25 beautiful Florida springs within driving distance of Tampa Bay

Forget the beach, Florida's natural springs are equally as stunning, and many of these gems are less than a tank of gas from Tampa Bay. Plus, because pitching a tent next to a massive water hole filled with wildlife is arguably the most Florida thing you can do, all of the springs mentioned here allow camping. Now get out there and start springin'!

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Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge 
1502 S.E. Kings Bay Drive, Crystal River, (352) 563-2088, Free
The only refuge created to protect the threatened Florida Manatee, it provides a critical habitat for the manatees to migrate to each winter. Photography is popular at this site which can be done from above on the Three Sisters Boardwalk or underwater. No camping is available at the refuge, but sites are offered nearby at the Rock Crusher Canyon RV Park. 
Photo via Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge/Facebook

Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge

1502 S.E. Kings Bay Drive, Crystal River, (352) 563-2088, Free
The only refuge created to protect the threatened Florida Manatee, it provides a critical habitat for the manatees to migrate to each winter. Photography is popular at this site which can be done from above on the Three Sisters Boardwalk or underwater. No camping is available at the refuge, but sites are offered nearby at the Rock Crusher Canyon RV Park.

Photo via Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge/Facebook
Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park
7450 NE 60th Street, High Springs, (386) 454-1369, starting at $24 per night
The newest addition to the Florida State Parks is comprised of 25 campsites, 17 of which are fitted for RVs, and has not one but 5 available springs. Swimming, snorkeling and hiking are popular activities at each pool. Amenities include a picnic pavillion for larger parties and restroom facilities around the park.  
Photo via Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park

Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park

7450 NE 60th Street, High Springs, (386) 454-1369, starting at $24 per night
The newest addition to the Florida State Parks is comprised of 25 campsites, 17 of which are fitted for RVs, and has not one but 5 available springs. Swimming, snorkeling and hiking are popular activities at each pool. Amenities include a picnic pavillion for larger parties and restroom facilities around the park.

Photo via Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park
Ginnie Springs
7300 NE Ginnie Springs Road, High Springs, (386) 454-7188, starting at $22.43 per night
From swimming to scuba diving and tubing down the Santa Fe River, Ginnie Springs has made a name for itself among Florida residents. As for camping, the park offers 121 sites, both primitive and electric, a water dumping station for RVs, restrooms, showers, a laundry room and a fully furnished cottage. 
Photo via Ginnie Springs/Facebook

Ginnie Springs

7300 NE Ginnie Springs Road, High Springs, (386) 454-7188, starting at $22.43 per night
From swimming to scuba diving and tubing down the Santa Fe River, Ginnie Springs has made a name for itself among Florida residents. As for camping, the park offers 121 sites, both primitive and electric, a water dumping station for RVs, restrooms, showers, a laundry room and a fully furnished cottage.

Photo via Ginnie Springs/Facebook
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
12087 SW U.S. Highway 27, Fort White, (386) 497-4690, starting at $6 per vehicle
Known best for its warm weather tubing experience, the Ichetucknee River also offers canoeing, kayaking, fishing, wildlife viewing and eight major springs that join together to create the 6-mile river run. Although no camping is offered on site, River Run campground, Ichetucknee Family Canoe and Cabins, and Ichetucknee Springs campground.
Photo via Ichetucknee State Park

Ichetucknee Springs State Park

12087 SW U.S. Highway 27, Fort White, (386) 497-4690, starting at $6 per vehicle
Known best for its warm weather tubing experience, the Ichetucknee River also offers canoeing, kayaking, fishing, wildlife viewing and eight major springs that join together to create the 6-mile river run. Although no camping is offered on site, River Run campground, Ichetucknee Family Canoe and Cabins, and Ichetucknee Springs campground.

Photo via Ichetucknee State Park
Weeki Wachee Springs
6131 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, (352) 592-5656, starting at $31 per night
From tubing. to river boat cruises, to live mermaid shows Weeki Wachee Springs is a great staycation destination. Several weekend and week-long camps are offered, including a junior mermaid camp. Although there is no onsight camping, there are nearby options such as Cody’s RV Park and Camp-A-Wyle Lake resort. 
Photo via Weeki Wachee Springs/Facebook

Weeki Wachee Springs

6131 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, (352) 592-5656, starting at $31 per night
From tubing. to river boat cruises, to live mermaid shows Weeki Wachee Springs is a great staycation destination. Several weekend and week-long camps are offered, including a junior mermaid camp. Although there is no onsight camping, there are nearby options such as Cody’s RV Park and Camp-A-Wyle Lake resort.

Photo via Weeki Wachee Springs/Facebook