By many accounts (and opinions), Edward C. Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, located just 17 miles south of Tallahassee, is the largest and deepest natural spring in the world. Prehistoric humans thrived there, and for many years, modern man has taken advantage of this natural wonder.
Open daily from 8AM to sundown, the park is open to the public for picnicking, swimming and sunbathing. A $6 fee will get your car into the park (2-8 persons, additional passengers, $2 each). There is a fleet of boats for “jungle” cruises and glass-bottom boats are put into use on days when the visibility in the water exceeds 70 feet ($5-$8, kids and adults). The term “jungle” is appropriate, as Creature From The Black Lagoon and Tarzan’s Secret Treasure were both filmed here. Visitors can see the unspoiled headwaters of the Wakulla River, and in many instances, see manatees, alligators and numerous native and migratory birds.
The big, obvious feature of the Park is the spring and the shallow beach that surrounds it. Kids of all ages can swim or wade in the constant-temperature 70-degree water.
Another feature is the Wakulla Springs Lodge, offering 27 rooms, an excellent first-class dining room, a snack bar and a huge comfortable 1930’s style lobby. Parents should be forewarned that there are no televisions at the lodge, the one exception the one in the lobby. There, almost every evening, there is a showing of Creature From The Black Lagoon, that will entrance viewers of all ages! The lodge was built by Ed Ball in 1935 and has been receiving guests since 1937. Visit the lodge’s website for more information and to make a reservation.
Throughout the year, the park offers many exhibits of wildlife, Florida and Native American history, and lifestyle. Be sure to check out Florida State Parks’ events page for a look at what’s coming up at Wakulla Springs State Park and others in the award-winning Florida State Parks family!