LOOKING TO MEET FLORIDA’S STATE MARINE MAMMAL?
Ever wanted to see hundreds of Florida’s sea cows in one easily accessible location? Sun Kind of Living thinks Blue Springs State Park is the place to be. Located in Orange City, FL, around 40 minutes from Orlando, the state park is nestled right on the St. Johns River. This is the state’s longest river at about 310 miles, running north from Blue Cypress Lake all the way to Jacksonville where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean, and one of the best spots to see manatees.
STOP BY BLUE SPRINGS STATE PARK: 1 OUT OF 175 STATE PARKS IN FLORIDA
Blue Springs State Park is a constant 72-degrees year-round, making it the perfect spot for manatees to call home in the winter months. Sun Kind of Living recommends going in December, January, or February for the best manatee sightings. Plan on going earlier in the day to see the most animals and also ensuring that you get a spot in the park, because as Sun Kind of Living has experienced, it can fill up quickly. Blue Springs does charge $6 per vehicle for entrance to the state park.
RESERVE YOUR SPOT ON A CRUISE DOWN THE ST. JOHNS RIVER
Blue Springs offers a variety of experiences including: birding, boat tours, camping, fishing, hiking, paddling, picnicking, scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, and tubing. Sun Kind of Living recommends booking one of the park’s boat tours to get the best experience (especially the 10 am tour). It is a 2-hour narrated nature and ecological cruise down the St. Johns River. With their always knowledgeable captains, animals and plants will be pointed out along the way with a little history also thrown in. Sun Kind of Living says to be sure to sit on the right side of the boat in front of the captain for the best views and the perfect spot to ask all your questions.
READY FOR A NICE STROLL?
Following your boat tour, walking down Blue Springs State Park’s boardwalk is the perfect spot to spot manatees hanging around. Sun Kind of Living recommends going out on the park’s number of piers for the best opportunity for pictures and sightseeing. Be on the lookout for baby manatees sticking close to their moms.
GRAB A SNACK AND A MANATEE SOUVENIRS
Blue Springs State Park does have a gift shop, where you can get any and all manatee necessities that you may need. They offer small snacks and drinks for purchase in the park’s cafe. You can also pack your own snacks and use any of their numerous picnic tables to set up your own little picnic. Sun Kind of Living highly recommends visiting Blue Springs State Park for the perfect spot to interact with “these gentle giants we call manatees”.