Blue Spring State Park - Let's Go See the Manatees
Updated: Sep 15
Blue Spring State Park is one of the largest winter home for manatees in Florida. You can visit and see hundreds of manatees enjoying the 72-degree spring water in the winter months. I highly recommend Blue Spring State Park during the cool season to spot the manatees and other wildlife. My son was hoping to see alligators but luckily for me, there was none to be seen during the time of our visit.
The Blue Spring State Park is a 45 minute drive from Downtown Orlando. They have plenty of picnic tables and charcoal barbeque grills for you to bring your own food to enjoy. The Blue Spring State Park also has a small cafeteria, so don't worry if you forgot to pack your lunch. We didn't check it out because we brought our own Vietnamese sandwiches, from one of the 21 Best Cheap Eats in Orlando, but the next time we visit I will be sure to check it out for you guys.
All the lookouts along the spring are scenic, especially the main lookout near the gift shop/ cafeteria (look around the far end for stroller/ handicap access.) Note that the spring itself is closed to all water activities, and the kayak you see in one of these photos is a staff member and not a visitor. Boat tours and canoe/kayak rentals are available for use only on the St. Johns River, not in the springs itself.
#Readingoutdoor is one of the activities we always do even when we're exploring the outdoors. Who says you just have to read books when you're indoor? There's plenty to read outside! From informational posts, to brochures, the love of reading can be encouraged everywhere. My eldest loves to stop and read, and we have been doing this ever since before he could read by himself.
I was pleasantly surprised that the boardwalk actually leads you up all the way to the very end of the springs. Every single lookout into the spring is stroller/ handicapped accessible, and it is also dog-friendly! Don't forget to bring waste bags to collect the number 2s.
The walk to the end of the springs is very manageable, and the view is rather rewarding.
If you can't visit by yourself, no worries, I have taken footages of our walk along the spring.
I hope you enjoy the virtual trip to the Blue Spring State Park with us, let us know how many manatees you can spot and find!
Blue Spring State Park frequently reaches capacity during the week and on the weekends, during both the winter and summer months. To avoid waiting in a long line, try to visit the park early or late afternoon. Blue Spring State Park opens daily from 8 am - 6 pm.
At the beginning or the end of the trip, feel free to visit the historic Thursby House. It is a free self-guided tour with not much to see, but if you enjoy history then definitely have a quick walk through. I would recommend leaving small kids outside, even though the Thursby House is stroller/ handicap friendly, as little kids are a lot more sensitive to the vibes of historic places (if you know what I mean.)
Update: This time we visited I took a photo of the food menu available at the canteen at Blue Springs State Park.
The line to get into the park is very real at the peak of winter (and summer.) We took a family member there on a weekday and the line was so long that we had to turn around.
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Hi, I'm Ketsiree Tury. Let's Connect!
Foodie | Blogger | Content Strategist
I blog about affordable family-fun, food & travel around the Sunshine State 🌅 & Beyond ☕🥐🌸🍵
Bangkok bred. Orlando based. The original blogger of Direct Bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap: Step-by-Step Journey.
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