The Best Swimming Holes in Florida

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Published: November 14, 2022
© Ivan Sgualdini/
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Are you trying to find Florida’s top swimming areas? You’ve arrived at the ideal location! The summer secret is Florida’s swimming holes, which we believe are the best spots to swim in the entire state despite the plethora of water attractions throughout Florida.

Below, you’ll find everything you need to plan your Florida vacation, whether you’re seeking a hidden swimming hole in the sunshine state or a secret waterfall. Florida has a good deal to offer, particularly to individuals looking for warm weather and clear, blue water. These are undoubtedly some of Florida’s top swimming spots to beat the summer heat! 

Madison Blue Springs

Check out Madison Blue Springs if you’re in the mood for one of Florida’s Best Natural Springs! It’s fantastic for swimming, canoeing, exploring, and even cave diving. You should only go cave diving here if you’re experienced and certified. 

It’s extremely dangerous to do if you’re not. This is due to the enormous spring mixing with the Withlacoochee River. If you’re searching for activities besides swimming, Madison Blue Springs is a terrific site for bird viewing, picnics, and overall nature enjoyment. 

Based on how many individuals are in your party, the spring’s costs change based on when it opens and closes in the morning. This is a place the whole family can enjoy during the warm summer months in Florida! 

Devil’s Den

Devil’s Den, renowned as one of Florida’s best subterranean swimming holes, will make you feel as though you’ve traveled to another dimension. Don’t be put off by the moniker; it stems from the rising steam that American colonists first noticed coming from the tepid water when they initially arrived. 

The area opens up to expose a magnificent mushroom-shaped cave filled with crystal-clear water once you descend the entryway staircase. Due to the abundance of Pleistocene fossils that have been discovered there and are currently on display in museums, this swimming hole is known locally as of the most prehistoric locations in North America. 

Although it is one of the top locations to swim in Florida, keep in mind that you can only go snorkeling and scuba diving in Devil’s Den. As for the best underground watering holes in Florida, it does require reservations for visiting, which can be obtained on the internet. However, if you are scuba certified, bookings are not essential.

Weeki Wachee

Ever wished you could go see mermaids in real life? Pack up the family and visit Weeki Wachee. This place is one of the Sunshine State’s best swimming holes and the largest freshwater cave in the country. 

Recreational activities accessible in Weeki Wachee include boat trips, paddling, kayaking, scuba diving, and free swimming, with Buccaneer Bay serving as the primary location for most of them.

Beautiful white sand may be found on the spring beaches, and beach chairs can be rented. There are refreshment stalls positioned all over the park, so it’s not an issue at all if you’re not the type to pack food on a vacation.

Gilchrist Blue Springs

This might be the best-hidden swimming spot in Florida if you’re hunting for it! The Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park, located 20 miles north of Gainesville connects to the Santa Fe River. 

The water from the river leads directions to this enchanted swimming hole. The waters are directly accessible by car, but the park advises that the routes might be particularly challenging when it rains. The main features of this Florida swimming hole include a refreshment stand, a place to rent swimming gear, and sheltered picnic areas in case you wish to take your own snacks.

Gilchrist Blue Springs is also a great place for a weekend getaway. On the park’s website, you can make a reservation to disconnect and take in the scenery. The park asks that you phone them at 386-454-1369 for a door password to enter the park if you wish to camp and expect to arrive in the evening. The campground also stipulates that tent sets must be completed by 11 pm.

Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park
Gilchrist Blue Springs is a great place for a weekend getaway.


Kelly Park’s Rock Springs

The Rock Springs in Kelly Park, which is a swimming hole in Florida, is situated in Apopka, Florida, in Orange county. The area is a ran by the county and beloved by locals. Since the fountains are gushing out more than 20,000 gallons per minute, the park has stunning, mainly shallow aquamarine water that is ideal for tubing and paddling!

If you tend to get chilly often, be careful to dress warmly because the water is a cool and pleasant 68 degrees! The tubing route takes around 30 to 40 minutes and is only a small portion of the 8.5 miles that belong to the spring, so most people, if they aren’t kayaking, do the entire path multiple times to make the most of their visit.

As the name implies, the water is filled with pebbles, and when mixed with the continuously rushing water, they can cause some serious wounds if you aren’t careful. Therefore, either wear swimming sandals or step cautiously.

Venetian Pool

We try not to be biased while writing these posts, but the Venetian Pool is a cut above the rest. This is the place to go if you like the notion of swimming in Florida but want something more like a “regular” pool. 

The Venetian Pool in Coral Gables is one of the most opulent public swimming pools you’ll ever see, complete with a bridge, two cascades, and minimal amenities. You can explore small caverns if you want a little more adventure in addition to the waterfalls’ stunning sight.

The swimming area was built in the early 1920s and has been regularly drained and sanitized to maintain a fresh swimming environment. Tickets must be paid in advance and can be obtained via the Coral Gables city website. This is among Florida’s best-kept secrets, only known to residents and now, you! 

Ginnie Springs

Are you looking for a swimming hole where you can bring your favorite adult beverage? Believe it or not, most of the swimming spots in the Sunshine State don’t allow alcohol. If you want to crack open a cold one on a steamy summer afternoon, visit Ginnie Springs. 

Remember that since this swimming hole is close to a university city, it can get rather crowded on weekends and during the summer and holiday periods. On the other hand, on weekdays and off-seasons the park is fairly empty, and you might even find yourself there alone occasionally, which is a fantastic advantage of this swimming hole.

Rainbow Springs

Rainbow Springs is a real place that is beckoning for you to visit! This location is awash in color, with turquoise ibis, vibrant native and exotic vegetation, white herons, and jade lakes. 

It is unsurprising that it is one of Florida’s most picturesque springs to see. 

The swimming area is made up of lovely fine white sand and limestone stones, which are far less of a worry here than they are at other, rough Florida watering holes written above. This means you can leave your fashionable water shoes at home and enjoy the water from head to toe. 

The hiking trails in the park have man-made waterfalls that significantly enhance their spectacular aspects. Additionally, there are native species plants along the walking trails so you can have a better understanding of the local environment. If you plan to visit this stretch of beach in Florida, you should bring a life vest or a pool noodle because the park does not permit any kind of inflatable materials in the swimming area.

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Venetian Pool
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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

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