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“Forget Disneyworld and enjoy this oaisis!”

Blue Spring State Park
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Manatee Kayak Tour at Blue Springs State Park
Ranked #1 of 16 things to do in Orange City
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: State park offering a variety of outdoor activities including camping, hiking, canoeing, fishing, boating, snorkeling and scuba diving.
Reviewed August 10, 2013

We decided to take a day away from the beach and explore one of the natural swimming holes in Fl of which there are many. We were staying in Ponce Inlet ( a little south of Daytona) which was about 45 minutes away. We did not camp and only went for the day so i can't speak for those facilities. It was Thursday and took us about 45 minutes. We had absolutely no wait to get in as mentioned in one of the other reviews so maybe it was our lucky day. It wasn't crowded at all. It cost a mere $6! There were a number of picnic tables, covered pavillions and grill sites. We had a mask with us and no floats but you can rent/buy tubes, etc in the shop. We bought 2 tubes ($8 each i think) which was well spent since we used them at the beach for the rest of our vacation. I would bring mask, snorkel and fins because its cool to look into the water. We did see one manatee and some very big gar fish and others. The one mask helped a little but snorkel and fins would have been a great addition. The set up is there are 2 places where you can enter the water. If you walk along to the right, that will get you closer to the boil. You have swim against current for a little bit to get there. It would have been cool to have a mask and snorkel because the water is so clear. There are caves and if you are certified, you can scuba into them. After you float with the current to the steps to get out. Very relaxing! A short walk down the boardwalk, you pass a roped off part of the lagoon where we saw alot of big turtles and an alligator. The walk will take you to kayak and canoe rentals. We rented kayaks for an hour on the St. Johns River and didn't see any gators or manitees there but still enjoyed it. It was a little hotter than swimming in the spring but after our hour, we went back into the springs. (this alone makes it a good idea to bring/buy your own floats instead of renting) Blue Spring was such a lovely diversion and we will definitely go back there the next time we are in Florida!

2  Thank nsj1959
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"john's river"
in 65 reviews
"swimming area"
in 48 reviews
"gift shop"
in 91 reviews
"boat tour"
in 67 reviews
"the water is crystal clear"
in 32 reviews
"scuba diving"
in 28 reviews
"nice boardwalk"
in 29 reviews
"rent a canoe"
in 22 reviews
"winter home"
in 21 reviews
"central florida"
in 37 reviews
"picnic lunch"
in 25 reviews
"per vehicle"
in 17 reviews
"manatee season"
in 35 reviews
"year round"
in 22 reviews
"board walk"
in 26 reviews
"manatee viewing"
in 26 reviews
"real florida"
in 28 reviews

1,169 - 1,173 of 1,601 reviews

Reviewed August 9, 2013

Camped here for three nights in a cabin. The cabin was beautiful, spacious, clean and very comfortable. Two bedrooms, living room, kitchen, bathroom, large screened porch with picnic table and rocking chairs. Also nice size grounds outside which was very private with another picnic table and fire pit. We did not have a frying pan upon arrival and were assisted quickly by very friendly staff. There are only 6 cabins so book early if interested. Lots of wooded areas to explore and hike through which are just beautiful and full of wildlife. The actual park is lovely and the springs amazing- so relaxing and fun to tube down the springs and canoeing/ kayaking also great as well as affordable. I would recommend bringing your own tube for tubing as rentals are $10 for an hour and then extra beyond that (I think there is a daily rate)... you don't need a heavy duty tube as the springs have a gentle current- a $5 tube from Walmart/ Target will suffice just fine. We saw a manatee but will definitely return in the winter to see the many manatee who come to stay during that time. I highly recommend this park!

4  Thank Amy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2013

I was born and raised in DeLand and have lived in Orange City for 33 years. We have camped,fished and boated to the springs. The Boil is really nice as you can float, or if you dive there are caves to explore. We have taken our children from a young age to actually taking our Christmas photos of the family. I have a friend her family The Thrusby family actually sold Blue Springs to the State for a State park.The Park is beautiful and the love seeing the Manatee.

1  Thank Kathleen757
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

The Park was perfect> beautiful in the morning> I totally recommended> just make sure to arrived early if you don't want to wait for several hours at the entrance. just one thing The park needs to hired a person to keep the restrooms clean during the day. beside that I loved it and I will go back..

1  Thank 305DADECOUNTY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 29, 2013

Most parks in Florida are very attractive and usually beautiful. But this one is special. There are all kinds of birds, quite a few large Gar Fish and some nice gators, but the "feature creature" is the Manatee. The big beautiful (ugly to a few) manatee is not always there, but sometimes they overwhelm the place (over 200 at once), especially when it starts cooling down in the St. John's River. But it's easy to check with a new web Manatee Cam. In fact, check out the cam and general information on these creatures at Save the Manatee Club, a non-profit organization found on line. There may be a docent who will tell you the history of the area and talk about wild life. You may even be able to swim with (never touch - against the law) the gentle giants but check with the Florida State Park Service since swimming is closed during the Manatee peak period.
There is a very nice swimming area with stairs and railing and a few Manatee often swim in the area even though they have their own pools. The water is spring-fed and extremely clear, great for snorkeling, which is permitted. Scuba diving is limited to a training and certification group that is fun to watch if they happen to be doing a session. The water is a nearly constant 72-73F, refreshing but cool by Florida standards.
You can camp, kayak, canoe, fish, swim, hike or just hang out. There is a well-maintained boardwalk, that meanders around the waters. You can go all the way to the St. John's River for about a quarter mile hike. You can stop at the gift shop, get a few supplies and beverages, you may want to picnic in a grove or a covered area in case in rains. But check rules (no pets), fees and the cam as things are always changing.

1  Thank Kengilleo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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