As a native Floridian, I grew up in rural Orlando back in the early 60's. My family then moved to rural Seminole county to a little city called Oviedo. As a child our play time was outdoors climbing trees and playing cowboys and Indian's. Every summer for 2 weeks we went to the Ocala National Forrest state park where my Mother and Father would fish with friends who owned the cabins on 2 lots. We kid's usually about 5 or 6 of us, would explore the trails and wait on them to get back around lunch-time. I would get up around 7 a.m. and eat breakfast and sneak any left over coffee.
It was black and the most awful tasting stuff I had ever drank. I thought "how on earth can my Dad like this stuff". Giggle!
My first trip to Silver Springs State Park was when I was about 10 years old. It was like a fun place to visit. That was in the 1970's. They had a complete Zoo and the glass bottom boat tour. It was like a little paradise to me.
My second trip back to the park was somewhat of a disappointment. Why? Because, the Zoo was no more. The water park was broken down eye sore and the once beautiful drive in was a sign of a big change. The only thing that was still there was the glass bottom boat tour. I can't remember how long the tour was since I was only 10 when I was last there.
But, this tour was 30 minutes or 1 hour 1/2. We picked the 30 minute tour and we got our monies worth. The tour guide was very nice and informed on the park history. He was not a native Floridian but that did not matter. He knew the history and that was good enough for me.
The water was crystal clear and clean. A lot of work goes in to keep it that way. The boats are battery operated so no gas or oil gets in the spring feed water. There is a nice group of shops and the restrooms are kept clean and tidy. The cost to get in is only $3 for parking. The boat tours range in price from $11 per person and up depending on your age and which tour you choose.
If you canoe or paddle board you can have a fun self guided tour down the river for a low fee. Walk the trails around the park and bring your picnic lunch to enjoy in one of the pavilions.
Overall, you'll love this park. It is a fun day trip for couples or the family anytime of year.
Sending You Sunshine - Marsha