When Mother Nature herself is telling you to slow down and float along on a quiet, pristine natural river, it’s hard to think of being lazy 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 laziness than actual, natural-forming lazy rivers. So, grab your inner tube and pool floaties and prepare for a ride on one of Florida’s many natural lazy rivers.
Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park
Price: $4 to $6 per vehicle
Address: 7450 NE. 60th St., High Springs, FL
Why You Need To Go: Gilchrist might be a 2.5-hour road trip from Orlando, but those crystal-clear waters are 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.
Rock Springs Run
Price: It's $3 per vehicle with 1-2 people and $5 for a vehicle with 3-8 people. A group larger than 8 will be $1 per additional person.
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 down-stream 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
Address: 10830 SW 180th Ave Rd., Dunnellon, FL
Why You Need To Go: Snorkel, swim, kayak, canoe—nothing beats lazying about in an inner tube down this 2-hour river float at Rainbow Springs. You can bring your own or rent one for $20, which also includes the tram ride to the tubing entrance, so you end up right at the starting point again at the end of your ride.
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
Price: It's $6 per vehicle seating 2-8 people and $4 for solo entry.
Address: 12087 SW US 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. John’s River.
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. Where the spring meets the Santa Fe River and the waters change from clear blue to deep amber is an especially beautiful spot.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.