Blue Spring State Park at 2100 W. French Avenue in Orange City. Take a cruise on the St. Johns River in Blue Spring State Park where the Manatees are plentiful as early as October. Florida Nature Tours offered daily at 10:00 am, 1:00 pm and seasonally at 3:30 pm. Cabins, canoes and kayaks for rent. Walk along a four ½-mile nature trail. We stood on the pier, felt the breeze and watched people paddling in canoes down the river.
The Thursby family, The Golden Age, Manatees and different fish species featured in the many kiosks along the one-third mile boardwalk that chronicles the history of the Blue Spring Park. Louis Thursby built a home in the mid-1850s. The Golden Age referred to steamboats that ferried people on steamships from the Jacksonville Wharf to Blue Springs Landing. Before the expansion of the railroad, the steamship was the only mode of transportation.
Many items for sale at the gift shop that include snacks, coffee mugs, books on the Manatees and postcards. Barbecue on the grill while your children play on the playground.
On-going renovations to the Thursby House; the park ranger doesn’t know when the house will reopen. Check the website for hours and fees.