The 20 best swimming holes within driving distance of Tampa

Living in Florida has many advantages, and an essential one is access to our beautiful, freshwater springs. But not all springs are created equal, and not all springs allow swimming. So here are a few great options within driving distance of Tampa Bay.

Be sure to check the park’s website, or call ahead before you plan a day at the spring as many have updated rules and regulations.

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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
Juniper Springs 
Estimated Drive Time from Tampa: 2 hours
Juniper Springs is located between Ocala and Ormond Beach and is a great place for people looking to swim in its clear water. Amenities available to visitors include drinking water, picnic tables, parking, restrooms and on-site canoe rentals for $42. Admission into the spring will run $5.50 per person. 
Photo via State Park Website

Juniper Springs

Estimated Drive Time from Tampa: 2 hours
Juniper Springs is located between Ocala and Ormond Beach and is a great place for people looking to swim in its clear water. Amenities available to visitors include drinking water, picnic tables, parking, restrooms and on-site canoe rentals for $42. Admission into the spring will run $5.50 per person.

Photo via State Park Website
Rainbow Springs State Park 
Estimated Drive Time from Tampa: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Rainbow Springs has a long history, but recent additions of manmade waterfalls and hills add to the grandeur of the spring. The clear, warm water makes it an ideal place to swim, snorkel and tube. Amenities available to guests include exhibits, shower stations, restrooms, laundry facilities, gardens and parking. The headspring is open from 8 a.m. to sunset every day; admission is $2 per persona and children under the age of 6 are granted free admission.
Photo via Adobe Images

Rainbow Springs State Park

Estimated Drive Time from Tampa: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Rainbow Springs has a long history, but recent additions of manmade waterfalls and hills add to the grandeur of the spring. The clear, warm water makes it an ideal place to swim, snorkel and tube. Amenities available to guests include exhibits, shower stations, restrooms, laundry facilities, gardens and parking. The headspring is open from 8 a.m. to sunset every day; admission is $2 per persona and children under the age of 6 are granted free admission.

Photo via Adobe Images
Ichetucknee Springs State Park 
Estimated Drive Time from Tampa: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Ichetucknee Springs State Park is located on the Ichetucknee river and is a perfect place for people looking to swim, canoe, kayak, or observe the park’s wildlife such as beavers, otters, turtles, wild turkeys and ducks. Amenities available to visitors include shower stations, restrooms, nature trails, a pavilion, a playground and parking. A day at the spring costs $6, which is limited between two and eight people; a single person car costs 4$ for entry. The park is open everyday from 8 a.m. until sundown. 
Photo via State Park Website

Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Estimated Drive Time from Tampa: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Ichetucknee Springs State Park is located on the Ichetucknee river and is a perfect place for people looking to swim, canoe, kayak, or observe the park’s wildlife such as beavers, otters, turtles, wild turkeys and ducks. Amenities available to visitors include shower stations, restrooms, nature trails, a pavilion, a playground and parking. A day at the spring costs $6, which is limited between two and eight people; a single person car costs 4$ for entry. The park is open everyday from 8 a.m. until sundown.

Photo via State Park Website
Wekiwa Springs State Park  
Estimated Drive Time from Tampa: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Arrive early at Wekiwa Springs State Park if you are planning a visit because it is one of the best swimming springs near Orlando and it frequently reaches capacity, 150 cars, quickly during the summer months. Admission is $6 per vehicle, which can include up to eight people. Amenities at the park include restrooms, parking, playgrounds, pavilions and more. Right down the street is Wekiva Island, a private beach island with a bar and restaurant open to visitors. 
Photo via State Park Website

Wekiwa Springs State Park

Estimated Drive Time from Tampa: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Arrive early at Wekiwa Springs State Park if you are planning a visit because it is one of the best swimming springs near Orlando and it frequently reaches capacity, 150 cars, quickly during the summer months. Admission is $6 per vehicle, which can include up to eight people. Amenities at the park include restrooms, parking, playgrounds, pavilions and more. Right down the street is Wekiva Island, a private beach island with a bar and restaurant open to visitors.

Photo via State Park Website