Florida is a beautiful state known for beaches, amusement parks, and great weather. However, some of the most interesting attractions are its fascinating natural features. What many people may not know is that the Sunshine State has a significant number of both underwater and above-ground caves. Find your next adventure on this list of the coolest caves in Florida!
Exploring the Uniqueness of Florida Cities
After you’ve gotten your fill of caves in Florida, venture into its cities, and go on an immersive scavenger hunt. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, our fun scavenger hunts, bar crawls, ghost tours, and enchanting date nights are sure to create unforgettable memories. Our hunts are a combination of trivia, photo and video challenges, and friendly competition with other teams. Maybe your crew will take the top spot on the city leaderboard! We have tours in small towns and big cities alike, so peruse the whole list, and add a few to your Florida itinerary!
12 Fascinating Caverns and Caves in Florida
Florida is home to some magnificent caves! A considerable number are underwater caverns that formed through the actions of springs and undersea rivers. In order to tour most of this state’s caves, you will need a scuba diving certification for obvious reasons. But for now, let’s dive in (scuba pun totally intended) and explore the best caves in Florida.
1. Florida Caverns State Park, Marianna
Florida Caverns State Park stands out as the sole dry cave that offers guided tours. The cave tour lasts approximately 45 minutes, but it’s important to note that it involves some physical effort. The cave is dimly lit and can be slippery. Also, you’ll have to stoop under several low-hanging rock formations and descend approximately 50 stairs.
Inside the cavern, you’ll be amazed by the breathtaking rock formations, such as limestone stalagmites, stalactites, flowstones, soda straws, and draperies. The tour moves at a comfortable pace through dozens of chambers. During the tour, you may even meet some cave-dwelling friends, like bats, mice, and salamanders.
A popular destination, the park surrounding the caverns offers a wide array of recreational activities. As such, you can enjoy picnicking, camping, hiking, fishing, and even horseback riding. Additionally, there’s a nine-hole golf course for those who love to hit the ball around.
2. Blue Grotto, Williston
The Williston area of Florida is renowned for its abundant freshwater springs. There are numerous clear water caverns in the region, too, but the Blue Grotto is the largest and most notable. Blue Grotto is a massive sinkhole filled with crystal-clear water. Not surprisingly, it’s a prime destination for scuba divers.
At Blue Grotto, there are two main areas for divers to explore. First, there’s the Cavern, where divers can venture down to depths of up to 100 feet. The second area is the Blue Grotto Cave, accessible only to certified cave divers. The entire site is dedicated to scuba diving, and any swimmers or snorkelers must be accompanied by certified divers. Blue Grotto offers a unique experience with its permanent guidelines, a submerged air bell, underwater lights, and other amenities. Therefore, it’s a phenomenal dive site and a must-visit location for anyone passionate about underwater exploration.
3. Devil’s Den, Williston
Also located in Williston, Devil’s Den is another extraordinary underwater cavern. It was formed when the roof of an underground river collapsed, forming a window that exposed the river to the open air. Devil’s Den is privately owned and serves as a hub for recreational activities, particularly scuba diving and scuba training. One of the unique features of this cave is that its water comes from underground sources. As such, it maintains a constant temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit. During chilly weather, steam rises from the water’s surface, which led early visitors to liken it to a chimney from the depths of Hell, hence its memorable name.
Guided visits to Devil’s Den are available for scuba divers and snorkelers. However, the cave is not open to the public for general swimming. This exclusive access ensures the preservation of this remarkable natural gem for future generations of divers and enthusiasts to appreciate.
4. Ginnie Springs, High Springs
Ginnie Springs is a privately owned park situated along the scenic Santa Fe River, near the town of High Springs. It boasts some of the clearest fresh water in the entire state of Florida. The water here also maintains a steady temperature of 72 degrees, making it ideal for kicking the summer heat.
There are a few caverns to explore in Ginnie Springs. The Devil’s Spring System is a series of three cavern dives, one as deep as 50 feet with exceptional visibility. From the bottom of the cavern, you can easily distinguish leaves on the trees above. You must be a certified cave diver to explore Devil’s Eye, Devil’s Ear, and Little Devil.
The Ginnie Spring Ballroom is a bowl-shaped depression connected by a 150-foot run to the Sante Fe River. It’s 100 feet across and 15 feet deep. Then, at the base of the basin, you’ll enter Ginnie Cavern, one of the only caverns safe for non-cave certified divers.
Aside from cavern diving, swimming, snorkeling, canoeing, kayaking, and tubing are available in the park. If you don’t have your equipment, worry not! Ginnie Springs has got you covered. They offer rentals of canoes, kayaks, snorkels, masks, and other gear to enhance your adventure and help you make the most of your visit to the springs.
You can enjoy its natural beauty and crystal-clear waters year-round. The park offers various camping options, including primitive and electric campsites, ensuring a comfortable stay for those who wish to extend their experience. Also, there are well-maintained picnic areas to enjoy outdoor meals amidst the picturesque surroundings.
5. Warren Cave
Warren Cave, found in Alachua County, is a unique dry cave. In fact, it holds the record as the longest air-filled cave in the entire state of Florida, boasting more than four miles of explored passages. Located near the San Falasco Hammock Preserve State Park, the cave’s entrance is accessed through the Warren Cave Nature Preserve.
This remarkable cave offers adventurous explorers a thrilling experience, as it’s completely undeveloped. Unlike some other caves, Warren Cave lacks walkways, handrails, or any conveniences to ease exploration. Long, winding passages characterize the cave, and there is one particularly challenging and narrow section known as the Red Streak. Due to its rugged nature, Warren Cave is best suited for visitors with prior experience in caving.
For those seeking an exhilarating and raw cave adventure, Warren Cave presents an opportunity to delve into the depths of a fascinating and untouched underground world. The cave is gated, and access is granted in advance by contacting Preserve Management Team at [email protected].
After visiting Warren Cave, weave your way through the vibrant heart of nearby Gainesville on our “Gainesville Scavenger Hunt: Gator Galore Gainesville Quest.”
6. Madison Blue Spring
The Madison Blue Spring is tucked away in the center of a vibrant and lush forest between the cities of Madison and Live Oak. Nestled within a state park that shares its name, Madison Blue Spring is a remarkable first-magnitude spring, boasting crystal-clear waters that form a natural pool stretching 82 feet wide and plunging to depths of 25 feet.
What makes Madison Blue Spring even more captivating is its stunning underwater cave passages. It boasts one of the largest cave systems in the region and draws certified cave divers from all over the world. However, you must present your cave/cavern certification to rangers before entry. Also, no solo diving is permitted. As you swim in the spring’s pristine waters, you’ll be mesmerized by the enchanting spring bubbles that gently float up from the limestone basin.
The main entrance has a guideline from the start. Farther into the cave, you can enter via Martz Sink. It has stairs but is a more difficult entry. Once you’ve explored the Godzilla room, take the gnarly Mount Offshoot through Rocky Horror Tunnel to a separate chamber known as the Courtyard. This is a fairly advanced dive, and you will need Trimix and stage bottles.
Afterward, immerse yourself in the charming town of Live Oaks on our “Live Oak Scavenger Hunt: Downtown Live Oak Loot-n-Laugh,” and learn about its cool history and hidden gems.
7. Weeki Wachee Springs
Weeki Wachee Springs is a privately owned amusement park famous for its underwater amphitheater and live mermaid shows. However, upon special requests, divers can skim past the ethereal merfolk on a diving adventure, exploring the underwater limestone caverns. Mount Doom Cave’s main cavern sits at a whopping 407 feet below ground and is the deepest cave in Florida. However, for now, it is only available for research teams, as it is still being mapped.
In order to make this dive, you must have advanced reservations with the park and travel with a park-approved diving guide service. In between dives, you can enjoy a mermaid show or take a few rides on the water slides!
8. Cherokee Sink, Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park
Cherokee Springs is a dive site in the Florida panhandle, a great day trip from Tallahassee. The region has one of the deepest and most extensive freshwater springs in the world. This natural wonder is thoughtfully preserved as part of the beautiful Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park.
Open water divers are free to dive at Cherokee Sink. Emerald Sink and Clearcut Sink require a caving certification. Hop in the beautiful jade green pool surrounded by foliage. Then, drop through schools of minnow and brim before hitting the murky depths. The sink falls to a depth of 80 feet, and visibility is very limited. Actually, all of the sinks have fairly low visibility.
The Florida State Park boasts a diverse array of wildlife and is a sanctuary for turtles, alligators, birds, manatees, and deer. You can have the incredible opportunity to witness these fascinating creatures up close through guided riverboat tours offered daily. The sinks are also popular for bluff jumping!
While in the area, check out Leon Sinks Geological Area located within the Apalachicola National Forest on the Woodville Karst Plain. The Leon Sinks area was named after the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon. It boasts around five miles of hiking trails and an array of limestone caves and sinkholes. While divers have mapped the cavern system, which spans 28 miles and connects to Wakulla Springs, these caves are no longer available for diving.
Afterward, escape to the city on our “Tallahassee Scavenger Hunt: The Best of Florida’s Capital,” and visit storied buildings, schools, and great green spaces.
9. Peacock Springs State Park
Covering a vast 733 acres, Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park is a pristine haven named in honor of the renowned explorer, diver, photographer, and cinematographer Wes Skiles. The park boasts two primary springs and six immaculate sinkholes, all in near-perfect condition. Among them, Peacock Springs stands out as it hosts one of the largest underwater cave systems in the world. The allure of exploring over 30,000 feet of underwater passages at the park draws diving enthusiasts from far and wide. However, open-water divers are allowed in Oak Grove Sink only, and solo diving is not permitted.
For those who prefer to stay dry, Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park offers scenic trails, picnicking facilities, and wildlife watching.
10. Morrison Springs
Spanning 161 acres, Morrison Springs County Park is one of the most popular diving sites in NW Florida. Caving is centered around its remarkable 250-foot natural freshwater springs. These springs are the park’s main attraction, drawing numerous visitors who enjoy swimming and diving in crystal-clear waters. For those who don’t want to get wet but still want to savor the breathtaking view, wheelchair-accessible boardwalks offer a perfect vantage point overlooking the springs.
The Spring pool boasts a sandy bottom, and at its deepest point, there are three cavities, with the deepest one reaching an impressive 300 feet. It eventually terminates in a chamber of unknown size. At the bottom of the swim basin, a funnel entrance opens to the cavern area. There is a small cavern at about 35 feet and another larger one at 50 feet. The large cavern extends to 90 feet in some areas. Use extreme caution as fishermen also use the dive area to launch boats. Divers, swimmers, and snorkelers are all welcome to freely explore the wonders of the park.
Morrison Springs State Park is a true natural gem, offering a wealth of recreational opportunities and stunning natural beauty for all to appreciate and cherish. Whether you’re an avid diver, a casual swimmer, or a nature enthusiast seeking a serene escape, this park promises an unforgettable experience immersed in the wonders of freshwater springs and the great outdoors.
11. Ichetucknee Springs State Park
For those seeking thrilling outdoor adventures or a peaceful day in nature, Ichetucknee Springs State Park is an exquisite destination. Encompassing a vast 2,669 acres of land, this park serves as a sanctuary for diverse wildlife, including softshell turtles, otters, gar, wood ducks, and wild turkeys. However, the park’s main allure lies in its eight clear and mesmerizing springs.
Blue Hole Spring, also referred to as Jug Spring among cave divers, is a remarkable natural wonder located within the park. One of the most fascinating aspects of Blue Hole is its constant temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year, making it an ideal destination for year-round exploration.
Adventurous divers have the unique opportunity to glimpse a fascinating cave system that begins 40 feet below the water’s surface. This intricate network of caves stretches over almost 600 feet of passageways of various sizes full of flora, fauna, and fossils. You might even meet some manatee friends! The hike to Blue Hole Springs is approximately 1/2 mile, so you may want to bring a cart for your gear. You must be cavern certified to dive here, and there is no diving allowed in any of the other springs or rivers in the park.
12. Manatee Springs
Lastly, we have Manatee Springs State Park. It’s set in an enchanting cypress forest! Immerse yourself, and traverse the 800-foot boardwalk that leads you to a realm of ethereal manatees. This park, a National Natural Landmark, boasts a magnificent first-magnitude spring, one of the 33 in the state, and is renowned for being home to these gentle giants.
After you catch a glimpse from above, hop on into Manatee Springs. The springs harbor an extensive series of caves. With over five miles of known routes, the cave tunnels create a seemingly endless maze of passages that captivate explorers with every twist and turn. Local cave divers, fueled by their passion for discovery, regularly uncover new information and paths within this mysterious underground wonderland. Open water divers are allowed in Manatee Springs and Catfish Hole. However, Friendman Sink requires full cave certification.
The Sunshine State is obviously a fantastic summer vacation destination, and its array of amazing caves only adds to the lure. Once you become proficient in diving, we highly recommend delving into the wonders of Florida caves. Exploring these passageways can be a truly enriching and thrilling experience, so if you’ve got the certifications, add a few of these amazing caves in Florida to your next trip. Happy caving!
For more epic cave explorations, check out our guide to “Exploring the Largest Caves in the World.”
But if diving isn’t your thing, don’t worry. Several Southern states have incredible caves to explore. Check out the caverns that Tennessee has to offer!
Frequently Asked Questions
Warren Cave in Alachua County is the longest known dry cave in Florida with more than four miles of mapped passage. However, this cave is undeveloped, some come prepared!
Mount Doom cave in Weeki Wachee Springs is the deepest in Florida at 124 m/407 ft. While you can’t currently dive Mount Doom, you can explore the other springs and the amusement park.