You Can Dive Into A Hidden Cave At This Clear Blue Florida Spring & See Adorable Manatees

You'll feel like the little mermaid!

a woman diving into the cave. Right: manatees in the clear blue spring.

a woman diving into the cave. Right: manatees in the clear blue spring.

You can dive into a refreshing natural spring in Central Florida, where you can find a hidden cave to explore and swim with manatees at Blue Spring State Park, located near Orlando.

This gem along the St. Johns River is a cool 72 degrees of turquoise blues, offering one of the best places to free dive. The secret cavern in the spring leads to a mystery location and you are only allowed entry with a dive certification.

According to the Professional Association Of Diving Instructors, the cave is as deep as 117 feet. Divers can only reach 60 feet before they see a warning sign advising them to turn back, as reported by a Florida Caves website.

If you're not a certified diver or a natural-born thrill seeker, the state park offers so many other options to cool off in the translucent waters. You can snorkel, kayak or tube down the waterway and relax in nature.

No matter what you choose, you'll be alongside the water's "sea cows." There are so many of them, in 2020 a record of 724 of these mammals were found in the area, according to the park's website.

This underwater paradise is also home to a variety of wading birds, ospreys, eagles and kingfishers. No matter the time of the year, it is always easy to spot wildlife and other marine life in this natural haven.

"I snorkel here regularly and am always blown away by the clear water, abundance of fish, and beautiful scenery. Spotting manatees is a special treat," a Trip Advisor review reads.

The park frequently reaches capacity, so it is advised you plan ahead to get there early. If you're wondering what to add to your summer fun list, this spring is the solution to your problems.

Blue Spring State Park

Price: $6 per vehicle

Address: 2100 W. French Ave., Orange City FL 32763

Why You Need To Go: This warm spring features gentle manatees and is one of the best areas to scuba dive.

Blue Spring State Park website

This article has been updated since it was originally published on October 21, 2019.

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.

Jenna Kelley
Florida Associate Editor
Jenna Kelley was an Associate Editor for Narcity’s USA Desk focused on trends and celebrities in Florida and is based in Miami-Fort Lauderdale in Florida.