I know it, and most of you probably do, too. There isn't much that beats the summer heat than a plunge in a gin-clear Florida spring. Well, I guess you could stay inside and turn out all the lights and keep the air conditioning at full blast, but what fun is that? Get yourself to a spring, OK?
The average temperature of a Florida spring is somewhere around 73 degrees. Right now, average air temperatures in the Crystal River area (that's where I'm at currently) are around 90 degrees, so that's a huge difference. It may sting a little when you first step into the spring – I highly recommend the "dive right in and go woooo!" method of entry – but in just a few short moments things will level out and you'll have totally forgotten about how hot it was a minute ago. Feel free to don a wide-brimmed hat and stand in the water until you are all wrinkly.
This post isn't meant to be a comprehensive list of springs to visit, but more of an appetizer for upcoming blog posts highlighting springs around the state. Until then, here are three that you should go explore now:
Ponce de Leon Springs State Park – located 15 minutes east of Defuniak Springs in Northwest Florida, you can count on a constant flow of 68-degree water bubbling up around you. Bring along a picnic lunch and make a day of it. Like all springs in the summer, make sure to get there early and beat the crowds.
Fanning Springs State Park – I was just at Fanning Springs about a week ago, and things look great. Take plunge off the platform into the main part of the spring, or tiptoe into the shallow area from the dock. There's a concession stand just in case you want to grab a bite while you are there.
Hunters Spring Park – Just looking for a quick cool off? Access to Hunters Spring Park is free, making it easy to drive up and jump in for a few minutes. Make sure to bring along your kayak, there's a good sandy launch that allows for easy access to Three Sisters Spring, which is just a short paddle away.