19 underrated swimming holes within driving distance of Orlando (2024)

Arts + Culture

When looking to jump into some water this summer, the first thingthat comes to mind is usually one of Florida'smany beautiful beaches. But there are actually plentyof other cool-off spots, including tonsof beautiful lakes and springs. Now is the perfect time to check out some of these swimming holes that the state has to offer.


  • orlando swimming,
  • summer,
  • swimming holes

Scroll down to view images

19 underrated swimming holes within driving distance of Orlando (1)

Suwannee Springs

9225 County Road 49, Live Oak | Distance: 2 hours 30 minutes
This historic spring is surrounded by the walls of a late-1800s bath house made out of limestone rock. Since sand is building up in the pool, which trickles into the Suwannee River, you just might find yourself kickin’ it on a secret sandbar if you float around for long enough.

Photo via Adobe

19 underrated swimming holes within driving distance of Orlando (2)

Alexander Springs Recreation Area

49525 County Road 445, Altoona | Distance: 1 hour 15 minutes
The shallow waters of Alexander Springs are ideal for lazy afternoon dips. When you’re looking to dive right in with, say, a rope jump, they’ve got plenty of deeper water to explore. The springs also have a mile-long trail that follows a path once travelled by early Native Americans.

Photo via Adobe.

19 underrated swimming holes within driving distance of Orlando (3)

Blue Spring State Park

2100 W. French Ave., Orange City | Distance: 50 minutes
Blue Spring State Park is the biggest spring on the St. John’s River, and probably not a stranger to many Orlando residents. It’s best known for manatee viewing, but if you’ve got a scuba license, you should definitely check out the underwater cave lingering about 100 feet below the surface.

Photo via Adobe.

19 underrated swimming holes within driving distance of Orlando (4)

De Leon Springs State Park

601 Ponce de Leon Blvd., De Leon Springs | Distance: 1 hour 12 minutes
De Leon Springs has a reputation for beautiful turquoise water, so grab a canoe and wade through the spring one stroke at a time. Snorkeling is very popular here, as there are underwater caves hiding in deep water -- just don’t go exploring in them!

Photo via Adobe.

19 underrated swimming holes within driving distance of Orlando (5)

Devil’s Den Spring

5390 NE 180th Ave., Williston | Distance: 1 hour 40 minutes
You can’t exactly work on your tan here, but how could you possibly turn down a dip in a dry cave’s underground spring? At Devil’s Den, you can paddle around 33-million-year-old fossil beds or snorkel the stalactite formations.

Photo via Adobe.

19 underrated swimming holes within driving distance of Orlando (6)

Dinky Dock

410 Ollie Ave., Winter Park | Distance: 20 minutes
Located right on the Rollins campus in Winter Park, Dinky Dock is more than the name would suggest. You can sit at a bench or picnic table and look out across the water, dig your toes into the sand, or hop right into the lake to cool off. You can even bring your pet, as long as it’s on a leash.

Photo via Adobe.

19 underrated swimming holes within driving distance of Orlando (7)

Fanning Springs State Park

18020 Northwest U.S. 19-98, Fanning Springs | Distance: 2 hours 11 minutes
Fanning Springs used to be a roller rink in the 1950s, but now it’s just a chill little hangout when you’re looking for a shady gazebo on the Suwannee River. Multiple sand boils trickle into the main pool, which is about 20 feet deep. A cannonball off the boardwalk sounds pretty good right about now.

Photo via Adobe.

19 underrated swimming holes within driving distance of Orlando (8)

Ginnie Springs

5000 NE 60th Ave., High Springs | Distance: 2 hours 10 minutes
Located on the Santa Fe River, Ginnie Springs is one of the clearest bodies of water in Florida. Choose one of the seven different springs for your afternoon splash-around or try to find a grotto hidden beneath the water’s surface -- there are plenty for you to discover.

Photo via Adobe.

19 underrated swimming holes within driving distance of Orlando (9)

Poe Springs Park

28800 Northwest 182nd Ave., High Springs | Distance: 1 hour 58 minutes
Poe Springs is a local favorite among families. The rope swing should definitely keep the kids occupied in one corner of the springs while the ‘rents chill out on floats just about anywhere else. There’s also a playground on the premises, so don’t forget to bring a volleyball. However, the Springs are only open Thursday through Sunday, so don’t try to come through on any other weekday.

Photo via Adobe.

19 underrated swimming holes within driving distance of Orlando (10)

Manatee Springs State Park

11650 NW 115th St., Chiefland | Distance: 2 hours 20 minutes
At Manatee Springs, you get what you expect, which is a ton of manatees swimming around you. This spring is a water activity paradise, with canoeing and snorkeling on tap all year round. Manatee Springs also offers moonlight paddleboarding on the Suwanee River when the sun goes down.

Photo via Adobe.

19 underrated swimming holes within driving distance of Orlando (11)

Lithia Springs Regional Park

3932 Lithia Springs Road, Lithia | Distance: 1 hour 30 minutes
With the 72-degree water, Lithia Springs is a nice place to splash around all year long. If you bring your little ones and want to relax, there’s even a bath house for adults and a playground that’ll keep the kids occupied with a fun time.

Photo via Adobe.

19 underrated swimming holes within driving distance of Orlando (12)

Silver Glen Springs Recreation Area

5301 N. Highway 19, Fort McCoy | Distance: 1 hour 22 minutes
Located in the most beautiful patch of the Ocala National Forest, Silver Glen is a local favorite. The crystal-clear water gives you a great opportunity to see all the different types of fish. Silver Glen is also where Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings became inspired to write her classic novel "The Yearling" in 1938.

Photo via Adobe.

19 underrated swimming holes within driving distance of Orlando (13)

Juniper Springs Recreation Area

26701 E. Highway 40, Silver Springs | Distance: 1 hour 20 minutes
There’s plenty to look at here, whether it’s the simmering sand boils or the vents in the pool. The creek might be small, but don’t let that stop you from canoeing through it. When you’re ready to recharge after all that swimming, indulge in a picnic at the bench tables under the trees.

Photo via Adobe.

19 underrated swimming holes within driving distance of Orlando (14)

Ichetucknee Springs State Park

12087 SW U.S. Highway 27, Fort White | Distance: 2 hours
Back in the early 1900s, this spring was used to mine phosphate, which you can still see clustered around the water’s edge. Ichetucknee is best known for its tubing, so prepare to float lazily through the spring alongside otters, beavers and wood ducks.

Photo via Adobe.

19 underrated swimming holes within driving distance of Orlando (15)

Hart Springs Park

4240 SW 86th Ave., Bell | Distance: 2 hours 20 minutes
The water is 72 degrees year-round at Hart Springs, which makes it the perfect place to cool off in Florida. Bring a tube for a lazy swim day, or grab a snorkel to see unique shells on the spring bottom up close. Swimmers have also found arrowheads hidden between the rocks.

Photo via Adobe.

19 underrated swimming holes within driving distance of Orlando (16)

Wekiwa Springs State Park

1800 Wekiwa Circle, Apopka | Distance: 30 minutes
People of Orlando are very familiar with the spring at the end of the grassy hill known as Wekiwa Springs, so we won’t bore you with the details. It wouldn’t be a proper Orlando summer without at least one day here, so get some friends assembled and pick your activity for the day: canoeing, swimming, snorkeling or general chillin’.

Photo via Adobe

19 underrated swimming holes within driving distance of Orlando (17)

Kelly Park/Rock Springs

400 E. Kelly Park Road, Apopka | Distance: 45 minutes
Kelly Park features a free-flowing natural spring that runs at 68 degrees year-round, so you should definitely keep it in mind for those extra-hot Florida summer days. Tubing is the most common activity, and rentals are available from vendors right outside the park. The park also includes full-service concession, picnic pavilions and a playground for the little ones.

Photo by Steph Davis.

19 underrated swimming holes within driving distance of Orlando (18)

Salt Springs

13851 N. State Road 19, Salt Springs | Distance: 1 hour 33 minutes
You might notice the water is a little tastier than the other springs around Florida, but that’s because the water in the Salt Springs has a bit of potassium, magnesium and sodium salts. Spring vents form large pools perfect for a leisure swim, but if you’re more of an active person, there are some pretty good fishing locales as well.

Photo via Adobe.

19 underrated swimming holes within driving distance of Orlando (19)

Rainbow Springs State Park

19158 SW 81st Place Road, Dunnellon | Distance: 1 hour 30 minutes
You can still catch a glimpse of remnants from when Rainbow Springs was an amusem*nt park, but what’s really intriguing here is the colorful waterfall in the center of this land. And there’s nothing quite like splashing around next to a waterfall. But keep in mind that the park usually reaches capacity by around 10 a.m. on weekends and holidays, so you’ll want to get there pretty early.

Photo via Adobe

`this.removeSpinner = () => {jQuery(slideshowInstance.itemContainerSelector + ' div[uk-spinner]').remove()};this.prevPageLinkHTML = ``this.nextPageLinkHTML = ``Object.defineProperties(this, {'items': { get: function() { return jQuery(this.itemContainerSelector).find(this.itemSelector)}},'currentItem': {get: function() {var foundItem = nullvar foundItemInView = nullthis.items.each(function () {var currentInView = elementInView(jQuery(this), scrollTopOffset, 0)if (currentInView) {// An in view item is already located extra logicif (foundItemInView && foundItemInView.inView) {// The entire previously found item is visible - it winsif (foundItemInView.topInView && foundItemInView.bottomInView) return// The previously found item covers the visible area - it winsif (foundItemInView.middleCoversView) return// The previously found item has more surface area - it winsif (foundItemInView.percentVisable > currentInView.percentOfViewHeight) return}foundItem = jQuery(this)foundItemInView = currentInView}})return foundItem}},'currentItemIndex': {get: function() {var currentElement = this.currentItem.closest('[slide-index]')if(currentElement) {return parseInt(currentElement.attr('slide-index'))}return null}},'currentItemId': {get: function() {var currentElement = this.currentItem.closest('[slide-id]')if(currentElement) {return currentElement.attr('slide-id')}return null}}})var slideshowInstance = this// xxx for debuggering - igwindow.slideshowInstance = slideshowInstance;var scrollTopOffset = window.innerHeight > this.smallMenuBreakPoint ? 110 : 140var originUrl = window.location.hrefthis.scrollToIndex = function (index) {var slideItem = this.items.filter('[slide-index="' + index + '"]')if (slideItem.length) { var topOffset = slideItem.offset().top - scrollTopOffset// window.scrollTo({ top: topOffset, behavior: 'smooth' })window.scrollTo({ top: topOffset, behavior: 'auto' })}else {this.fetchMore(index, function () {slideshowInstance.scrollToIndex(index)})}}this.fetchMore = function (startIndex, callback) {var currentItemOnFetch = this.currentItemvar url = '/orlando/19-underrated-swimming-holes-within-driving-distance-of-orlando/Slideshow/30947379'var params = {ajaxComponent: componentId,action: 'grabMore',startIndex: startIndex,oid: slideshowOid,cb: '1680148390',}if (paginate) {params.paginate = paginate;}var keywords = currentItemOnFetch.attr('slide-keywords')if (keywords) {params.keywords = keywords}if (editorView === true) {params.editor = true}// jQuery.ajax({url: url,type: 'GET',data: params,dataType: 'json',// beforeSend: function () { console.log('Fetching results') },success: function (data) {console.log('success', data.results, data.results.length, data.error, data)if (data) {if (data.error) {console.log(data.error)}else if (data.results) {console.log('slideshowInstance.items', slideshowInstance.items)for (var i = 0; i < data.results.length; i++) {var resultItem = jQuery(data.results[i])// // var resultItem = jQuery.parseHTML(data.results[i], document, true);var resultItemIndex = parseInt(resultItem.attr('slide-index'))var resultAlreadyInserted = slideshowInstance.items.filter('[slide-index="' + resultItemIndex + '"]').length > 0console.log('result', resultItemIndex)var previousItem = nullvar previousItemIndex = 0if (!resultAlreadyInserted) {slideshowInstance.items.each(function () {if (resultAlreadyInserted) returnvar currentItem = jQuery(this)var currentItemIndex = parseInt(currentItem.attr('slide-index'))if (resultItemIndex === currentItemIndex ) {resultAlreadyInserted = truereturn}else if (resultItemIndex > previousItemIndex && resultItemIndex < currentItemIndex) {var topOffsetBeforeInsert = currentItemOnFetch.get(0).getBoundingClientRect().topresultItem.insertBefore(currentItem)resultAlreadyInserted = truevar adjustedTopPosition = currentItemOnFetch.offset().top - topOffsetBeforeInsertwindow.scrollTo({ top: adjustedTopPosition, behavior: 'auto' })}previousItem = currentItempreviousItemIndex = currentItemIndex})if (!resultAlreadyInserted) {var topOffsetBeforeInsert = currentItemOnFetch.get(0).getBoundingClientRect().topresultItem.insertAfter(slideshowInstance.items.last())resultAlreadyInserted = truevar adjustedTopPosition = currentItemOnFetch.offset().top - topOffsetBeforeInsertwindow.scrollTo({ top: adjustedTopPosition, behavior: 'auto' })if (typeof instgrm === 'object' && instgrm.Embeds && typeof instgrm.Embeds.process === 'function') {setTimeout(instgrm.Embeds.process, 200);}}}}}else { console.log('How did we get here?') }}else { console.log('No result or error returned from content request.') }},complete: function () { slideshowInstance.items = jQuery(slideshowInstance.itemSelector) // Update items resultslideshowInstance.removeSpinner();if (typeof callback === 'function') { callback() }},error: function (jqXHR, textStatus, errorThrown) {console.log(jqXHR, textStatus, errorThrown);if (textStatus === 'timeout') {slideshowInstance.removeSpinner();if (paginate === true) return;paginate = true;if (slideshowInstance.items.length < totalSlides) {var firstLoadedIndex = parseInt(slideshowInstance.items.first().attr('slide-index')) || 1;var lastLoadedIndex = parseInt(slideshowInstance.items.last().attr('slide-index')) || totalSlides;if(firstLoadedIndex > 1) {var prevLink = jQuery(slideshowInstance.prevPageLinkHTML);var prevLinkUrl = new URL(url, `https://www.orlandoweekly.com`);prevLinkUrl.searchParams.append('startIndex', firstLoadedIndex - 1);prevLinkUrl.searchParams.append('paginate', 'true');prevLink.attr('href', prevLinkUrl.href);jQuery(slideshowInstance.itemContainerSelector).prepend(prevLink);}if(lastLoadedIndex < totalSlides) {var nextLink = jQuery(slideshowInstance.nextPageLinkHTML);var nextLinkUrl = new URL(url, `https://www.orlandoweekly.com`);nextLinkUrl.searchParams.append('startIndex', lastLoadedIndex + 1);nextLinkUrl.searchParams.append('paginate', 'true');nextLink.attr('href', nextLinkUrl.href);jQuery(slideshowInstance.itemContainerSelector).append(nextLink);}}}}})}// // // var lazyLoadSurroundingItemsInterval = null;// var lazyLoadTimeout = null;// var lazyLoadSurroundingItems = function (index) {// if (paginate) return;// if (slideshowInstance.items.length >= totalSlides) {// clearInterval(lazyLoadSurroundingItemsInterval);// }// if (slideshowInstance.lazyLoadMoreResults) {// // Rate limit lazyloading more slides// clearTimeout(lazyLoadTimeout);// lazyLoadTimeout = setTimeout(function () {// var prevIndex = Math.max(index - 1, 1)// var prevPrevIndex = Math.max(index - 2, 1)// var nextIndex = index + 1// var nextNextIndex = index + 2// var prevIndexLoaded = slideshowInstance.items.filter('[slide-index="' + prevIndex + '"]').length > 0// var prevPrevIndexLoaded = slideshowInstance.items.filter('[slide-index="' + prevPrevIndex + '"]').length > 0// var nextIndexLoaded = slideshowInstance.items.filter('[slide-index="' + nextIndex + '"]').length > 0// var nextNextIndexLoaded = slideshowInstance.items.filter('[slide-index="' + nextNextIndex + '"]').length > 0// if(!prevIndexLoaded) {// slideshowInstance.removeSpinner();// // jQuery(slideshowInstance.itemContainerSelector).prepend(slideshowInstance.spinnerHTML)// slideshowInstance.fetchMore(Math.max(prevIndex - (fetchMoreMaxCount - 1), 1))// }// else if(!prevPrevIndexLoaded) {// slideshowInstance.removeSpinner();// // jQuery(slideshowInstance.itemContainerSelector).prepend(slideshowInstance.spinnerHTML)// slideshowInstance.fetchMore(Math.max(prevPrevIndex - (fetchMoreMaxCount - 1), 1))// }// if(!nextIndexLoaded) {// slideshowInstance.removeSpinner();// jQuery(slideshowInstance.itemContainerSelector).append(slideshowInstance.spinnerHTML)// slideshowInstance.fetchMore(nextIndex)// }// else if(!nextNextIndexLoaded) {// slideshowInstance.removeSpinner();// jQuery(slideshowInstance.itemContainerSelector).append(slideshowInstance.spinnerHTML)// slideshowInstance.fetchMore(nextNextIndex)// }// }, 200)// }// }// // // var lazyLoadLastCheckedIndex = slideshowInstance.currentItemIndex// lazyLoadSurroundingItemsInterval = setInterval(function () {// var currentIndex = slideshowInstance.currentItemIndex// console.log(`lazyLoadSurroundingItemsInterval - currentIndex: ${currentIndex}; lazyLoadLastCheckedIndex: ${lazyLoadLastCheckedIndex}`);// if(currentIndex !== lazyLoadLastCheckedIndex) {// lazyLoadLastCheckedIndex = currentIndex;// lazyLoadSurroundingItems(currentIndex);// }// }, 1000);var onScrollLastCheckedIndex = slideshowInstance.currentItemIndexjQuery(window).on('scroll resize', function () {var currentIndex = slideshowInstance.currentItemIndexif(currentIndex !== onScrollLastCheckedIndex) {onScrollLastCheckedIndex = currentIndex// console.log(`Slide Item index: ${currentIndex}`)fireEvent('foundation:slideshow:slidechange')}});// var onScrollTimeout = null;// jQuery(window).on('scroll resize', function () {// // Rate limit lazyloading more slides// clearTimeout(onScrollTimeout);// onScrollTimeout = setTimeout(function () {// var currentIndex = slideshowInstance.currentItemIndex// if(currentIndex !== onScrollLastCheckedIndex) {// onScrollLastCheckedIndex = currentIndex// console.log(`Slide Item index: ${currentIndex}`)// fireEvent('foundation:slideshow:slidechange')// }// }, 100);// });this.initialized = falsethis.init = function () {if (this.initialized === true) return// Prevent the browser from trying to scroll to the last scroll position before reloadif (history.scrollRestoration) {history.scrollRestoration = 'manual'}var startIndex = this.items.first().attr('slide-index')var oid = window.location.pathname.match(/\d+$/)if (oid) {var grabIndex = parseInt(this.items.closest('[slide-id="' + oid[0] + '"]').attr('slide-index'))if (!isNaN(grabIndex)) {var startIndex = grabIndex}}// if (startIndex > 1) {// this.scrollToIndex(startIndex)// }// if(jQuery(this.itemContainerSelector + '[single-listing]').length === 0) {// this.lazyLoadMoreResults = true// }this.lazyLoadMoreResults = truethis.initialized = true// lazyLoadSurroundingItems(startIndex)}return this}var SlideshowItems = new SlideshowItemsObj()// Ad refresh on slide change handlingvar adSlideChangeRefreshThreshold = 10;var adSlideChangeRefreshTimeout = null;// adSlideChangeRefreshTimeout = setTimeout(function () {adSlideChangeRefreshTimeout = null; // Set timer to null}, adSlideChangeRefreshThreshold)// Timeout to prevent fast jogging from item to itemvar itemChangeTimeout = nulljQuery(document).on('foundation:slideshow:slidechange', function () {if (editorView !== true) {updateMetaDataFromElement(SlideshowItems.currentItem)}// Google Anayltics track pageviewif (typeof ga === 'function') {console.log("foundation:slideshow:slidechange event", "sending pageview navigation to:", window.location.href);ga('set', 'location', window.location.href)for (let i = 1; i <= 3; i++) {let currentDimension = jQuery(SlideshowItems.currentItem).attr('ga-dimension'+i)if (typeof currentDimension === 'string') {ga('set', 'dimension' + i, currentDimension)}else {ga('set', 'dimension' + i, '') }}ga('send', 'pageview')}// if (adSlideChangeRefreshTimeout === null) {// adSlideChangeRefreshTimeout = setTimeout(function () {adSlideChangeRefreshTimeout = null; // Set timer to null}, adSlideChangeRefreshThreshold)// if (Foundation.Ad && Foundation.Ad.slots) {if (typeof (Foundation.Ad.slots['_Footer-1']) === 'object') {Foundation.Ad.showFooter('_Footer-1');}}// if (Foundation.Gpt && Foundation.Gpt.getInPageSlotDataById) {var gptSlots = window.googletag.pubads().getSlots();var gptSlotFixedFooter = gptSlots.filter((slot) => slot.getSlotElementId() === `FixedFooter`)if (gptSlotFixedFooter.length) {Foundation.Gpt.ShowAd.refreshFixedFooter(gptSlotFixedFooter[0]);}}}});// Try to init immediatelySlideshowItems.init()// On document loadedjQuery(function () {SlideshowItems.init()})// })();

19 underrated swimming holes within driving distance of Orlando (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Clemencia Bogisich Ret

Last Updated:

Views: 6309

Rating: 5 / 5 (60 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Clemencia Bogisich Ret

Birthday: 2001-07-17

Address: Suite 794 53887 Geri Spring, West Cristentown, KY 54855

Phone: +5934435460663

Job: Central Hospitality Director

Hobby: Yoga, Electronics, Rafting, Lockpicking, Inline skating, Puzzles, scrapbook

Introduction: My name is Clemencia Bogisich Ret, I am a super, outstanding, graceful, friendly, vast, comfortable, agreeable person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.