That was 12 years ago; after that first trip, he couldn’t wait to go back. And now every time we visit my parents, we make the one-hour drive south to Wakulla Springs State Park. This time, we made the trip with my mom, dad, aunt, and uncle—and all of us loved it just as much as the first time we visited, whether it was 12 or 70 years ago.
Wakulla has one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world—with an average flow rate of 200-300 million gallons per day of crystal clear, pure water—and I’ve spent many sweltering hot summer days happily jumping from the high dive platform into the cool, deep swimming hole.
Just a few hundred feet downriver, the wildlife is spectacular. Jungle cruises run every hour throughout the day, and it’s just about the best $8.00 you’ll ever spend. Step onto the boat, glide away from the dock, and you’re suddenly face-to-face with alligators, ibis, herons, and turtles. In the fall and winter, curious manatees follow the boats—this is a safe haven for all of the wildlife here, and they seem to know it.