If not, you should know that North Florida has more natural springs of anywhere else on the planet, due to our geography, weather, climate and geology, making a trip to the Emerald Coast the perfect opportunity to check out these beautiful inland sanctuaries, pristinely preserved and surrounded by lush native flora and fauna.
Though there are dozens of springs to choose from, at the Sea Oats Motel in sunny Destin, Florida, we have a strong preference for one, breathtaking spring in particular.
The jewel of the Gulf Coast’s inland diving destinations, Vortex Springs produces 28 million gallons of unbelievably crystal-clear water daily at a year-round temperature of 68 degrees F.Because the spring is constantly replenishing itself, it keeps the water ultra pure, and despite depths of 100 ft in some spots, one can see surprising far down into the winding underwater caverns.
The spring pool and spring run, which eventually forms Blue Creek, which flows over a half-mile before entering the Choctawhatchee River. also provide excellent opportunities for snorkeling, paddling, photography, and other nature studies.
Be sure to check out the huge goldfish, yes… charming, friendly goldfish… that call the springs home on your visit to the park. Other fish at the spring include bluegills, channel catfish, American freshwater eels, gar, redhorse suckers, shadow bass, and exotic species such as koi.
This 480-acre outdoor wonderland offers both recreational and professional dive training opportunities for every age as well as diving classes for every scuba level, including those with special needs. For the diver aficionado and beginner alike, this is a must see when visiting the Gulf Coast.
For the aquatic ones in your family, the spring pool has a swimming area that slopes gently from shallow to deeper water and includes a diving board, two high jumping platforms, a “zip line,” 2 slides, and an old-fashioned rope swing. What’s more awesome than that?
With all this spring talk, now we here at the Sea Oats Motel want to drop what we’re doing to take a dip in the cool, clear waters of Vortex Springs. So this summer, take a break from the ordinary, and come visit the beautiful beaches of the Emerald Coast with a stay at the original beachfront vacation haven in Destin, Florida, the Sea Oats Motel.