Summer has been hot this year and it’s time to cool off. We know one of the best ways to recover and refresh: a dip in a freshwater spring! Come along, and jump into one of these five springs less than an hour away from your next Orlando vacation. Wekiwa Springs State Park Photo Credit: Kyle Grammatica Known as the closest spring to your Regal Oaks townhome, Wekiwa Springs State Park is filled with emerald springs, miles of trails, and lush, tropical hammocks. Perfect for observing abundant wildlife, Wekiwa Springs is home to over 192 species of birds making it a sight for bird watchers! Enjoy the water year-round at a cool 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Take a dive and embrace what Wekiwa has to offer! The park opens up at 8 am with a $6.00 parking fee at the entrance. Rock Springs at Kelly Park Photo Credit: FloridaTrippers.com Many people describe Rock Springs as Orlando’s natural lazy river, which is a great description. Surrounded by beautiful Florida Wildlife, cruise down the Rock Springs River on tubes and pool noodles. Kelly park is a 325-acre park with 26 campsites, day-use areas and several miles of hiking trails. If you are a local and have a Kayak we highly recommend the Eco Kayak Tour in Rock Springs. This two-hour tour will take you through the most serene parts of Rock Springs, including a section called “Emerald Cut.” Throughout the tour, you will paddle through calm water, observe many species of wildlife and learn about the Rock Springs. Blue Springs State Park Photo Credit: Florida State Parks Do you want to experience Florida’s gentle sea cows? Blue Springs State Park is home to over 724 manatees and counting after years of protection from 1970 to now. Manatees are some of the most friendly spectacles to witness in the water and these springs have become a safe haven for them. While you can not swim or paddle in the winter months due to manatee season, you still can hike along the spring run or the 4.5 mile Pine Island Trail. Nevertheless, we recommend visiting in the summer when you can witness the manatees and swim along! Please, do not touch the manatees for your safety as well as the manatees. De Leon Springs State Park Photo Credit: FloridaPanHandle.com Over 6,000 years ago, the De Leon Springs State Park was home to the Mayaca Native Americans. Occupying the region for thousands of years, the Mayacans built the oldest canoes known to date in western America. Along with the dense history, the De Leon Springs State Park has a 500 foot-long swimming area with beautiful views of the Spring Garden Run. Including amenities such as a playground, a visitor center and picnic areas – De Leon Springs is perfect for a family day out! Alexander Springs Photo Credit: jacksonvillebeachmoms.com Alexander Springs puts out over 64 gallons of water a day. That makes it one of only 27 first magnitude springs in the United States. The Alexander Springs are so clear you can see ripples playing across the bottom of the sand. Locals consider Alexander Springs to be one of the best spring experiences because of its gentle sloping sand, creating beaches for your kids to play in! Although Alexander Springs can be a little far of a drive from your Regal Oaks home, it is sure worth the drive to experience crystal blue waters. Whether you are visiting a spring for a refreshing dip, or to experience Florida’s diverse wildlife – it is always a great idea to take a dip.