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Monday, April 27, 2009

Florida's top spots for family camping

Posted 4/26/09 - Miami Herald
Two of the places mentioned are places next to Springs

Blue Spring State Park, Orange City
Site of the largest spring on the St. Johns River, this area was once inhabited by American Indians, and in 1766, was home to botanist John Bartram. The spring's gin-clear 73-degree water is a haven for swimmers, snorkelers, scuba divers. In winter months, it's a refuge for the West Indian Manatee, which means the spring is closed Nov. 15 through March 1. But visitors can still fish, boat and canoe the St. Johns. Camping, $20. 386-775-3663; http://www.floridastateparks.org/bluespring


Silver River State Park, Ocala
Next door to the Silver Springs and Wild Waters theme parks, home of the famous glass-bottom boat tours. You can spend your first day at this classic Florida tourist attraction and then head out on your own to paddle the Silver River. The state park also has a pioneer cracker village and the Silver River Museum and Environmental Education Center, which is open on weekends and holidays. You can also hike or ride one of the park's many nature trails. Camping, $21. 352-236-2121; http://www.floridastateparks.org/silverriver

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