Blue Spring State Park
Blue Spring State Park
4.5
8:00 AM - 7:45 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 7:45 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 7:45 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 7:45 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 7:45 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 7:45 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 7:45 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 7:45 PM
About
Blue Spring State Park in Orange City is a must-visit destination for travelers looking for outdoor adventure all year round. You can hike the park's multiple trails and set up a picnic amidst the beautiful surroundings. During summer, go canoeing and scuba diving in the crystal-clear waters, or take a leisurely boat tour around the reservation. And in the colder months, you can see migrating manatees taking over the warm waters of the springs—there's no better way to experience this than on a paddleboarding or kayaking tour. Can't get enough? You can spend the night camping or rent a cozy cabin in the park. – Tripadvisor
Meets animal welfare guidelines
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

Top ways to experience Blue Spring State Park and nearby attractions

See what travelers are saying
  • Sabrina P
    17 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautifully relaxing
    Blue springs state park is really nice. We went on a weekday, so not busy. The water is cold, but you get use to it fast. We went twice in one week. The swimming area does have descent current flow, so bring fins, if no tube.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written June 7, 2023
  • elbaliz1
    New York City, New York159 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Blue Springs- Hidden Gem and change of pace from amusement parks near Orlando
    This place is worth a visit. We went in the afternoon and very last minute. I did not know what to expect. They rent tubes but you can bring your own. They have tables you can bring your own food. There are two entrance to the water one side is deeper than the other. I like the shallow side because the bottom is more clear than the other. They are so many mosquitos when walking the trails. It's a beautiful place.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 8, 2023
  • ShenoaAlex
    Clearwater, Florida16 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Better than pictures, plan ahead!
    This was just what we were looking for in the hot Florida summertime! Water is a cool 72 degrees and there is both sun & shade for swimming. We brought tubing floats and they inflate them at the park for $1 each. Also brought snorkel/masks. You can have water shoes but don’t need them at all. We got there at 7am and lined up managed to get in the park. Just a bit after they put up a sign park is full and a sign for cars to turn back. It was a long wait but completely worth it. Only $5 entry for car of 2. Instead of making a spot on the grass we got a locker for $10. Lockers don’t hold much but parking is really close anyway. We left by 11 but some people were there for the day. Even at 11 cars were still being turned away. But the swimming area was fine. Less busy before 11. Very nice and clean. It was way better than expected!!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 9, 2023
  • Dynamicjohn
    Tampa, Florida337 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing clear water
    WARNING!!!! make sure if your coming on a weekend get here early, like before they open early! They will close the park when it's full! Go on the boat ride, rent a kayak and ofcourse swim in the always 72 degrees springs! The water is so clear it looks fake! Its amazing all the fish and manatees you can see!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 5, 2023
  • Megan C
    Chelmsford, United Kingdom68 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great swim up and float back
    We arrived early on a Friday - and the spring was very quiet. Which meant that we were able to get in the water (at 22C it did still feel chilly to begin with) and swim against the current to the spring without meeting anyone. So many fish in the spring was wonderful and enjoyable experience to swim and snorkel up and then the float back down was glorious. It will of course get much busier on different days!!! You can tube, kayak etc and there is a protected manatee section.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 7, 2023
  • Joyce O
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Love it!!
    My family enjoyed our day out here in August, sadly we didn't see the Manatees but never less we had an amazing time canoeing and swimming in the cool springs on such a hot day. You only pay for parking which is 6 bucks and it's up to you if you want to pay for activities. Many locals, I'm guessing, brought bbq food, the bbqs were already in place, so you can make a good day out there. We love it!!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written September 14, 2023
  • Cathie K
    9 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A day in the park
    The springs are cold and easy entry for swimming. Bring your own floats or rent tubes from the gift shop. Gift shop sells snorkel sets. Nice hiking. Thursby house is historic and interesting. There is a boat ride, and canoe rental available. The springs close to swimmers during manatee season, call ahead of go on line for dates.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written October 13, 2023
  • Andres C
    Newington, Connecticut548 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Park with Lots of Wildlife
    Blue Spring State Park provided us an awesome day! We rented kayaks for 4-hours. This was in December which means the spring itself was closed to water activities due to their being lots of manatee activity in the spring. Nonetheless, it was a peaceful kayak ride in the morning. We did see manatees out eating and swimming around. It was really cool to watch! Once we finished kayaking, we walked the boardwalk and got to see manatees in the water sunbathing. The spring water is clear so you’ll really get to see them in action from a safe distance. The path continues on to a short trail that brings you to the end of the spring for a beautiful view. Highly recommend walking the trail. It’s not difficult, there aren’t any climbs, and it’s wheelchair accessible.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written December 4, 2023
  • KansasSunflower09
    59 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great opportunity to see Manatees!!
    Blue Sprin State Park is a beautiful park. The main attraction are the hundreds of manatees that come to the warm water of the springs in winter. There is a boardwalk that follows the creek up to the spring , with many lookout areas where manatees and fish can be observed. There are also many types of birds there. Fascinating to see the manatees in the water. There were several volunteers roving the boardwalk to answer questions. The park gets crowded in winter and they close entry when the parking lot gets full, then cars have to wait until someone exits. Well worth the visit!!!
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written December 24, 2023
  • WildernessJoe
    Orlando, Florida111 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely State Park
    What a jewel of a state park. If you want to see Manatees this is one of the most beautiful locations to experience them. The campground is small but very nice. Both restrooms were modern and clean with washer and dryers. Bike path adjacent to Park was a 10 mile ride. Rangers and campground hosts were the best. Orange City is a nice little town, unfortunately we ran into some rough young people just outside the park. It was 5 of us riding our bikes and they drove by in their trucks and yelled obscenities at us. It really upset our wives. Other then that we had several camping neighbors that had very loud music till 3am. The rangers had to come twice, its sad to see so many behaving badly today. We don't own a dog but we picked up 4 piles of dog poop and dropped sand over the creamy residue left behind so children would not step in it. If you have a pet please be kind and pick up after them.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written December 26, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles2,124 reviews
Excellent
1,651
Very good
376
Average
68
Poor
15
Terrible
14

Robin T
Plymouth, WI5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
Segway tour it was an hour and a half long. There's a 20-minute training session before the tour. You can opt out if you don't like it. Our tour guide Shane was very knowledgeable. The cost is $55 per person. I need a 24-hour advance notice to make sure they have a guide that day
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sc457mike
Saint Helena Island, SC134 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
We had been here once before a few years ago and loved it. We came back with an elderly friend who lives in the area to take the boat ride on the St Johns River. Here are a few tips:

There is one parking lot for the far end of the park along the River where the tour boat docks (which fills up early) and another a bit closer to the park entrance near the spring. It is a very long walk for anyone with mobility problems to walk from the springs lot to the boat dock.

The boat ride is lovely and the river is beautiful. We tried to make reservations online and it showed both the 10am and 1pm cruises full but when we called the next morning there was space on both cruises. - so don’t depend on the website. Our cruise was eventually filled, so when we boarded we took one of the last empty row of seats for 3 people on the boat which was on the left side. The boat operator, who is also the guide, sits on the right side in the rear so the entire cruise was conducted for the right side of the boat. We cruised down the right side of the river and the guide pointed out and stopped at things he saw on the right side of the boat. People of course got excited when there was a bird, alligator or manatee to see and they jumped up from their seats totally blocking the view of everyone on the left side - so we probably saw about 30% of the guided tour. I would take the boat ride again but only if I could be at the front of the line to get on so I could take a seat on the right side.

Written February 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

blong8161
Millington, TN10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
We visited in August 2019. It was a little crowded but we arrived early because of the park capacity limit and didn't want to miss out. The facility is a little old and restrooms and changing areas could be improved and up dated but it is a state park. We did not see any Manatee because it was summer. We got into the spring and swam/snorkeled to the spring boil with tubes rented at the park. We had our own mask and snorkels. The water is slightly cold but crystal clear. There are fish everywhere. NO ALLIGATORS. We were told that the alligators don't visit this area due to the low water temp. The spring boil is amazing. The cave is open and you can actually dive down to the entrance. The water flowing out is quite powerful. There were actual cave divers there going in the spring. They told us they could go in the cave/spring outlet several hundred feet. It was a truly amazing sight.
Everyone at the park was friendly and all the FEEs were low. We rented tubes. They do run out of tubes so get them early. They are rented by the hour. You can bring your own tubes but be aware there are some restrictions. The entrance ramps that you must use to enter the spring get very congested. Some people were not considerate and held up the area. You must enter the spring at one of only two stairways into the water. Many would get to the waters edge at the bottom of the stairs and stop because of the low water temp clogging the area and would not move. Just be patient. It is a little frustrating, the staff just intervene to clear the area but they do not.
Overall it was a great experience and I highly recommend it.
Written January 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

387indy
Coral Springs, FL4,420 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
Summertime in Florida with the pandemic, Admission is $6 per car, get here early. The water is clear, most of the manatees are gone, lots of things to do for all age groups. Walking trails, fishing, kayaking, facilities, biking, natural beauty, small animals, fish'
Written July 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kingsville_Mike
Kansas City, MO372 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
There were only 3 manatees visible today from the walk way. We also seen many large fish feeding and many birds. Only 6 bucks per car load is a bargain to enjoy this beautiful place in nature.
Written January 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

hughdogg6
Central City, KY68 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
This park is one of East-Central Florida’s best kept secrets especially during the winter when the Manatees have migrated here. From January-March, there are hundreds of these gentle giants that can be viewed from several overlooks. Blue Springs remains at a constant 72 degrees and the water is crystal clear. There are also several other species of fish to be viewed. Lots of baby Manatees swim along side their mamas. The park itself had many amenities such as picnic area, campground, historical Thursby house, kayak rentals, St. John’s River Tours and much more. There’s a $5.00 per vehicle charge and it get’s pretty crowded on weekends so you might have a short wait to get in. Guaranteed to be worth the trip.
Written January 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TMGrep
Golden, CO24 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Small hiccup that the parking was full on a Saturday afternoon in February that was a bit too cool for a beach visit. Walked into the park after parking down the road about a mile in a city park. But park was worth the long walk! There was great viewing of the manatees swimming in the river from wooden walkways built along the river's edge. The walkways go a long distance, more than a mile, with viewing platforms down closer to the water. We saw many manatees, and fish, and other wildlife in the woods. I toured the house there that had interesting displays telling the history of the home and property. A very enjoyable afternoon ending with a stop at the gift shop that had many reasonably priced items.
Written February 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Travel Med Mama
Rocky Hill, CT71 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
Beautiful area to stop! Only a $6 per car for entry.
Walk along the trails and observe the beautiful springs. Be sure to bring a bathing suit and jump in! Cold but so refreshing!! High recommend bringing goggles or a snorkel mask. There are tubes to rent which seemed fun.
When the manatees come through they make you get out of the water but guides showed you were they were and explained their "rehab" story. Nothing quite like the view and how clear the springs are. Fun for all ages!
Written October 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cynthia W
Freeland, MI806 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
$6.00 to get in per car is reasonable. The front staff person taking money needed to practice smiling. I felt sorry for her, she appeared to hate her job. We said it was our first time there, and she explained nothing except to give us a map. When we asked where we go she said straight ahead and park your car someplace. OK, that is what we did. We got here at 8:15 because I had read the park fills up and they don't let you in. For first time visitors it is not spelled out what to do. . No signs at the parking lot that say-- go here and walk along the boardwalk to see manatee. . The Boardwalk s built along the river with little jet outs that allow you close to river to look out and down for Manatee. We thought it was just one lookout spot until we started asking questions of other guests that were wondering around. We parked initially at the first parking lot on the Right, big restroom and gift shop. But after seeing no Manatee (count at entrance was 177 manatee) we packed up and went to second parking lot. Second parking lot is much bigger and has parking for about 10 RV's also. Restroom here also and this affords you the view of the area that the river, flows into the lake. There we saw about 12 manatee. 3 park rangers were there to ask questions and they were very chatty. They had no explanation of why the count was 177, but we were only seeing 12. This is the area where you can take a 2 hr boat trip in the lake. The water in the spring is definitely clear, but beyond that I felt a bit tricked come here. There is a hike that leaves the 2nd parking lot and it was not near any water, hardly a bird was seen, and it was mostly out in the sun. I have seen much more manatee in other parts of Florida. When I asked about why they were not counted in the areas I have been to, the rangers stated unless it is a state park the manatee are not counted. I won't be back to the park. But if your goal is clear water, and a few manatee, this is a option for seeing them. Call the park first, , because the Manatee do come and go in the river.
Written February 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bink
Bluffton, SC137 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We camped at the state park for two days. I highly recommend this state park. It is well-maintained. Hot showers and washers and dryer‘s are available. The Rangers are very knowledgeable and extremely friendly. If you stay at the campground you can walk down early in the morning and watch all the manatees before the crowds arrive and the manatees swim out to the river to eat. The Ranger told us she counted 405 manatees the morning we were there. There is a nice short walk down a boardwalk to the boil. We were not allowed to swim while the manatees were present however we rented kayaks and enjoyed all the wildlife the river had to offer. The camping sites were very spacious and I did not feel like I was on top of my neighbor.
Written February 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 2,019
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Blue Spring State Park - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All Orange City HotelsOrange City Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Orange City
All things to do in Orange City
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars