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“Great State Park” 5 of 5 stars
Review of De Leon Springs State Park

De Leon Springs State Park
FL 32130
(386) 985-4212
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Ranked #293 of 2,425 Attractions in Florida
Type: State Parks, Outdoors
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Swim or tube in the refreshing 72-degree spring-fed pool, Ponce De Leon's fabled Fountain of Youth, just a few steps away from the Griddle House. Walk the nature trail or explore the winding, swamp-edging Wild Persimmon hiking trail. Enjoy pancakes at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Winter Park, Florida
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Great State Park”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

This is a little out of the way State Park that is a great place for family outtings. We took food for grilling, but there is a little restaurant, The Sugar Mill, with a small venue. It is a favorite spot for breakfast though as they provide the batter and you make your own pancakes right at your table. There are pontoon boat tours, but also paddle boats and canoes you can rent. The swimming area is charming. The nature trails are also great! If you want a real relaxing time away from touristy areas and theme parks...take a trip to De Leon Springs. I marked fee for this attaction because like all State Parks, there is an entrance fee and if you chose to rent canoes or paddle boats!

Visited October 2012
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63 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great Family Spot”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012

I took my family of 10 to the restaurant and park. The cook your own pancakes were tasty. We had a GREAT time. Our waitress was amazing, our experience was a BLAST, and the boat tour guides were informative. Then we spead out a blanket on the grass under the trees and had a perfect, October day in Florida.

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, FL
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“A step back in time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2012

We were alerted to this little gem by friends of ours who told us about the restaurant. At their Sugar Mill you can order pancakes and cook them where you sit on a griddle that is part of the table. You are given two pitchers of mix, one regular one whole wheat, and they are great. Perfect for kids, or those of us who are kids at heart. The bacon they serve there is also super and if you don't want pancakes and bacon, go for the BLT (pancakes are served all day by the way).

However, the rest of the park was even better than the restaurant because it was quiet, had any number of walking paths and a pontoon boat ride through the springs that is as good as any Disney attraction and their gators are REAL. Lots of history - De Leon Springs used to be a winter home for a circus and they have found canoes in the springs dating back hundreds of years. The springs are also deep and if you are a swimmer look to be excellent. The entry fee is reasonable and the pontoon tour only about $8. The4 walks are free and the flora and fauna super. Do yourself a favor and spend a quiet day there.

Visited November 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Fun but spring was freezing”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2012 via mobile

We had great time here, had the breakfast, they add 18% tip, so don't have to leave tip on table. Pancakes were good, a little pricey but worth it. The spring was cold, more like 65 not 72.

We tried a paddle boat but was too tiring. We switched to canoe and had great time paddling around the lake. Just watch out for waves from the boats.

Staff was very nice.

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Saint Augustine, Florida
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“I LOVE IT HERE!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2012

We live in St. Augustine, about an hour north of De Leon Springs. We try to go here about twice a month to escape the beach! Going to De Leon Springs is like a step back into time. We usually start our visit with pancakes at the Old Sugar Mill. Then we rent a Kayak. Every time we go we see a new kind of animal we hadn't seen there before. When we get back we go for a long swim or float in the springs. I'd recommend this to anyone who wants to see a part of Florida that isn't part of the beach or theme park scene.

Visited June 2012
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