This one is off the beaten track and one that a lot of people who visit Florida (especially from the UK) have never heard of or even considered.
It effectively involves renting a tube (approximately $5 for one or $10 if you’re feeling really swanky and want one with mesh underneath to cool your bum) and head on down to the Ichetucknee River (follow the link for directions on Google Maps). You effectively get to float along the river – pushed by the currents of the river and surround yourself in one of the most surreal and beautiful natural experiences ever.
You even get to see wee turtles sunbathing and manatees swimming underneath you – seeing the manatees is EPIC by the way!
They’re amazing! There is GoPro footage somewhere of the manatee we saw (amidst other underwater twerking photos in Orlando but that’s one for another day).
The reason why a lot of tourists never think to head here is quite rational to be fair.
It’s not particularly close to most places, we were on a road trip so we had flexibility as to where to visit but it’s very easily added to your list of things to see/do in Florida.
Another reason is probably due to the fact that one of the things Florida is famous for is it’s a rather diverse range of wildlife – especially so the American Alligator and so to most, doing this heading into the ‘wilderness’ in Florida sounds rather counter-intuitive.
In any case, you get to float down this cool and clear river, perhaps dive in ever so often for a nice refreshing dip (find a way to hold on to your tube though) and immerse yourself in an experience unlike any other that you would have in Florida!
Unfortunately on the day we went, I was both a.) unprepared for what to expect and b.) too afraid to get my camera wet (which it would have been) to take any photos here but here are a few I’ve scoured to give you a sense of what to expect.
The Ichetucknee Springs State Park is also worth visiting too (to be fair, you have to walk through some of the parks to get to the river anyway) and for those who are interested, it’s located at:
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
12087 U.S. 27
Fort White, FL 32038