Explore Northern Florida
Featuring a mix of white sand beaches, natural springs and state parks, North Florida is home to some of the Sunshine State’s most beautiful, untouched landscapes. Aside from its natural beauty, it also boasts historic landmarks and family-friendly attractions without the crowds of tourists you’re used to in other parts of the state.
Gainesville and Surrounding Areas
Gainesville Parks and Playgrounds
Gainesville Public Pools
North Florida Springs
Although well-known for its warm weather tubing, the 2,669-acre Ichetucknee Springs State Park is also a wildlife haven, where beaver, otter, gar, softshell turtle, wild turkey, wood duck and limpkin all find a home. The main draw is the park’s eight major crystalline springs that join together to create the six-mile Ichetucknee River. It is handicap accessible and chair lift for spring access.
A broad and naturally gently sloped spring pool becomes a natural water park when visitors come to picnic, swim and play. The water is a constant 72°F and extraordinarily clear. Ripples play across the sand bottom as small fish dart about. Surrounded by a floodplain forest of maples, sweetgum and cabbage palms, this recreation area feels almost tropical. It is handicap accessible.
Bought in 1993 by our current owners, this natural wonder has been transformed from a simple scuba diving site to a world class tourist attraction. Visit one of North America’s most prehistoric places, Devil’s Den Spring! This underground spring inside a dry cave has been home to many extinct animal fossils dating back to the Pleistocene Age, which are on display at The University of Florida’s Museum of Natural History.
Explore one of America’s largest and best loved springs from the park’s world famous Glass Bottom Boats! The 4,000-acre Silver Springs State Park encompasses not only the springs, but the entire 5-mile Silver River and surrounding sandhill forest. Wander among the historic structures and serene gardens surrounding the main spring, reminders of the park’s past history as a major tourist attraction.
When swimmers take their first dip in the sapphire-blue waters of Rainbow Springs, they become part of a story that stretches back over 10,000 years, when humans first visited this place. Ornamental gardens, man-made waterfalls and sloping hills are visible reminders of the springs’ more recent past, when the land was home to a mining operation and a privately-owned tourist attraction.
Considered one of the most beautiful springs in the Sunshine State, Three Sisters Springs is a swimmers and snorkelers paradise. In summer you’ll find crystalline waters that are great for swimming, kayaking and canoeing. In the winter, Three Sisters is the perfect place to spot a manatee in their natural habitat. Manatees can be seen from land or boat, and below the boardwalk.
An iconic state park that dates back to 1947, Weeki Wachee Springs is world-famous for their unique underwater theater and enchanting mermaid shows. It’s also a great place to enjoy outdoor adventures with the entire family, as its crystal clear 72-degree waters are perfect for an afternoon of swimming, snorkeling and river cruising. While you are there, visit the kid-friendly water park called Buccaneer Bay and enjoy thrilling water slides.
One of Florida’s newest state parks, Madison Blue Spring State Park sits between Jacksonville and Tallahassee. Home to a first magnitude spring, it is home to an 82 foot wide and 25-foot deep spring that bubbles up into a limestone basin along the west bank of the Withlacoochee River. Walk along the paths that lead to the spring and admire the view from the rock platforms, then hop in the spring with your inflatables and tubes. There’s also a wooden platform with steps for swimmers.
Home to one of the best beaches in Florida, the shoreline at Henderson Beach State Park has Appalachian quartz sand. It’s sugar white sand lines its 6,000 feet of scenic shoreline, where you can soak up the sunshine on a towel or take a dip in the emerald Gulf of Mexico waters.
You’ll find one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, where its 6,000 acres of natural surroundings offer a tranquil escape throughout the year. Its swimming area is the perfect place to cool off in Florida’s heat.
The world’s largest Naval Aviation museum and one of the most-visited museums in Florida, the National Naval Aviation Museum features 150 beautifully restored aircraft. Browse through exhibits and more than 4,000 artifacts that highlight the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Aviation.
St. George Island Florida is a beautiful 22-mile barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico. Home to the most unspoiled, serene beaches in the Sunshine State, St. George Island offers plenty of things to do for every visitor. The uncrowded beaches are perfect for family-friendly activities.
MOSH features interactive, award-winning exhibitions such as Currents of Time, Atlantic Tails and JEA PowerPlay. The Museum’s most popular exhibits include the health science exhibition, Health in Motion and the Florida Naturalist’s Center, which houses animals native to Northeast Florida.
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens stretches out across 117 acres and features over 2,000 animals. Take the entire family to this top attraction in Jacksonville, where you can get up close to a range of exotic animals in its collection of exhibits. You can also feed stingrays, admire curious elephants and cool off in the on-site Play Park and Splash Ground.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are a professional football franchise based in Jacksonville, Florida. The Jaguars compete in the National Football League as a member club of the American Football Conference South division.