If you’re longing for warm summer days and a dip into the bluest waters, a trip down south to Florida just may be in store.
Potential visitors may have some confusion over where to start, but Narcity has compiled a list of the six places in the Sunshine State that will make for the ideal trip to dive into clear, blue seas, springs and more.
Note that some parks may be open at limited capacity due to the coronavirus pandemic. Be sure to check with each place individually and adhere to health and safety guidelines.
Anna Maria Island
The coldest it gets here on average is 50 degrees early in the year, but the water won’t dip below 64 degrees at this time of the year — and that’s a great thing considering beaches are accessible at all hours. Plus, it’s free to visit the soft-sanded beaches and clear waters.
100 Palmetto Ave., Anna Maria, Fla. annamariaislandchamber.org.
There’s no shortage of ways to explore the waters at Ginnie Springs. The privately-owned park costs $15 to get into in the off-season and the seasonal rate is $20. Guests can canoe, kayak and paddleboard in the seven crystal clear springs that remain a warm 72 degrees year-round.
7300 Ginnie Springs Rd., High Springs, Fla. ginniespringsoutdoors.com.
Located just off the Wekiva River, King’s Landing offers guests outdoor therapy in the form of kayaking or canoeing downriver. The 8.5-mile trip has varying rates depending on how you and your pals elect to boat from the Kings Landing Dock. Regardless of if you plan to swim, fish or spot a deer — or even a monkey — along the banks, it’ll be nothing short of relaxing.
5722 Baptist Camp Rd., Apopka, Fla. kingslandingfl.com.
Weeki Wachee Springs
Paddle down the pristine waterways of Weeki Wachee River at the place touted as “Florida’s most legendary and unique family destination.” Note that the park is only open for kayak launch at the moment. Feel free to book a $6 private paddling launch — just be sure to bring your own boat.
6131 Commercial Way Spring Hill, Fla. weekiwachee.com.
Situated at the southern tip of Siesta Key, Fla., Turtle Beach not only offers blue waters but some of the tallest sand dunes in the area. Its moniker isn’t just a cute name, either — the beach is known as a turtle nesting ground.
8919 Midnight Pass Rd., Siesta Key, Fla. siestakeychamber.com.
Silver Springs State Park
For $8 per vehicle, admission into Silver Springs State Park gets you access to one of the state’s longest-running attractions: glass-bottomed boat tours. The day trip offers a unique way to view the crystal clear springs and the vegetation and wildlife that live within it.
1425 NE 58th Ave. Ocala, Fla. floridastateparks.org.