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“Eat, Swim, Play”

De Leon Springs State Park
Ranked #1,144 of 5,135 things to do in Florida
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Swim or tube in the refreshing 72-degree spring-fed pool, Ponce De Leon's fabled Fountain of Youth, just a few steps away from the Griddle House. Walk the nature trail or explore the winding, swamp-edging Wild Persimmon hiking trail. Enjoy pancakes at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Mt. Plymouth
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Eat, Swim, Play”
Reviewed 5 September 2011

Deland is truly unspoiled america, I can see why the Spanish thought this place was a fountain of youth.

Eat: The park is well know locally of having some of the best pancakes around but that depends on who's cooking. Since the griddle is in the middle of the tables that who, is you! In the Old Spanish Sugar Mill resturant you can enjoy all you can eat pancakes for $4 bucks. My todler who is obsessed with cooking had a ball.

Swim: The year round 72 degrees warter is pure heaven in the hot Florida summer. The Spring is surounded but cement walls it has a spill way on the West side that creates a nice little warterfall. While most are swiming and snokeling in the spring pool, De Leon Springs atracts lots of Scuba divers getting there open warter certification. The springs are the perfect dept for this and it looks like great fun.

Play: Kayaks, paddle boats, and Cannoes Oh My!!! The have a geat rental post in the park with really resonable prices to get on the spring run and the rent just about anything you can think of except for bike which is a shame because thier is a lot of great bike trails in the park.

If you are in the area this is a great Natural Florida Destination. Filled with Food and Fun too of my favorite things. Added Note this is a Florida State Park the entrance fees are $6 buck a car load. If you wanna see more check out the video I made last time I was there.


Visited August 2011
Thank Syed K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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122 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Level 6 Contributor
70 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2011

This is absoluetely a have to go to place to visit in Florida.
We have returned to this park anytime we are anywhere near the area.
This state park is in Deland ,Florida,not so far from Daytona.The cost to get in is around $6 a carload, but we hit it lucky and got in on a free day..
This park's center is a huge natural spring that has been converted into a swimming pool, complete with life guards and changeing /bathrooms.The lifeguards do not put up with any kind of horseplay or rough housing at all. You can shower off before getting in the pool or afterwards.
The spring is 3ft. deep at it's shallowest and about 30ft.at it's deepest. The bottom is a coarse sand and the water is very clean, clear, and cold.
The swimming area is roped off at the shallow end, so as long as you are behind the rope,you will be okay.if you're just wanting ro wade or get wet. .I have seen cave divers in the middle of this spring many times, as there is a cave in the center portion of the spring, that they use to certify cave divers or just explore.
The restrooms and bath houses are very clean and there is a concession stand and a restaurant as well. Many families pack a picbnic and spend a whole day here .There are picnic tables and pavillions spread out beneath the beautiful liveioak trees.
You will find people here of all ages and everyone seems to enjoy themselves here. This park has a great family type atmosphere and one place I wou;d definately reccomend to you on your next trip to Florida.
There are a few steps to get into the spring,but they have handrails and the ones near the bath house are easier to use to get into the spring.

Visited July 2011
1 Thank JABU784
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Deltona, Fl
Level 6 Contributor
213 reviews
70 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“Fun to make your own pancakes, but hot, hot, hot!”
Reviewed 13 July 2011

I am a local & this is one of my cheapie Florida must-do's for company. We all piled into the car & paid our $6 admission, which is a deal for 5 of us. The enterance sign warned us that there was a 90 minute wait at the restaurant. Since I have been here before, I knew this wasn't always correct. We always end up having brunch, so I always miss the long waits. Then I just have to deal with more heat that has built up all morning. We were seated immediatly! We ordered pancakes for all & everyone ordered 2 toppings. I think we could have done nicely with half the amount, as there was alot of leftover toppings. The 12 & 13 yr. old boys loved making their own pancakes! You never know at this age what is going to be a hit--lol. There were 3 other adults that have not been here before & they enjoyed the experience also. Since I have been there, I let everyone else make my pancakes & took cooking off that day.
There was plenty of water to keep us hydrated & counter the sweetness of the chocolate chips & syrups. Kids all had soda, which is sold by the can @ $1.25, so no free fill-ups. There is coffee & ice tea on the menu too. I opted for a banana smoothie, which I found too sweet & overpriced for the size. Our waiter checked on us several times & brought more batter & butter when needed.
Since you are sitting at a hot grill the entire time, it is somewhat uncomfortable. I have gone in cooler weather & it still gets hot inside the sugarmill. I may try it on a very cool day this winter & see how it is then.

Visited July 2011
2 Thank redundantecho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Florida
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Don't Miss it~great park, great experience”
Reviewed 4 July 2011

We visit this park a couple of times a year and we drive a couple of hours to get there. The park has a per car entrance fee of $6 per car for 2-8 people. The main attraction is the 3rd magnitude spring which is surrounded by a cement barrier wall with several staircases for entry as well as a roped off shallow area and a jumping platform across the center. The spring is always 72 degrees and the depth ranges from 3-30 feet deep. The surrounding area is a a grassy knoll dotted with mature trees for a nice bit of shade in the afternoon. Several picnic tables and pavillions are located not far from the springhead. There is an interesting visitor's center to learn about the history of the spring. Their is a tourboat which gives tours several times daily. The last time I looked at the price it was $14 per person. Canoes and paddleboats are available for rent on site. If you like tubes you can rent those, too~but there is no "tubing down the river" only in the spring head area. You can bring your own tubes/floats but bring your own airpump with you. The springhead is separated from the river by a unique walkway which essentially doesn't allow anything to come upstream to the swimming area. We last visited 4th of July weekend and were observing a couple of families fishing on the riverside when we got to see a small gator and a river otter. The kids loved that!

Another onsite attraction here is the "Olde Spanish Sugar Mill Restaurant" Its located only about 20 feet from the spring. The exterior are the remains of an old sugar mill from the 1800's. Out back you can learn more about the building and its original use. Inside there is a small gift shop and a griddle house. Each table boasts a griddle at the center of it. The stars here are the all-you-can-eat pancakes which you make yourself on your griddle. The kids look forward to it each visit! We usually order sides of chocolate chips, bananas and blueberries to top them off. There are a couple of other choices on the menu if you'd like to avoid the carbs. This activity is a must if you have children.

The park has a walking trail, playground, horseshoe pit and sand volley ball court. Each year in August they have a festival called "A Day in Florida History" Its a great educational and fun experience for the kids and a reminder to the adults as well. The highlight of the day is a re-enactment of a battle between the Seminoles and Spanish Settlers.

This park has a maximum amount of allowed guests and when it hits capacity you are asked to turn around. That almost happened to us this weekend around 2pm but the ranger let us wait a few minutes and another visitor left so we were able to enter. If you can, then get there early.

We love this park and will continue to visit several times a year!

Visited July 2011
1 Thank clearlyrachel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pitman, NJ
Level 6 Contributor
65 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Great Place to spend the day”
Reviewed 10 May 2011

Took a day trip to De Leon Springs while visiting my parents. The price is $5.00 per car and you can bring in a picnic or buy lunch at the restaurant on site. The landscape is beautiful and natural. There are two parts to the park - a swimming area and a natural lake. The swimming area is circular and has concrete sides. The water is clean and VERY cold which was really refreshing as it was a hot day. The kids really enjoyed swimming out to the middle where the spring wells up. We didn't spend much time on the natural side but you can go on a boat tour and walk on the paths.

Behind the restaurant are ruins of the original attraction - it was informative and interesting. We didn't eat in the restaurant since we only went for a quick trip. This is definitely a great place to plan to spend the day picinicing and swimming - bring a float or noodle b/c it gets deep in parts!

Visited April 2011
Thank TRM1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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