Looking for the best hot springs in Florida? This article will provide you with all the information that you need.
Now, I have good news and bad news for you. Want the good news first? I thought as much. There are over 700 stunning natural springs in Florida. They are absolutely amazing and if you haven’t visited them yet, you must go immediately, like now. These natural hot springs are constantly at 72 degrees year round, which is quite cold for Floridians but pretty warm for a large percentage of the world. You can swim in these springs year round and Florida manatees go to warm their bodies in them in winter which makes them hot springs of a sort, just not the ones you were probably searching for.
If you are talking about warm mineral springs which are hotter than that, there isn’t many in Florida at all which is a bit of a shame, but I guess the stunning 700 x 72 degree natural springs kinda makes up for this. There are a still few smokin hot springs in Florida (and by that I mean 3) and we will discuss those in detail below.
3 Best Hot Springs in Florida
Address: 12200 San Servando Ave, North Port FL 34287
Now if you want to visit a hot spring in Florida and you are not a supersonic diver, Warm Mineral Spring is currently the only one which is open to the public and able to be visited.
This spring has a constant 85 degrees year-round temperature which means you can swim at this spring year round.
What’s nice about this spring if you are into beauty is it has one of the highest mineral contents of any natural spring in the United States! It is known for its strong healing properties – I really like that, I mean who doesn’t want to be healed of any problems and have better skin and better sleep.
Unsurprisingly, the spring has a very long history and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. If you are interested in ancient history, you will be very interested to know that giant sloths, saber-toothed tigers and even the prehistoric man dating back 10,000 years have been found at the springs. It has also been used for thousands of year by the Native American people.
It is really more about taking a soak in the warm water than doing any action packed activity like tubing or kayaking so it draws an older crowd of Florida’s retirees in comparison to say Ginnie Springs which is a big drawcard for college students looking for a boozy float down the river. Think relaxing day at the spa rather than an action packed adventure.
The nice thing about the park is it hasn’t changed much since the 50s and 60s and has been referred to as “old Florida at its finest” so if you are looking to relive the good old days in Florida, this is a good place to come. The buildings are still the original buildings which were built in 1959 however, renovation work has been approved to update these soon.
It does have a relatively strong sulfur smell which is quite usual in hot springs, if you have been anywhere like Iceland you will recognize it well. If you have a particularly sensitive nose you might want to reconsider a visit here. That being said, most people can handle it.
The spring is not as popular for young families visiting the area as it is a very deep spring in the center so while there is no current, you still need to be a decent swimmer due to the depth of the spring. Families can paddle along the edges of the spring as it is still quite shallow along the spring edges, however, do watch your little ones as it drops off fast!
Tip – Bring a pool noodle to the spring as it is helpful to use to float around.
It costs $20 for adults to enter the spring, $15 for ages 6-17 and ages 5 are free.
- Are there alligators in the hot springs? No, there are no alligators in this spring.
- What are the warm mineral springs health benefits? There are quite a few benefits of visiting a hot spring the main ones being boosted blood circulation, stress relief, pain relief, better sleep and better skin due to the mineral components of the spring including calcium and sodium bicarbonate.
Little Salt Spring
Another one of the best freshwater hot springs in Florida is known as Little Salt Spring.
It is an archeological site owned by the University of Miami. If you are a student studying something relevant at this university you sometimes get an opportunity to visit the spring otherwise, it is a hot spring that is not open to the public.
It is basically a big sinkhole. The university have made somewhat of an access path but it is still relatively difficult to access due to the large amount of vegetation surrounding the spring, which is probably one of the big reasons it is not currently accessible to the public, that and it is being studied.
The university allows their researchers to dive the spring. What they have reported is that the spring is really very clear at the surface and there is a lot of life very close to the surface which is easy to see. It does get darker as you descend and the hole at the center of the spring goes down to 250 feet deep!
One of the big reasons that it is an archeological site is amazing historical finds have been located here including rare human remains (including brain matter, scalp and hair) from the last ice age. Pretty cool stuff!
Hot Mud Hole Spring
You can access this spring BUT only if you intend to dive the hot spring as it is located under the ocean. If you are interested in an adventure, the exact location of this Florida hot spring is Latitude 2615’48″N longitude 8201’06″W.
You would access this hot spring from Sanibel Island beaches as it is located south of Sanibel Island Lighthouse.
The reason why it is a hot spring (97F in temperature if you are wondering) is because it is discharges geothermally warmed water from the sea floor. It probably isn’t the nicest spring to bother diving as it is called Mud Hole for a reason that is not only is the warm warm and rich in minerals but it is very muddy.
It is home to a rich eco-system including many sharks, loggerhead sea turtles and large fish due to the high concentration of nutrients at the spring.
Not Hot but Warm Springs in Florida
We will also include a few springs which aren’t hot but tend to be a bit warmer because they aren’t really deep springs which mean they are more easily warmed by the hot Florida sun.
This spring is shallow in parts which make it a bit warmer than some of the other springs in Florida so, if you are looking for a warming spring to visit, this is a nice choice. Plus you can use a tub to float along the top without getting too wet.
Another great springs. As it is only 4 feet in depth, it is a relatively warm spring to visit.
It is also a fun spring if you love hiking as there are awesome trails at these springs which can be accessed on foot, by bike or even on horseback which is pretty unique for a spring. If you do have a horse it is recommended to camp at the Big Fork center.
It costs $6 per vehicle to visit the Springs.