Is Wakulla Springs worth the trip?
- What Makes Wakulla Springs State Park the Perfect Summer Destination
- Visiting Wakulla Springs State Park: Times and Prices
According an opinion on Tripadvisor, Wakulla Springs is a “jewel” of Florida. That wouldn’t be far from the truth, as the freshwater spring has attracted visitors from all over since its inception in 1986. Although only opened to the public in the last century, Wakulla Springs has a history that goes back further than that, and even further than many people realize. Wakulla Springs was there when dinosaurs still roamed the land and today visitors can swim and take boat rides in the same spot where the behemoths once stood.
Wakulla Springs has also served as the setting for many films, including Black Lagoon Creature thanks to its practically intact prehistoric landscape. Known as one of the deepest freshwater springs in the world, its deep sapphire waters are known by locals as the perfect place to cool off and view Tallahassee’s native wildlife.
What Makes Wakulla Springs State Park the Perfect Summer Destination
Not far from Tallahassee, visitors to Crawfordville, Florida can find one of the most perfect swimming holes created by Mother Nature millions of years ago. Since its discovery in the 19th century, archaeologists have found evidence of mastodons, giant sloths, saber-toothed tigers and even more prehistoric species that were once native to the area. Today, visitors can find wildlife that still exist, such as alligators, dolphins, and a variety of birds. However, wildlife viewing isn’t the only reason visitors flock to this swimming hole during the sweltering Florida summer days.
At a constant temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, this open swimming hole has demarcated bathing areas for those who like to swim. Additionally, it houses a diving tour which stands at 22 feet, allowing swimmers to dive deep into these clear waters.
For the more adventurous (and experienced) snorkeling is another popular activity at Wakulla Springs State Park. It’s easy to see into this freshwater swimming hole, and divers will be privy to the marine life that dwells deep below the surface, as well as plants and other flora native to the area. In addition, cave diving is a popular sport for professional and experienced divers, who can ascend to the deepest depths of the spring to explore its underwater caves. With approximately 80 sinkholes providing opportunities for divers to explore, no two dives will ever be the same.
Cave diving should only be attempted by professionals, and divers should have all their certifications before doing so.
Around the springs, the park itself is home to a network of hiking trails which take visitors through its picturesque landscape. With over 6,500 acres to explore on foot, visitors also have the opportunity to explore some of these magnificent trails on horseback.
Looking for something that takes a little less work? Visitors have the option of a Historic Riverboat Tour are available for $8/adult and $5 for children 3 to 12 years old. Glass bottom boat trips are provided, but visitors should call before booking due to changing water clarity conditions. Those who want to explore the waterways of the source but prefer to do it on their own can go kayak in its river systems.
Visiting Wakulla Springs State Park: Times and Prices
Below are admission details for Wakulla Springs State Park.
- Hours: Open 8:00 a.m. until sunset daily
- Admission fee: $6/vehicle with 2 to 8 occupants, $4 for a single occupant vehicle, $2 per additional vehicle occupant and $2 per pedestrian or cyclist
Visitors also have the option of visiting the historic Wakulla Springs State Park Lodge, which is a full-service hotel facility. The hotel is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year, with a check-in time of 3:00 p.m. and a check-out time of 11:00 a.m. It is an ideal accommodation for those wishing to spend even more time to fully immerse yourself in the park and its nature. In addition to the Lodge, the park is also home to the Edward Ball Dining Room, which is a full-service restaurant. It’s open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and diners can make reservations online if they know what time they’ll be arriving. No visit to Wakulla Springs is complete without a stop at the gift shop, which is also open daily.
Wakulla Springs State Park offers something for everyone, from its stunningly beautiful scenery to the wide range of activities that outdoor enthusiasts are sure to enjoy. All in all, this park is 100% worth visiting for anyone vacationing near Tallahassee – and it’s the perfect summer destination for anyone visiting Florida.