6 Natural Lazy Rivers In Florida That Are Perfect For Floating The Stress Away

Relax and refresh on crystal-clear water.

​Ginnie Springs is one of the most popular spots for river tubing in Florida.

Ginnie Springs is one of the most popular spots for river tubing in Florida.

Lazy rivers are everywhere, but the best natural ones happen to be located near you in Florida, without having to go to Disney World or Universal Orlando!

When Mother Nature herself is telling you to slow down and float along on a quiet, pristine natural lazy river, it’s hard to think of doing nothing as a bad thing.

There are tons of great places to get away for the weekend or a quick day trip around Florida, but none quite embody the idea of well-earned relaxation than actual, natural-forming lazy rivers.

So, forget the resort pool and prepare for a ride on one of Florida’s many natural lazy rivers.

Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park

Price: $6 per vehicle

Address: 7450 N.E. 60th St., High Springs, FL

Why You Need To Go: Gilchrist might be a 2.5-hour road trip from Orlando, but that crystal-clear lazy river water is totally worth it. As a second-magnitude spring, it’s considered one of the clearest in the state, and it runs about a quarter of a mile into the Santa Fe River.

Kelly Park/Rock Springs Run

Price: $5 per vehicle

Address: 400 E Kelly Park Rd., Apopka, FL

Why You Need To Go: A quick 40-minute drive from Orlando, Rock Springs Run is about 25 minutes of downstream floating paradise. There are plenty of spots to snorkel, swim, and stop to admire the stunning views that make you feel like you’re in the middle of the Amazon.

Rainbow Springs State Park

Price: $2 per person. You must call for the tubing prices.

Address: 10830 S.W. 81st Place Rd., Dunnellon, FL

Why You Need To Go: Snorkel, swim, kayak, canoe — nothing beats lazing about in an inner tube down this 2-hour river float at Rainbow Springs. You can bring your own or rent one.

Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Price: $6 per vehicle

Address: 12087 S.W. U.S. Hwy 27, Fort White, FL

Why You Need To Go: Along with being a hotspot for manatee sightings, the Ichetucknee Springs State Park is connected to the 6-mile-long Ichetucknee River, so you can float for hours downstream while soaking in the sights of Florida’s flora and fauna.

Blue Springs State Park

Price: $6 per vehicle

Address: 2100 W. French Ave., Orange City, FL

Why You Need To Go: Blue Springs is known to be a great place to snorkel and scuba dive, but if you’re looking for a more leisurely activity, we won’t judge. You can rent a tube or bring your own and float along with this gem on the St. Johns River. Note that all water activities are suspended during manatee season.

Ginnie Springs

Price: $15-20

Address: 7300 Ginnie Springs Rd., High Springs, FL

Why You Need To Go: Home to the famous Devil’s Eye, an eerie underwater hole that you can actually scuba dive in, Ginnie Springs is also the perfect spot to float and paddle — it's like a natural water park! Where the spring meets the Santa Fe River and the waters change from clear blue to deep amber is an especially beautiful spot.

Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

This article has been updated since it was originally published on February 19, 2020.

Laurie Bergeron
Associate Director, Content Development