Throughout its history, Silver Springs Florida has been known as a place of unsurpassed beauty, providing its visitors with pure artesian spring waters. It is widely recognized as a hidden treasure in the north of the state, which is frequently missed by travelers. The waters in Silver Springs form headwaters of the Silver River - a part of St Johns River system.
For most visitors Silver Springs is associated with the viewing of underwater creatures, enjoying a jungle cruise, petting alligator and zoo farm and visiting the wildlife park. Regardless of your age and interests, there is plenty to see and to do in Silver Springs, including numerous attractions and rides that will fill you with wonder, make you laugh and provide an insight into the life that was here over 100,000 years ago.
Among those enjoying the widest popularity are Glass Bottom Boats, offering passengers a breathtaking view of underwater life in the Silver River's crystal clear waters. Experienced US Coast Guard licensed captains will take you on exciting river tour of seven main spring formations. One of the springs, known as Fish Reception Hall is home to a great number of fish species, in addition to six different types of turtles, snails, shrimp, crawfish, clams and alligators.
Another popular cruise, Fort King River Cruise takes you through the 10,000-year history of Silver Springs and offers a number of displays and exhibits, including Seminole Indian village, the late 1880s train depot and riverboat dock and the 1830s Fort King Army stockade. Lost River Voyage takes guests back in time to the untouched and untamed Florida as it was thousands of years ago. You'll see riverbanks lined with cypress trees, and heron, turtles, alligators and other wildlife species in their natural habitat.
Available in Silver Springs are many wildlife exhibits such as:
- Big Gator Lagoon, a one-acre habitat that features some of the largest alligators in Florida, most of them reaching 13 feet in length;
- Ross Allen Island offering an extensive collection of native snakes, arachnids, turtles and showcasing info and photographs on the renowned naturalist Ross Allen;
- Panther Prowl, seen as a rare opportunity to photograph the endangered Western cougar;
- Kritter Korral, home to a wide variety of such farm animals as rabbits, turkeys, goats, sheep and donkeys that are extremely popular with younger visitors;
- World of Bears, regarded as the world's largest bear exhibit of the kind, featuring a wide range of rare bear species, including the only brown bears exhibited in Florida and North American black bears.
Rides and activities abound in Silver Springs, the most popular of these being the Lighthouse Ride, Fantastic Fountains Water Show, the Birds of the Rain Forest Show, the Birds of Prey Show, Reptiles of the World Show, Creature Feature, non-poisonous Snake Shows, alligator and crocodile feedings and more. Beautiful botanical gardens of Silver Springs feature nearly 140 varieties of exotic and native plants showcased in flower beds and floral sculptures along the Silver River's banks.
Over the years the gardens have been a popular site for weddings and ceremonies alike!