Tourist Spot

The Best Freshwater Sources in Florida

Florida’s beaches are undeniably pretty, but if you’ve ever been to Daytona or Cocoa Beach, you know they aren’t always the crystal clear, sparkling blue seas you imagined. The general appearance of the ocean can change from day to day and season to season, with some months marked by murky, choppy waters and others blanketed in a blanket of brown sargassum.

But there are places where the water is always breathtakingly clear, even a little cold: the Florida springs. Because the state sits atop an aquifer, fresh water bubbles to the surface to form more than 700 springs, where people can swim; most are located in the central and northern parts of the state, providing a nature-fueled alternative to the theme park bustle that attracts most people to this region.

Popular for swimming, snorkeling, diving, wildlife viewing, hiking, boating and tubing, these scenic swimming holes across Florida are great places to visit for anyone who wants splash around in the largest collection of freshwater springs on planet Earth. Note that since they stay at a “refreshing” 72 degrees year-round, Florida’s best springs are best visited during the scorching days of summer, when nothing sounds better than a cold dip.