zephyrhillswtr water bottles! 💧 The kids waded into the river to catch some fresh water critters in their nets then took them to the observation area for a closer look & to identify them. Together as a group, we identified 18 different species & there needs to be 15 identifiable species to consider an area a healthy habitat so they’re doing a great job at the preserve to encourage to take care of nature!

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Crystal Springs Preserve | ~30 min. from Downtown Lakeland | $25 | Visits by reservation | This spring in Zephyrhills not only offers a two magnitude spring system but butterfly gardens, trails, pavilions + more. 

Whatever your plans are for the warm weather, make sure to put on sunscreen, wear loose clothing + stay hydrated to avoid heatstroke. Just think: there are only 82 days until fall, but who’s counting, right? Stay safe + thriving, Lakeland. ☀️