Orlando Springs | Blog | Cirque du Soleil (2024)

Take pleasure in the natural wonders of Florida when you visit Orlando Springs. The city offers more than thrilling theme parks. It calls explorers to its majestic marvels and tempts travelers with tranquil springs and lush surroundings.

When looking for things to do in Orlando, these springs should be near the top of your list. Here are a few of our favorites.

Family-Friendly Springs

The welcoming springs in these verdant spaces provide a playground for the senses that delights kids and adults alike. These spots make a fun family escape after you’ve visited other attractions, such as museums in Orlando.

1. Blue Spring State Park

Cool off on hot days at Blue Spring State Park, which is open from 8 a.m. to sundown daily and is fifty-one miles north of Orlando. Established in 1972, this state park shelters wintering manatees, drawing visitors to watch the gentle giants at play.

Blue Spring Adventures hosts boat tours of the Saint John River every day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you're not in the mood for a tour, you can find fishing spots or paddle a canoe in the river or the Blue Spring Run. You can also go tubing along an eighth-of-a-mile run.

Florida Dive Company offers guided snorkeling tours for those who want a more intense experience. You can also take a self-guided snorkeling tour or scuba dive in certain areas.

Admission costs $6 per vehicle, $4 for cars with one person, and $2 for pedestrians and cyclists. Camping costs $24 per night, and the park rents $95 per night cabins. The park also charges a $7 nightly utility fee if you camp or get a cabin.

2. Kelly Park/Rock Springs

Go with the flow at Kelly Park Rock Springs. Sitting just thirty miles northwest of Orlando, this park welcomes visitors from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the summer and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the winter.

These springs stay a balmy 68 degrees year-round, making them great swimming and snorkeling spots. Between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m., you can rent a paddleboat, canoe, or kayak at Camp Joy for just $3 or $5, depending on your group size.

Head to this Orange County destination with your picnic basket for a delightful day trip, or stick around Kelly Park and reserve a camping space. Entry costs $3 to $5 per vehicle. This 355-acre park limits entry to 330 vehicles daily, so ensure you arrive early to avoid disappointment.

3. Wekiwa Springs State Park

You and your children can enjoy the springs at Wekiwa Springs State Park. Located in Orange County just twenty minutes north of Orlando, this park gets its name from the first-magnitude spring that keeps the springs a cozy 72 degrees year-round.

Float along for a relaxing experience, or go snorkeling to see the aquatic wildlife. Canoe and kayak rentals are also available.

This park opens daily at 8 a.m. and closes at sundown, year-round. Admission costs $6 for families of up to eight people and $4 for solo travelers. You can also camp at the 7,000-acre park for $24 per night.

4. De Leon Springs State Park

Imagine yourself in a timeless space enjoyed by others for over 7,000 years, and head to De Leon Springs State Park to make it a reality. The Spring Garden Run boasts a constant 72-degree temperature for year-round comfort.

Once called Healing Waters by Indigenous peoples, these timeless Orlando springs offer a relaxing escape from the city's bustle. Concessions, restrooms, and an open invitation for pets ensure fuss-free family fun.

You can swim, snorkel, or scuba dive here, shielded from the world by a lush subtropical rainforest. The Spring Garden Run has depths between eighteen inches and thirty feet so that you can enjoy multiple aquatic sports in a single spot.

This 625-acre park is about an hour north of Orlando. It opens year-round from 8 a.m. until sunset, and admission costs $6 per vehicle. If you prefer exploring the springs by boat, canoes, and kayaks are available to rent.

5. Alexander Springs

Immerse yourself in springs that whisper ancient tales when you visit Alexander Springs. This liquid jewel in Florida’s Ocala National Forest features one of several first-magnitude springs in the state that offer 72-degree temperatures year-round.

Situated 60 miles north of Orlando, this recreation area beckons locals and tourists with excellent amenities and easy accessibility. Gently sloping beaches make Alexander Springs a popular place to swim, snorkel, and scuba dive amid maple, cabbage palm, and sweetgum trees.

Entry requires admission to Ocala National Forest, which costs $70 plus tax for a day pass for each member of your family.

6. Silver Glen Springs

Located in Ocala National Forest, Silver Glen Springs is one of the state’s first-magnitude springs. The constant 73-degree spring temperatures tempt travelers to wear bathing suits and climb.

While you can snorkel and swim here, scuba diving is prohibited. Stay within the marked swimming area to avoid disturbing the delicate aquatic ecosystems further afield.

Adventure and Exploration Springs

Enter portals to wonders untold when you visit these Orlando springs. They offer a relaxing excursion when you’ve already explored the closest beaches to Orlando.

7. Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Take a leisurely dip in the Ichetucknee River at Ichetucknee Springs State Park, located about 145 miles from Orlando. Home to two of the state’s first-magnitude springs, this park has two tubing launches for gentle trips that last about an hour each.

Nine springs converge to feed the river, creating the ideal setting for aquatic sports. You can swim here or head to Blue Hole Spring for a more challenging setting where you can test out your scuba gear.

Rent a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard and launch from one of the landings for a self-guided tour of the area. This state park opens daily from 8 a.m. until sundown, and admission costs $4 for one person or $6 for vehicles with up to eight people.

8. Juniper Springs

Juniper Springs has a unique history. The Civilian Conservation Corps built it in the 1930s, making it one of the oldest spots of its kind on the East Coast. Hundreds of small and large springs burst up from fissures in the rocks, feeding the streams. You can swim in the springs or canoe down Juniper Run.

Like other springs in the Ocala National Forest, costs for day passes run $70 per person, and camping costs $75 per night.

9. Silver Springs State Park

See some of the largest natural springs in the United States at Silver Springs State Park. Known for its glass-bottom boat tour, this 4,000-acre park sits 1.5 hours from Orlando for a leisurely road trip. It's open daily from 8 a.m. until sunset, even on holidays.

You can canoe, paddleboard, or kayak along Silver River to view the springs in stunning detail. These activities run between $30 and $85, depending on the number of people in your party and the choices you make when you purchase tickets.

Admission costs depend on the entry point you choose. At the main gate, it's $2 per person. However, at the equestrian entrances, it costs $8 per carload and $5 for solo travelers. The famed glass-bottom boat tours cost between $14 and $30, depending on whether you take the extended ride.

10. Rainbow Springs State Park

Drive about a hundred miles northwest of Orlando to experience Rainbow Springs State Park. It's open from 8 a.m. to sunset, 365 days a year. Here, you can spend your day tubing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and snorkeling.

Take in the natural beauty along the river, especially in early spring when these springs come into bloom with lush pink, white, and purple azaleas. Entry at the Headsprings area costs $2 per person for an affordable swimming excursion.

If you want to go tubing in this 1,400-acre park, tube and tram tickets run $24 per person, plus an additional $2 state fee for one trip down the river. You can also rent canoes for $19 an hour or $56 per day. Kayak rentals run $26 hourly and $67 daily.

11. Devil’s Den

Disappear into a hidden place between worlds at the privately owned and operated Devil’s Den spring. Located a hundred miles northwest of Orlando, this prehistoric natural spring gets its name from steam rising from the dry cave it inhabits in the early morning.

Consistent 72-degree temperatures make this underground paradise ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling. View 33-million-year-old ancient rock formations and fossil beds and observe a vast array of aquatic life during your dives.

If you're not an experienced diver but still want to explore these 54-foot-deep springs, Devil’s Den offers gear rentals and training classes. Snorkeling is by reservation only, while scuba diving is on a first-come, first-served basis.

12. Ginnie Springs

Trek 140 miles northwest of Orlando to Ginnie Springs. You can swim and snorkel in the seven springs to see the aquatic life that lives there, such as turtles, bass, and catfish.

This privately owned and operated area is a hot spot for aquatic sports activities in the Santa Fe River. Rent a single or double tube, and follow the tube trail from the Beaver’s Landing entry point to the Twin Spring exit point.

Canoe, kayak, or paddleboard with your own equipment, or rent gear from the park for $20 per three hours. This park also offers scuba diving opportunities, with an exploration of the Ginnie Ballroom, Devil’s Spring System, and Santa Fe River, depending on your experience level.

Admission to the park costs $15 for adults in the off-season and $20 during the main season. Children aged five to twelve get in for $5 year-round, and admission is free for children aged four and under.

13. Weeki Wachee Springs

Indulge your imagination at Weeki Wachee Springs, located about two hours west of Orlando. This state park offers live mermaid shows in its first-magnitude springs. Old-school wet slides at Buccaneer Bay keep the nostalgia going.

Weeki Wachee Springs also caters to modern pursuits with ample opportunities for aquatic sports. The park rents kayaks and paddleboards so you can explore the area your way. Entry costs $13 for adults and $8 for kids aged six to twelve. Children aged five and younger enter for free.

14. Salt Springs

Relax in a serene outdoor setting at Salt Springs, which sits eighty miles north of Orlando in the Ocala National Forest. This recreational area opens year-round, enabling visitors to view the ancient springs via an observation walkway.

Swim in these 72-degree springs, or snorkel to capture glimpses of aquatic life. It's open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and admission costs $12 daily.

15. Ponce de Leon Springs State Park

Make the forty-five-mile trip due north of Orlando to visit Ponce de Leon Springs State Park. Here, you'll enjoy 68-degree spring temperatures year-round. Swim, snorkel, and fish amid lush greenery. This park is open from 8 a.m. to sunset, 365 days a year, and entry costs run $4 per vehicle.

Your Next Natural Getaway Awaits

Orlando Springs provides a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. After you emerge from the springs, immerse yourself in one of our shows in Orlando. Our performers keep the enchantment alive as they leap and dive across the stage. Your family will long remember the gravity-defying feats and fantastical adventures.

Orlando Springs | Blog | Cirque du Soleil (2024)
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