It was such a gorgeous day in Florida we decided to finally try out the kayak. We chose a spring close to our home, Blue Spring State Park. The spring is located in Orange City, Volusia County.
This is a popular park on the weekends especially November-March when the Manatees are wintering here. The park will not allow cars in when it reaches capacity. Arrive early if possible. We of course didn’t and had a small wait to get in. It was worth it!
If you are ever in Florida in the winter months this is such a beautiful park to observe Manatees. The water is crystal clear. It is amazing to be able to see them so vividly.
If you have never seen a Manatee up close, the size of these “gentle giants” will surprise you. They are such magnificent creatures to watch.
Blue Spring State Park is teeming with wildlife besides the Manatees. Birds and fish are abundant in the park. Alligators call the spring home too, we didn’t see any, but they are there. The spring is home to several threatened and endangered animals This is beautifully park to observe all the animals in their natural environment.
After observing the Manatees we headed to the kayak/canoe launch area to try out the kayak for the first time.
This is where you can launch your own kayak or canoe. You can also rent either one of them here as well for a reasonable price. The staff is very helpful and give amateur kayakers helpful advice.
My husband did an awesome job his first time out on the kayak. He didn’t tip it over and stayed relatively dry. My oldest son did a great job as well and really enjoyed it. He was a bit nervous about testing it out but quickly got the hang of it.
My youngest of course wanted to get out on the water too, so my husband ended up renting a canoe. He loved trying out the canoe and eventually helped his dad paddle.
There are several other things to do at Blue Spring State Park when you visit. In the summer it is open for swimming. The water is around 72 degrees year round. This is why the the Manatees flock here in the winter months. But it would be a refreshing place to visit to get away from the scorching Florida sun in the summer.
You can also take a self guided tour of the Thursby House. We didn’t get a chance to tour this historical house, but I love the architecture of it. The porches are amazing.
There is a playground for kids and a snack shop.
The park has a nice picnic area and places to grill. This would be great for family outings and reunions.
Of course I have to tell you about the camping here. We didn’t get a chance to camp here. It is a short drive to get to the spring so we did a day trip. The park would be a fantastic place to camp with your family if you are able to do so.
We checked out the camping sites on our way out of the park. They looked spacious. There also seemed to be trees and brush separating each campsite so that you would have a bit of privacy. According to the brochure there are 50 campsites. Each site is equipped with water, electricity, a picnic table and a fire ring.
There are also cabins to rent if you’re not into camping.
Florida is known for it abundant number of natural springs. They are fantastic places to explore “the Real Florida”. You will truly be amazed by what you see. They make great day trips if you are vacationing in Florida and need a break from the amusement parks. You can find other Florida springs to explore at Florida’s Springs . Also check out my blog post on Hart Springs, another great park to explore in Florida.