Blue Spring State Park near Orange City provides access to the largest spring on the St. Johns River. This park is famous for its wildlife, especially the number of manatees drawn to its waters.

No swimming or other water activities are allowed in the spring from mid-November to mid-March, to protect the manatees that make the park their winter home.

During the rest of the year, swimming, snorkeling, tubing, kayaking, and diving are very popular at Blue Spring.

If you want to spend the night at Blue Spring, there are 51 full-service campsites and six cabins available. If you’re not up for a swim in the 73-degree water, there’s plenty of hiking, wildlife viewing and even a riverboat cruise to enjoy.

This park is very popular and fills up often, in all seasons, on the weekends and weekdays. It’s a good idea to arrive as early as you can to ensure you get a spot without having to wait for someone else to leave.

This historic property once belonged to orange grower Louis Thursby, and it was a thriving tourist attraction during the height of the steamboat’s popularity. The Thursby House, built in 1872, is still standing and now holds interpretive exhibits for the park.

Check out the park’s crystal-clear, blue water that provides the perfect viewing for manatees:

What’s your favorite Florida state park? Check out our list of 13 Easy And Fun Outdoor Things In Florida Anyone Can Do.

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