Florida is known for beautiful white sand beaches, but there is much more the Sunshine State has to offer. If you’re ever in the mood to get outdoors and feel like you’re trekking through the forest, Florida has many different caves that will give you a unique experience you’ll want to tell everyone about. Check out these eight different places where you can go cave exploring and jump over to the wild side!
Trail 22, Lecanto, FL 34461 | Open: All Year
Only an hour and a half away from Tampa is the stunning Dames Cave. It’s one of the oldest caves in Florida and can be reached through a short and comfortable hike of about 1.2 miles. There, you will find the cave opening, which was created after an ancient roof collapse. The opening connects to a land bridge which daring people can walk across. Parking is free because there are no actual designated parking spots, but you will find plenty of cars there. Head on over and take in all the sights!
Co Rd 491, Lecanto, FL 34461 | Open: All Year
If you want to knock two caves out in one day, Peace Cave is only a short walk away from the beautiful Dames Cave. Make sure to bring a flashlight so you are able to admire this wonderful creation of nature. Unfortunately, some people have vandalized the cave with graffiti, but that does not seem to take away from the overall sights. Be open-minded and explore a lesser-known Florida attraction.
5390 NE 180 Ave, Williston, FL 32696 | Open: All Year, except Christmas Day
Want to head out a little further away from town? Take a mini road trip two hours away to one of Florida’s most popular caves. The cave features an underground spring that was home to fossils before they were removed and put on display at The University of Florida’s Museum of Natural History. The water is a wonderful 72 degrees year round and boasts crystal clear visibility, so pack your goggles if you want to take a closer look at just how transparent the water is! The spring is limited to those who are snorkeling or scuba diving certified; however, there’s a heated swimming pool that is available to everyone. There are plenty of changing areas with showers and bathrooms, along with many picnic tables and charcoal grills, so you can plan to stay a while!
12087 SW U.S. Highway 27 Fort White FL 32038 | Open: All year
When you step onto the Ichetucknee Springs property, there are endless possibilities for your greatest outdoor adventure desires. Only about two and a half hours from Tampa lies a park with a day’s worth of fun for you and your significant other. When you step onto the property, there are endless possibilities for your greatest outdoor adventure desires. You can do anything from bird watching to kayaking to geo-seeking to scuba diving! Blue Hole Spring has a cave system that lies 40 feet below the surface. Going down into the cavern requires you to be cavern or cave certified, but the effort is well worth it for the experience. Admission is only $6 per vehicle with a limit of eight people, so be sure to carpool!
2564 Wildflower Rd, Tallahassee, FL 32305 | Open: All Year
Just south of Tallahassee lies Leon Sinks Geological Area, where you can find 5 miles of trails filled with deer, turkey, hawks, and sinkholes of many shapes and sizes. You can also find some awesome caverns and tunnels that were formed by natural erosion over the years. The cost is only $3 per car, so it is definitely a cheap way to be out in nature with your significant other.
7300 Ginnie Springs Road, High Springs, FL 32643 | Open: All Year
Drive about two and a half hours north of Tampa and dive into a park filled with activities to last all day! The spring’s most immersive activity is diving into the Devil’s Spring System (not to be confused with Devil’s Den!). The water is so clear that from the bottom, you can see through the water to the trees above through a stained-glass effect created by the river. If diving is not your thing, there is also a lazy river that you can float down at your own pace and anything from kayaks to canoes to stand up paddle boards, all of which are available for rent. Make a whole weekend out of it and stay on their campgrounds to really get to know your significant other.
3852 NE 172 Ct, Williston, FL 32696 | Open: All year
A little less than a two-hour drive north of Tampa allows you to dive the largest clear water cavern in Williston, Florida! You can dive up to a depth of 100 feet in clear water that remains a comfortable 72 degrees all year. The cave is mostly untouched, so it remains relatively close to its natural state. You only have to have an open water diving certification to enjoy this exhilarating dive with nature. After you’re done with your dive, feel free to eat a picnic at any of their picnic pavilions!
180th St, Live Oak, FL 32060 | Open: All Year
A mere three hours away brings you right into a park with two huge springs, six sinkholes, and much more! This park boasts having one of the longest underwater cave systems in the United States, so this is well worth the drive! However, only certified scuba divers are able to explore the almost 33,000 feet of impressive caverns. For those who are not diving, there are plenty of hiking trails, swimming pools, and picnicking spots they can enjoy.The wildlife is abundant so be on the lookout! When you get there, you won’t want to leave!