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Visit Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunnellon, Florida

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Crystal Clear Waters at Rainbow Springs

Crystal Clear Waters at Rainbow Springs

Rainbow Springs State Park

Imagine yourself basking in the sun as you float down the crystal clear waters of Rainbow Springs.


On a hot and humid Florida morning, afternoon or evening, there is nothing more tranquil than feeling cool water brushing against your skin. With a temperature staying at a constant 72 degrees, Rainbow Springs do just that.


This scenic sanctuary offers a history as extraordinary as its appearance. Archaeological evidence shows people have been using Rainbow Springs for almost ten thousand years. They depended on it for clean water, food and the making of tools. Mammoth fossils have even been found. Can you imagine what is still waiting to be discovered?



The Story of Rainbow Springs

From Water Source to State Park

The first magnitude artesian spring was known as Blue Spring until it opened in the 1930's as tourist attraction. The owner renamed it because he wanted a name the name to stand out from the crowd.


In the 1960's the park became a popular private attraction offering submarine tours. In these boats, passengers sat below the water level for a beautiful aquatic view. The attraction also offered tropical gardens, waterfalls, a monorail, an aviary, zoo and even a rodeo for visitors to enjoy until its closure in 1974.

Rainbow Springs Glass Bottom Boat Tours of the Past

Rainbow Springs Glass Bottom Boat Tours of the Past

In 1972, the park was designated as a Registered Natural Landmark. The Rainbow River became an Aquatic Preserve in 1986 and in 1987 it was listed as an Outstanding Florida Waterway.


The springs remained privately owned until 1990 when the State of Florida purchased the land. Some remnants of the past are still visible to this day. Rainbow Springs is what it is today due to the numerous volunteers who were dedicated to preserving the land.


Rainbow Springs Butterfly

Rainbow Springs Butterfly

Things To Do

While Visiting Rainbow Springs and Rainbow River


While visiting the springs, you can enjoy swimming, canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling or even camping.


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You can go tubing down Rainbow River which is formed by the springs. Depending on where you leave from, your trip down the river will be either 2 or 4 hours. The State Park tubing entrance is 2 hours long and provides the best views. If you leave from K.P. Hole Park, following the entire river is 4 hour journey. On most days, you can see all way to the bottom of the crystal clear waters.


The cooler 72 degree temperature of the water isn't for everyone. The good news is, you can enjoy Rainbow Springs without setting foot in the chilly waters! My family and I like bringing a picnic lunch and sitting in one of the pavilions. They are equipped with tables and grills which are perfect for entertaining.

Refreshing waterfall over rocks

Refreshing waterfall over rocks

Afterwards, take a long stroll to enjoy (man-made) waterfalls, plants and animals. The waterfalls are a reminder of the past tourist attraction days. You will also see ruins of a small zoo and horse rodeo. There is a butterfly garden to enjoy while choosing which one of the three different nature trails to take. The scenery is top notch!


I always make sure to have my camera ready when visiting the park; with so much beauty around you, you'll want to snap a few pictures to keep the memories fresh! There are many water proof options on the market now. It's an investment you won't regret.


Watch out for all forms of Florida wildlife. Although rare, alligators may be seen in the Rainbow River. There have been no known attacks within Rainbow River or Rainbow Springs. Alligators are generally afraid of people and will most likely flee. It is always best to do your homework and educate yourself on how to handle wildlife encounters. Remember, we are the ones invading their space.



Panoramic View

Panoramic View

Always Choose a Great Sunscreen to Shield Against the Sun's Powerful Rays

Rainbow Springs Flower

Rainbow Springs Flower

Park Hours

Rainbow Springs State Park opens at 8 a.m. and closes at sunset. The park is open for 365 days of fun.


If visiting on the weekend, it's best to arrive early in the day. If the parking lots are filled, the park will be closed to new guests.


The Tubing entrance at Rainbow River is only open for 5 months from April through September; closing everyday at 5:00 PM. All tubers must be inside the park by 2:15 p.m.


Since hours can change at anytime, always check the park website or call before starting your adventure.


View of the Main Headsprings and Swimming Area

Bring Your Favorite Towel

High Flowing waterfall at a distance

High Flowing waterfall at a distance

Fees

Entry

To enter Rainbow Springs State Park, the fee is $2.00 for each person. Kids under 6 years old are free to enter the park.

Tubing

To enter the tubing area of The Rainbow River, the fee is $5.00 per vehicle for up to 8 passengers.

In addition to the entrance fee, it's $10.60 per person which includes taxes, tube use and tram service.

You are permitted to bring your own tube or use one from the park. Should you decide to use your own tube, it must be under 60" in any dimension.

Camping

Is $30.00 per night (plus tax). This fee Includes the use of water, sewer and electricity.


As with hours, fees are subject to change at anytime. Double check the official website before leaving your house.

For more information regarding fees: Florida State Parks | Rainbow Springs


Tubing Down Rainbow River

Float down the river for a relaxing experience

Float down the river for a relaxing experience

Small Rainbow Springs Waterfall

One of several beautiful sites to see.

One of several beautiful sites to see.

Don't Forget Your Camera

Plan Your Trip

Watch out for these Guys

Scary banana spiders are seen all over the place

Scary banana spiders are seen all over the place

Watch out for these Golden Silk Orb Weavers or banana spiders as some say. They can be found throughout the park. Since these spiders are rather large, they are easy to spot. They are known for spinning elaborate webs made of golden silk, hence their name. They thrive in warmer climates and we all know FL is the sunshine state!


Remember, Nature is All Around You

Take a few moments to observe the beauty around you

Take a few moments to observe the beauty around you

© 2013 Melissa

What do you think of Rainbow Springs State Park?

Sarrri on April 01, 2016:

Another beautiful place in the states. Can not wait to visit with usa in fla

astevn816 lm on May 03, 2014:

I've been there many times, beautiful place

Melissa (author) from Florida on September 20, 2013:

@anonymous: There are so many nice places to visit and this is one of them! I really hope you are able to plan a trip!

anonymous on September 19, 2013:

I live in North Florida and still don't know all the secrets of this awesome state. Beautiful park and worth a visit.

Melissa (author) from Florida on September 17, 2013:

@SarLew: I appreciate your visit!

SarLew on September 15, 2013:

I loved looking at all of your pretty pics. Thank you for sharing.

Melissa (author) from Florida on August 30, 2013:

@TanoCalvenoa: Thank you! I'm sure you would love visiting here!

Melissa (author) from Florida on August 30, 2013:

@Pat Goltz: Well, I'm happy I was able to give you a virtual tour! :)

Melissa (author) from Florida on August 30, 2013:

@KateFeredayEshete: Those spiders are all over the place! They are a bt scary. I will have to take a look at your lens :)

Kate Fereday Eshete from United Kingdom on August 26, 2013:

Florida is a beautiful state, and Rainbow Springs looks idyllic. What an impressive spider. I put a big scary spider image on my lens about the Ethiopian Highlands. Thanks for an informative lens. If I ever return to visit Florida and I'm in the area, I'll go and see this state park.

Pat Goltz on August 25, 2013:

I'd love to visit! Too far to walk, though.

TanoCalvenoa on August 22, 2013:

That's an awesome spider. I love this entire lens, and I hope I get to go to Florida someday!

Melissa (author) from Florida on August 19, 2013:

@kingandy: Thanks, I took all of the photos... The place is so pretty, it's easy to capture the beauty!

kingandy on August 15, 2013:

Did you take all the pictures in the lens yourself? It sure looks amazing...

josietook on August 14, 2013:

Looks really beautiful!!

Melissa (author) from Florida on August 08, 2013:

@getmoreinfo: Thank you!

Melissa (author) from Florida on August 04, 2013:

@anonymous: I'm def not into seeing the spiders either, at least they are big enough to see before running into them!

Melissa (author) from Florida on August 04, 2013:

@kerrylea: Thanks for stopping by!

Melissa (author) from Florida on August 04, 2013:

@jetcharterquote: You would love it, I'm sure!

Melissa (author) from Florida on August 04, 2013:

@lesliesinclair: It really is pretty :)

Melissa (author) from Florida on August 04, 2013:

@getmoreinfo: Thank you :)

kerrylea on August 03, 2013:

The swimming area looks beautiful and I can it is protected with netting just in case of alligators.

anonymous on July 30, 2013:

Pretty cool! Not diggin the spider though. lol I used to live in Florida and I remember all of the lovely wildlife but I've never visited this place.

observant trave on July 25, 2013:

stunning place with natural beauty, it reminds me of the beauty i have experienced during my kashmir ladakh travel

jetcharterquote on July 25, 2013:

What a cool place. I'll have to visit it on my next trip to Florida.

Melissa (author) from Florida on July 23, 2013:

@SBPI Inc: It's very beautiful, I'm visiting again next weekend! It really is one of Florida's untouched jems. Thank you :)

Melissa (author) from Florida on July 23, 2013:

@getmoreinfo: Thank you for stopping by!

lesliesinclair on July 21, 2013:

I sure like that Submarine Boat - kind of art nouveauish to me. It's a park I'd like to visit.

getmoreinfo on July 21, 2013:

Such a lovely place, thanks for all the beautiful photos of the park.

SBPI Inc on July 20, 2013:

Yes, that is quite a beautiful area. It has been a long time since I was there and is even more beautiful now. Well cared for and lost of things and creatures to see. Correct about the alligators but they mostly stay away when there are a lot of people around. Will have to make a revisit soon. Thanks for your beautiful and informative lens.Jonathan

Melissa (author) from Florida on July 18, 2013:

@savateuse: Thank, I appreciate your comment!

Melissa (author) from Florida on July 18, 2013:

@myspace9: Thank you very much :)

Melissa (author) from Florida on July 18, 2013:

@MikeTraveler: Thank you!

savateuse on July 17, 2013:

Your photos are superb!

myspace9 on July 16, 2013:

Very beautiful lens with beautiful pictures.

MikeTraveler on July 11, 2013:

Great lense!

Melissa (author) from Florida on July 08, 2013:

@lucylucy222: Thank you!

Melissa (author) from Florida on July 08, 2013:

@sukkran trichy: Thank you, I hope you are able to visit soon. You will not regret it! :)

sukkran trichy from Trichy/Tamil Nadu on July 07, 2013:

wow. your beautiful pics tempt me go there at once. a great presentation

lucylucy222 on June 20, 2013:

What a beauitfil place!!

Melissa (author) from Florida on June 20, 2013:

@favored: It really is very beautiful! Thanks for the visit :)

Melissa (author) from Florida on June 20, 2013:

@RennyCross: Thank you very much!

Melissa (author) from Florida on June 20, 2013:

@anonymous: Thank you!

Melissa (author) from Florida on June 20, 2013:

@flycatcherrr: Thank you, flycatcher! Seeing it in person is an amazing experience :)

Melissa (author) from Florida on June 20, 2013:

@DLeighAlexander: It's much prettier in person! Thanks for stopping by :)

DLeighAlexander on June 18, 2013:

Beautiful! Would love to visit sometime.

flycatcherrr on June 17, 2013:

Gorgeous photographs - I can just imagine how beautiful it must be when one is there in real life!

anonymous on June 13, 2013:

nice

RennyCross on June 13, 2013:

Such a beautiful Lens. :)

Fay Favored from USA on June 12, 2013:

It looks like a very peaceful place to visit and have a wonderful picnic by the waterfall.

Melissa (author) from Florida on May 08, 2013:

@tooshay4: Thanks!

Melissa (author) from Florida on May 08, 2013:

@SarLew: Awesome! I'm glad you were able to visit and enjoyed it! :)

SarLew on May 07, 2013:

I'm visiting your lens again to let you know I was able to visit Rainbow Springs!! It really is SO pretty! Thank you for intorducing me to this park.

tooshay4 on May 03, 2013:

Wow. Beautiful park!!!

observant trave on April 28, 2013:

this park is a wonder of nature, beautiful, serene & wild. thanks for crafting this lens.

Melissa (author) from Florida on April 09, 2013:

@captainj88: You will LOVE This park! It really does have a little bit of everything :) Thank you very much for visiting :)

Melissa (author) from Florida on April 09, 2013:

@artbyrodriguez: Thanks, I've seen the flowers in bloom.. It really is a great sight to see! Thanks for visiting :)

Melissa (author) from Florida on April 09, 2013:

@SarLew: It's even prettier in person!

SarLew on April 09, 2013:

Gorgeous park, I'd love to visit there..

Beverly Rodriguez from Albany New York on April 08, 2013:

Love the photos. I am a Snowbird in North Central Florida and am very close to Rainbow Springs State Park. If you can, visit the park in April when all the Azalea bushes are in bloom. It is a spectacular sight.

Leah J. Hileman from East Berlin, PA, USA on April 08, 2013:

Beautiful! I live in SW FL but I have never been up that way. I love State Parks and I love Waterfalls. This is the best of everything, it seems. Thanks for sharing. I love that spider web pic :D

Melissa (author) from Florida on April 05, 2013:

@anonymous: Thank you very much, I hope you are able to see the park soon!

Melissa (author) from Florida on April 05, 2013:

@mailmetoo: Thanks!

Melissa (author) from Florida on April 05, 2013:

@anonymous: Thank you! You will love visiting Rainbow Springs, it's so beautiful. :)

anonymous on April 04, 2013:

Great pics, this is now on my to-do list

mailmetoo on April 04, 2013:

Beautiful Park and pictures!

anonymous on March 31, 2013:

Thank you for such an enjoyable and informative lens! This is now on my list of vacation musts!

Melissa (author) from Florida on March 29, 2013:

@pilothennessy: Thanks, pilothennessy. Tubing down Rainbow river is a great experience, it's amazing how clear the water is!

Melissa (author) from Florida on March 29, 2013:

@exotickitten731: It is really beautiful, hopefully you will be able to visit one day!

Renee Jaco Whitfield from Bogalusa, Louisiana , United States of America on March 22, 2013:

I would definately love to go here someday :)

pilothennessy on March 21, 2013:

I've been to this park a couple of times when I was in Fla. I must say, it's one of the nicest places I've been too while on vacation. We actually rented tubes and took the 4 hour trip down the river, saw a bunch of birds and fish. The water is so clear, I do wish I'd remembered to bring our camera. I guess that gives me an excuse to go again. Thanks for sharing this wonderful place with others.

pilothennessy on March 21, 2013:

I've been to this park a couple of times when I was in Fla. I must say, it's one of the nicest places I've been too while on vacation. We actually rented tubes and took the 4 hour trip down the river, saw a bunch of birds and fish. The water is so clear, I do wish I'd remembered to bring our camera. I guess that gives me an excuse to go again. Thanks for sharing this wonderful place with others.

Melissa (author) from Florida on March 18, 2013:

@milli-kett: Thank you, I know you will have a GREAT time :D

Melissa (author) from Florida on March 18, 2013:

@Diana Wenzel: Me too, I can't wait to visit again, even though I'm less than an hour away! Thanks for the visit :)

milli-kett on March 18, 2013:

Stopping by again because I am looking forward to my trip to FL and Rainbow Springs!!!

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on March 17, 2013:

I would love to be at Rainbow Springs this very minute. Thank you for introducing me to this lovely place.

Melissa (author) from Florida on March 14, 2013:

@toptopbob: Florida is such an amazing state to live in, there is natural beauty everywhere!

toptopbob on March 11, 2013:

Florida sure has some beautful sights

Melissa (author) from Florida on March 05, 2013:

@anonymous: Thank you. I don't think you can ever visit Rainbow Springs too many times :)

anonymous on March 04, 2013:

Your pictures are show the real beauty of Rainbow Springs Park. I've been there a lot of times and you make me want to go again!!

Melissa (author) from Florida on March 03, 2013:

@VspaBotanicals: I can't wait to go back once it warms up, the water is cold enough when it's hot outside. Right now we are experiencing a cold front, I can't even imagine how cold the water is!

Melissa (author) from Florida on March 03, 2013:

@ratetea: There are so many beautiful places all over FL. Rainbow Springs is one of the "hidden" gems within the state. As you go inland you see more hills. One of the reasons I love FL so much is because of all of the different terrains.

ratetea on March 03, 2013:

This place looks beautiful. I have never been to this part of Florida--only Southern Florida. I think Southern Florida gets more attention in terms of the nature attraction because of the Everglades and Biscayne National Park, and its unique (fully) tropical climate, rather than the subtropical climates farther north...but this area looks quite beautiful too. These are quite stunning waterfalls too...Southern Florida is so incredibly flat, it would be neat to see a part of the state that has a little more up-and-down topography.

VspaBotanicals on March 02, 2013:

REally beautiful place.

Melissa (author) from Florida on February 25, 2013:

@DeborahDian: It's one of Florida's hidden gems :)

Deborah Carr from Orange County, California on February 24, 2013:

Rainbow Springs sounds like a wonderful place!

Melissa (author) from Florida on February 24, 2013:

@Elaine Chen: I'm happy I was able to capture the beauty :)

Elaine Chen on February 23, 2013:

I been attracted by those beautiful images here

Melissa (author) from Florida on February 22, 2013:

@ClintCarmel: Great! You will love it, it's one of the best kept secrets here in FL. :)

ClintCarmel on February 22, 2013:

Great Lens! My father, brother, niece and nephew live down in Florida. (I'm in New York.) I am going to suggest we go see Rainbow River Springs the next time I am down there on vacation.

Melissa (author) from Florida on February 22, 2013:

@anonymous: Thank you! It's definitely a must see :)

anonymous on February 22, 2013:

Shared via Pinterest to my "Places I'd Like To Go" board.

Melissa (author) from Florida on February 21, 2013:

@LouisaDembul: Thank you! It is really beautiful :)

LouisaDembul on February 20, 2013:

Rainbow Springs look like a really nice place. Love your photos!

Melissa (author) from Florida on February 19, 2013:

@SarLew: I hope you get the chance, it's so pretty. :)

SarLew on February 19, 2013:

Beautiful pics. I would love to visit this park someday.

Melissa (author) from Florida on February 14, 2013:

@anonymous: Thank you for visiting!

anonymous on February 12, 2013:

Thanks for the virtual tour. Loved the ride! :)

Melissa (author) from Florida on February 11, 2013:

@SmokeybonesJr: Thank you for stopping by!

Melissa (author) from Florida on February 11, 2013:

@Snakesmum: Thank you :)

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