The sweltering heat of a Florida summer doesn’t mean you have to be stuck indoors for months on end. After all, the best way to beat the heat is also lots of fun and great exercise: swimming! Nobody wants to spend every single day at the pool or a crowded local beach. Switch things up and keep it interesting by visiting as many of these alternatives as possible!
1. The Venetian Pool, Coral Gables
It might come as no surprise that the country's largest freshwater swimming pool is right here in Florida. Even back in the 1920s, when this gorgeous landmark was built, Floridians were always looking for ways to stay cool. Not only is this still a fun place to spend the day, it's the only swimming pool listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
2. Rainbow Springs, Dunnellon
One of Florida's most scenic state parks, complete with charming man-made waterfalls and crystal-clear water, Rainbow Springs is located about two hours north of Tampa in Dunnellon. Visitors can choose between a refreshing swim in the headsprings or a relaxing tubing trip down the Rainbow River.
3. Grayton Beach State Park, Santa Rosa Beach
Grayton Beach is often called one of the most beautiful beaches in America, and it frequently makes beach expert Dr. Beach's list of the Top 10 Beaches in the country. Luckily, due to its state park status, it remains relatively uncrowded and well-preserved.
4. Wekiwa Springs State Park, Apopka
Planning a trip to one of Florida's major theme parks? Get a taste of some of Florida's real natural beauty and add a trip to this 7,000-acre park, only 20 minutes north of Orlando. We guarantee it will be just as memorable.
5. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
Weeki Wachee is famous as the city of live mermaids, but it's also home to an awesome spring-fed water park. Not only is it scenic and lots of fun, Buccaneer Bay is a very affordable summertime attraction.
6. Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin
This lovely beach sits on the crystal green waters of the Gulf of Mexico north of Clearwater Beach. It also tops best beaches lists, and features shelling, boating, fishing, hiking, and snorkeling.
7. Juniper Springs Recreation Area, Ocala National Forest
Located in the heart of the Ocala National Forest, visitors to this site can swim in sparkling spring water under palms and oaks. It's so lovely, you'll want to camp here and stay for awhile (and you totally should).
8. Fanning Springs State Park
Fanning Springs State Park sits on the Suwannee River., only an hour from Gainesville. Like most of our gorgeous springs, the clear blue water here stays about 72 degrees year round (which is perfect for cooling off in summer months).
9. De Leon Springs State Park
Guests can explore the underwater world at depths up to 30 feet in this state park located about 30 minutes from Daytona. Because of these deeper areas, children and weak swimmers should stay with an adult swimmer at all times. Arrive early and start the day with breakfast at The Old Spanish Sugar Mill, where you can cook your own pancakes on griddles set into your table.
10. Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key
Somewhat surprisingly, it's hard to find a good beach in Key West. Many people head to this beach on Big Pine Key instead for scenic views of remnants of the Overseas Railroad, as well as better swimming and snorkeling opportunities.
How many of these unique swimming spots have you visited? What’s your favorite place to go swimming in the Sunshine State?