Kelly Park Rock Springs Run - Where to go Tubing in Florida

Florida has one of the largest concentrations of natural springs in the world. In fact, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection says the Sunshine State boasts more than 900 natural springs. About 40 are open to the public and, yes, a tube can make for a great exploration vessel. Explore Florida’s waterways by hopping into a tube to drift alongside your partner. Here are our picks for the best places to go tubing in Florida.

Updated April 2024 by Meghan Roth

Important Tips for Tubing in Florida:

  • Weekends in the summer are the busiest time to go
  • Cars begin lining up as early as 6:00am, especially on holiday weekends
  • The car line can often take 45 minutes or longer to get through
  • Capacity for many parks and springs can be reached by 9am, sometimes earlier
  • Save time by bringing your own tubes or rafts (no more than 6ft)
  • Some parks and springs will post capacity advisories on their website, or via phone
  • Sometimes parks will reopen in the late afternoon

Rock Springs Run at Kelly Park | Apopka

400 E Kelly Park Rd, Apopka, FL 32712
Hours: Summer: 8am-8pm; Winter: 8am-6pm
Park entry: $3-$5 per vehicle (depending on how many people are in the car)

Located right in Seminole County, consider Kelly Park your tubing home-turf! Wekiwa Springs converges with Rock Springs, a crater-edged creek loved for its clear waters. Located at Kelly Park, the headwaters of the 17-mile-long Wekiva River lead to the St. Johns River making this a perfect place to enjoy natural Florida. Rock Springs Run is a brisk 67°F stream adored by tubers and kayakers. Be sure to bring your own float or tube rentals are available at the roadside concession before entering the park (around $7 each). It’s okay to use a pool noodle or a float less than 5 feet in length.

This is the shortest tube run in the area and can easily be enjoyed multiple times throughout your visit. Pack a picnic to enjoy during a break from the water.

You can also launch a canoe or kayak from Kings Landing to twist your way amongst alligators, birds, turtles, otters and rarely seen monkeys. Like Orlando-area theme parks, Kelly Park can get packed, so arrive early before park capacity is met.

Tubing at Kelly Park Rock Springs Run
Kelly Park / Rock Springs Run. Image credit: @travelingdandan via Instagram

Blue Spring State Park | Orange City

2100 W. French Ave, Orange City FL 32763
Hours: 8am – sunset
Park Entry: $6 per vehicle

Effective April 1, 2024: In-water activities are closed while the park stabilizes the shoreline at Blue Spring State Park. This closure includes swimming, snorkeling, tubing, diving, and paddling in the spring run and spring head.

Less than an hour from Orlando, Blue Spring is the largest spring on the St. John's River, spewing 104 million gallons of water every day. The stunning 73°F waterway is famous for its population of manatees, which migrate south during the winter.

Keen locals know to head here in the summer. Outdoor enthusiasts can rent tubes and launch off of a gravel bank. Florida State Parks suggests you “enter the water at the upper entry, swim to the spring boil and float back down to the main swim dock.” The float run is just an eighth of a mile.

You may also want to dive within the circular spring to explore the vertical cave; take a boat cruise on the St. John’s River; and enjoy a plethora of park amenities, such as birding and hiking. The onsite general store and snack stand are helpful to keep the fun fueled. Rest up overnight in a cabin or tent.

Tubing in Florida at Blue Spring State Park
Image credit: Florida State Parks / photo by David Montague

Ichetucknee Springs State Park | Fort White

12087 S.W. U.S. Highway 27, Fort White, FL 32038
Hours: 8am – sunset
Park entry: $6 per car; plus an option for $5.50 tram service or $7.50 shuttle service

Considered the crown jewel of tubing destinations, Ichetucknee Springs State Park is located about 2 1/2 hours northwest of Orlando, just beyond Alachua. Ichetucknee is actually a cluster of nine springs with crystal clear water that collectively gush well over 200 million gallons of brisk water every day. Named as a National Natural Landmark, archaeologists discovered two Indian mounds and a village site on the grounds.

The 72-degree spring-fed water is crystal clear so you can see all the way down to the white sandy bottom. You’ll discover fish, turtles, and more. Ichetucknee Springs is described as a peaceful place where stress simply drifts away. To experience it, bring your own tube or rent one from either the park stands or an outside vendor. Tubing is accessible from the south entrance.

FYI: the park limits the number of daily visitors (so arrive early) and imported items, i.e. potential trash such as food and disposables.

Tubing in Florida at Ichetucknee Springs State Park
Image credit: Florida State Parks

Related: Cave Exploring Right Here in Florida

Rainbow Springs State Park | Dunnellon

19158 S.W. 81st Place Road, Dunnellon FL 34432
Hours: 8am – sunset; Tubing entrance: Memorial Day through Labor Day: 8am to 4pm, seven days a week. The last tram leaves at 4:30pm.
Park entry: $2 per person

Archaeologists believe that people have been using Rainbow Springs, Florida’s fourth largest spring with a pool 250 feet wide, for nearly 10,000 years! For about 30 years starting in the 1930s, the site was a privately-owned family amusement park with gardens, waterfalls, a zoo, and even a rodeo space. Eventually, the land was restored and preserved, earning a National Natural Landmark designation.

Situated about 2 ½ hours northwest of Orlando, visitors are often amazed by this spring’s unusual sand boils, lush aquatic plants, and brilliant white limestone, paired with remaining man-made park elements including waterfalls and azalea gardens.

Those looking to tube should access the tube-specific entrance. It’s about nine miles from the main headsprings entrance. (Tubing is not allowed within the headsprings area of the park.) Once inside, rent a tube ($20) and catch the shuttle service. You’ll then embark on a two-hour leisurely drift. For a longer float, start outside the park at KP Hole.

FYI: Tubing is offered on weekends only from Labor Day through end of September. Tubing is not available October-March.

Getaway Idea: Glamping at Enchanted Oaks Ocala

KP Hole Rainbow River
Image credit: Stephanie Patterson

More parks to go tubing in Florida:

Tubing in Florida at Resort Lazy Rivers

For a tubing in Florida adventure complete with resort amenities, hop in a tube and float down a man-made marvel with an overnight getaway or day use pass to a nearby Orlando resort.

Surrounded by 1,200 acres of wetlands, Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate offers several dining spots, two golf courses, a full-service spa, and two pools with an 850-foot lazy river stocked with tubes. There's even an adults-only pool.

You can purchase a day pass through ResortPass, or book an overnight stay to enjoy all of the resort amenities. Hilton Orlando also offers day passes through ResortPass and has two pools and an 892-foot-long lazy river with waterfalls, fountains, and water cannons. You'll also be granted access to the hotel's epic pools with a spa appointment at Eforea Spa.

For something more exclusive, book an overnight getaway to access the epic waterpark and lazy river at Reunion Resort. Grande Lakes Orlando, home to The Ritz-Carlton Orlando and JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, also boasts a winding lazy river and three unique pools, including an adults-only lap pool at The Spa.

Related: The Best Spas in Orlando for couples

Also Try:

  • Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek
  • Signia by Hilton Bonnet Creek
Lazy river at Hilton Orlando
Image credit: Hilton Orlando

Lazy River Thrill Seekers

Orlando is known as the Theme Park Capital of the World, so why not go tubing while visiting a local theme park.

Volcano Bay

6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819
Hours: 10am-6pm

Volcano Bay boldly erupted several years ago as Universal Orlando Resort’s third theme park installment. The waterpark’s 30 acres embody a “Water is Life. Life is Joy.” philosophy influenced by the carefree attitude of the legendary Waturi islanders of the South Pacific. The energy of these characters flood 18 stellar attractions ─ ranging from daring to serene. Be sure to take a break from the thrills with a slow tube ride down the Kopiko Wai Winding River. Or pick up the pace by tubing through the rapids of TeAwa the Fearless River.

Our guide to Volcano Bay includes tips on how to use the included TapuTapu system to avoid long waits, as well as the best times to dine and drink at the bars.

Daytona Lagoon

601 Earl St, Daytona Beach, FL 32118
Hours: Saturday – Sunday: 11am-10pm

A beach day and/or weekend is likely on your summer bucket list. Our itinerary for Three Perfect Days in Daytona Beach includes playtime at Daytona Lagoon. This place has plenty of entertainment and gaming options. And, yes, its waterpark invites tubers to float in the lazy river.

Feature image credit: @jaylorenzo814