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According to one review on Tripadvisor, Wakulla Springs is a Florida 'gem.' This would not be far from the truth, as the freshwater spring has drawn visitors from all over since it was established in 1986. Although it was only open to the public within the last century, Wakulla Springs has a history that dates back further than that, and even further than many people think. Wakulla Springs was around when dinosaurs still roamed the earth and today, visitors can swim and take boat rides in the same place where mastodons once stood.

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Wakulla Springs has also been the setting for many movies, including Creature from the Black Lagoon thanks to its practically untouched prehistoric landscape. Known as one of the deepest freshwater springs in the world, its deep sapphire waters are known by locals as the perfect place to cool down and watch Tallahassee's native wildlife.

What Makes Wakulla Springs State Park The Perfect Summer Destination

Not far from Tallahassee, visitors to Crawfordville, Florida, can find one of the most perfect swimming holes that Mother Nature created millions of years prior. Since its discovery in the 19th century, archeologists have found evidence of mastodons, giant sloths, saber-toothed tigers, and even more prehistoric species that were once native to the area. Today, visitors can find wildlife that is very much still in existence such as alligators, dolphins, and a variety of bird life. However, wildlife watching is not the only reason that visitors flock to this swimming hole during Florida's sweltering summer days.

At a constant temperature of just about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, this open swimming hole has sectioned-off swimming areas for those who are keen on taking a dip. Additionally, it's home to a dive tower that stands at 22 feet, allowing swimmers to take a deep dive into these clear waters.

For the more adventurous (and experienced) snorkeling is another popular activity at Wakulla Springs State Park. It's easy to see in this freshwater swimming hole, and snorkelers will be privy to marine life that make their homes deep below the surface, as well as plants and other flora that are native to the area. Additionally, cave diving is a popular sport for professional and experienced divers, who can ascend to the deepest depths of the spring to explore its underwater caves. With around 80 sinkholes providing exploratory opportunities to divers, no two dives will ever look the same.

Cave diving should only be attempted by professionals, and divers are required to have all of their certifications before doing so.

Around the springs, the park itself is home to a network of hiking trails that take visitors through its scenic landscape. With more than 6,500 acres to explore on foot, visitors also have the option to explore some of these beautiful trails on horseback, as well.

Looking for something that takes a little less work? Visitors have the option of a Historic Riverboat Tour are available for $8/adult, and $5 for children ages 3 to 12. Glass Bottom Boat Tours are provided, but visitors should call before booking due to the changing conditions of the water's clarity. Those who want to explore the spring's waterways but would prefer to do it on their own can go kayaking down its river systems.

Related: Meet The Best Swimming Hole In Florida, & Possibly In The U.S.

Visiting Wakulla Springs State Park: Hours & Fees

Below are the admission details about Wakulla Springs State Park.

  • Hours: Open from 8 AM until sundown daily
  • Admission Fees: $6/vehicle with 2-8 occupants, $4 for a single occupant vehicle, $2 per extra vehicle occupant, and $2 per pedestrian or cyclist

Visitors also have the option to visit the historic Lodge at Wakulla Springs State Park, which is a full-service hotel facility. The hotel is open 24 hours a day every day of the year, with a check-in time of 3 PM and a check-out time of 11 AM. This is a great accommodation for those looking to spend even more time fully immersing themselves in the park and its nature. In addition to the Lodge, the park is also home to the Edward Ball Dining Room which is a full-service restaurant. It's open daily from 7:30 AM until 9 PM, and diners can make reservations online if they know what time they'll be arriving. No visit to Wakulla Springs is complete without a stop at the gift shop, which is also open daily.

Wakulla Springs State Park offers something for everyone, from its incredibly beautiful landscape to the wide range of activities that outdoor enthusiasts are sure to enjoy. All in all, it's 100% worth visiting this park for those who happen to be vacationing near Tallahassee - and it's the perfect summer destination for anyone visiting Florida.