Blue Spring State Park

Let’s face it; Floridians aren’t really built for this kind of weather. The last thing any of us want to do, on a cold morning, is leave the comfort of our beds and go outside, but on a day like today it’s worth it.

In Volusia County, a tributary off the St. Johns River is home to a 72-degree spring. It is the largest spring of the 310-mile river, and the clear waters of Blue Spring State Park have become a retreat for Floridians.

The 2600-acre park boosts: boat rides, kayaking, scuba diving, swimming, and scenic hiking. America’s most eye-popping natural wonders aren’t visible from any overlook parking lot Mother Nature makes you work for it. Our favorite day hikes are worth the sweat for the highly ‘grammable views. Before you head out on any of these trails, check directly with the parks to confirm their opening times, which may have changed in light of the pandemic.

And cold days, like today, bring capacity crowds to Blue Spring.

Blue Spring manatee

A group of people watching the manatees Photo by: Kate Ramsey

The colder the temperature the more likely park visitors are to see manatees in the spring’s warm waters.

Photo Credit: Kate Ramsey

Manatees at the spring Photo by:Kate Ramsey

On Friday the count reached 300.

More Mantees Photo by: Kate Ramsey


Although it is tranquil to watch these gentle giants navigate through the spring it’s also heartbreaking to see that so many are scarred by boat propellers.

If you, understandably, don’t want to leave your warm bed you can always watch via the ‘save the manatees’ webcam.