Hot Springs in
Florida is home to over 700 natural springs scattered throughout its many regions, each ranging in temperatures from cool pools to warm springs. However, considering the state’s lack of volcanic activity, many visitors to the Sunshine State are unaware that many of these sites are geothermally heated and are some of the most pristine hot springs in the country.
Unlike other states which boast current or ancient volcanic activity, Florida has never been home to a volcanic field. Instead, Florida hot springs have acquired their status thanks to two other natural processes involving their latitudinal location and the depth of their pools.
As the most southern state, Florida experiences high year-round temperatures that act to warm the earth beneath the springs, which in turn serves to heat the water naturally. Additionally, a pool with a deeper depth will receive increased warming from the earth’s molten core, again acting to further heat the spring.
The result is hot springs in Florida slightly cooler than those found in other states. Nevertheless, these quiet oases occupy some of the most idyllic corners of the country and provide warm, comfortable waters to soothe aching bones.
From a small town thermal pool to an ancient natural cavern spring, this is everything you need to know about hot springs in Florida.
List of Hot Springs in FL
Florida Hot Spring Regions
Florida’s hot springs are concentrated towards the state’s northern reaches and only exist as far south as Port Charlotte near Tampa. However, despite their relative proximity, each of Florida’s hot springs offers a unique experience depending on where in the state they are located.
Occupying the northwestern corner of the state along the Gulf Coast, the Florida Panhandle is home to a large concentration of state parks and community springs, all focused just north of Panama City. As the most northern hot springs in Florida, these thermal pools also feature slightly cooler water temperatures than others in the state.
- Vortex Springs (Community Springs)
- Cypress Springs (Community Springs)
- Pitt and Sylvan Springs (Community Springs)
- Merritt’s Mill Pond (Community Springs)
- Ponce De Leon Springs (State Park)
- Morrison Springs Park (State Park)
- Jackson Blue Springs Recreation Area (State Park)
- Edward Ball Wakulla Springs Park (State Park)
The area between Jacksonville and Lake George is home to some of Florida’s most beautiful state park springs and community natural pools. This is the best region in the state for immersing in a diverse selection of springs and features the most significant concentration of thermal baths.
- Ginnie Springs Outdoors (Community Springs)
- Green Cove Springs Pool (Community Springs)
- Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring (Community Springs)
- Three Sisters Springs (Community Springs)
- Madison Blue Spring (State Park)
- Ichetucknee Springs (State Park)
- Fanning Springs (State Park)
- Rainbow Springs (State Park)
- Wes Skiles Peacock Springs (State Park)
- Alexander Springs Recreation Area (State Park)
- Juniper Springs Recreation Area (State Park)
From Orlando to Port Charlotte, Central Florida is home to the state’s most southern springs. As such, these thermal pools also feature the state’s warmest natural water temperatures and include Florida’s only true publicly accessible hot springs, Warm Mineral Springs.
- Blue Spring (State Park)
- Wekiwa Springs (State Park)
- Kelly Park Rock Springs (State Park)
- Weeki Wachee Springs (State Park)
- Lithia Springs (State Park)
- Warm Mineral Springs (Hot Spring)
The Most Popular Hot Springs in Florida
Warm Mineral Springs
With water temperatures averaging 85 degrees Fahrenheit, Warm Mineral Springs is the only real hot spring in Florida open for public visitors. As such, it is a must-visit attraction when exploring the state’s thermal pools.
Formed from a sinkhole approximately 30,000 years ago, Warm Mineral Springs is over 200 feet in depth. As a result, the reserve is heated by both the natural exposure to the sun and the geothermal processes deep beneath the earth’s surface.
Along with their distinguishably high temperatures, the springs are also famous for their high mineral concentration, from which it gets their name. Containing over 50 different minerals, the springs are known to have unique healing properties, a trait that has attracted visitors for millennia.
Popular activities at the springs include soaking in its beautiful warm waters, scuba diving into its historical depths, or even receiving a full-service treatment at the onsite spa.
Rainbow Springs State Park
One of the most popular state park natural hot springs in Florida, the Rainbow Springs is an extensive complex of thermal pools which experience year-round temperatures averaging 72 degrees.
Located near Dunnellon in central Florida, the Rainbow Springs has served local indigenous tribes for millennia and were renowned for its healing properties. In the 1930s, the springs were bought by a private owner who converted them into a theme park and added several attractions.
While several artificial waterfalls remain from the spring’s days as a tourist destination, the amusement park officially closed in the 1970s and was designated a National Landmark and Aquatic Reserve in 1986.
Today visitors can explore the crystal-clear waters of the springs while engaging in a series of water activities, including kayaking, tubing, snorkeling, and swimming.
5.2 km from Rainbow Springs State Park
"The staff was accommodating and friendly! the place was clean and comfortable."
Devil's Den Prehistoric Spring
Formed by a karst window millions of years ago, the Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring is a privately owned spring near Williston and provides one of the most unique natural pool experiences in the state.
Featuring 72 degrees Fahrenheit and 54 feet-deep waters, the Devil’s Den Spring is a 120-foot-long spring that has been home to many important archeological finds, including prehistoric fossils and artifacts donated to the Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida.
Thanks to its crystal-clear waters, suitable depths, and historical significance, the Devil’s Den’s private owners use the site as a unique destination for scuba diving lessons and snorkeling experiences.
Types of Hot Springs in Florida
Much like their source, the types of hot springs found in Florida differ from those found in other states across the U.S. Visitors can expect to find three different varieties of hot springs in The Sunshine State.
While most of Florida’s thermal springs truly only classify as warm springs, there are a few natural water reserves in the state that, because of their significant depths, are heated to temperatures that have rewarded them the title of a true hot spring.
Florida has three hot springs: Warm Mineral Spring, Little Salt Spring, and Mud Hole Spring. These sites range in temperatures from 85 to 97 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, the Little Salt and Mud Hole Springs currently serve as remote sites for private research facilities, leaving Warm Mineral Spring as the only natural hot spring in Florida open to the public.
While other springs in the state come close to reflecting similar temperatures to these sites, Warm Mineral Springs remains the best destination in Florida for visitors seeking the healing experiences of a natural hot spring.
Natural Spring State Parks
While not technically hot springs, the remainder of Florida’s natural pools experience warm temperatures and boast some of the most tranquil experiences in the state’s pristine corners. Fifteen of these breathtaking swimming holes are protected in their natural occurrences as Florida state parks.
These parks house the state’s most popular natural springs and are scattered throughout each of the state’s three hot spring regions. Protecting public access to Florida’s aquifer system, these hot spring state parks feature naturally warm water temperatures that average 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is important to note that since these springs are warmed by the sun’s heating of the earth, specific temperatures vary between Florida’s regions. Generally, springs located in Central Florida tend to be a few degrees warmer than those in the north.
Unlike the state parks that preserve water reserves in their natural state, Florida’s community springs are privately owned and offer a wide array of experiences depending on their location and development.
In most cases, Florida’s community springs tend to accentuate the soothing nature and the relaxing ambiance of the thermal pools by including onsite amenities and services within the complexes. These include onsite spa services, accommodations, restaurants, and maintained pools.
However, not all community springs feature commercial development. While still maintained by private owners, many springs in Florida feature only light amenities to ensure safety and instead service visitors with a planned tour of their historic waters.
Regardless of their offerings, Florida’s community springs are a fantastic way to enjoy the state’s natural pools within a safely maintained facility.
Hot Springs by State
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