Photo Fiona Sunquist ©
Blue Spring State Park. Tel: (904) 775-3663
About 48 km (30 miles) north of Orlando, this park is known as an excellent place to see manatees in winter. A handicapped accessible viewing platform offers great views of manatees and fish. When winter cold fronts sweep down from the north, manatees leave the colder waters of the St Johns River and congregate in the warmer 22° C (72° F) waters of the spring.
On cold winter days it is not uncommon to see 50 or more manatees floating in the clear waters near the observation platform. However, because there is little food in the springs, they must leave to feed in the river during the day – so if you are visiting to see the manatees, go early! Call the day before to make sure the manatees are there.
In summer you can swim and snorkel in the spring, but beware,
this park gets extremely crowded on weekends and during the peak summer season.
More information on their web site
Blue Spring State Park web site
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