Florida is one of the best places in the world to enjoy the water, whether you’re into swimming and kayaking or just like to be up close and personal with nature. Many of the state’s white springs and hiking trails are full of wildlife and perfect for photographers, often ending with a beautiful boardwalk. We also have many of the most beautiful waterfalls in the United States, if not the whole world.
If you’ve been thinking about visiting Florida, it’s definitely something that I’d recommend. There’s so much to see in Florida that you could spend every day discovering a different sinkhole or meandering along a different boardwalk trail or nature trail, whether you’re visiting Falling Waters State Park, chilling in Lake City or swinging by the Devil’s Millhopper. The sunshine state has a little something for everyone.
In fact, the biggest challenge is probably deciding which waterfall to visit first as there are so many stunning sites available. The good news is that I’ve got you covered.
With so many waterfalls to choose from, you need a Florida native to tell you which of the hotspots to pick out and why it’s the most ideal spot for you to visit. Luckily for you, I fit the bill and today I’ll be sharing just a few of my top picks with you. Here are six of the best waterfalls in Florida.
1. Falling Creek Falls
Located near Camp Branch on the Suwannee River, Falling Creek Falls is one of Florida’s lesser-known waterfalls, which means that if you go there, you can beat the crowds and have a wonderful vacation with just your close friends or family. Located just off the I-10, Falling Creek Falls is interesting because its cola-colored waters are unique to the sunshine state.
True, the falls aren’t quite as massive as some of the others on this list, but its unique waters and limestone backdrop make it one that you won’t want to miss. It’s also a good call for history buffs because the site on the Suwannee River is where the first settlers in the area decided to call home.
2. Big Shoals State Park, White Springs
Located in White Springs in the heart of Hamilton County, this Florida state park offers something a little different to those who are into doing a TLC and chasing waterfalls. Here, you can climb to the top of the bluffs and look down onto the white water rapids of the Suwannee River. While not a traditional waterfall, at Big Shoals you will encounter 80-foot limestone bluffs that tower over the Suwannee River, offering gorgeous views of the park.
This state park is also known for its sheer size, with nearly 28 miles of trails for you to explore and walk along. If you’re feeling brave, you can also consider kayaking or canoeing on the Class III rapids, but be warned that it’s not for the faint-hearted and you should only consider this if you’re a seasoned water-goer.
3. Morikami Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach
Located in Delray Beach, this Florida hotspot is interesting because it’s the only waterfall on this list that’s entirely man-made. That doesn’t make it any less stunning, though. In fact, this is probably my favorite out of all of the waterfalls when I just want to take my camera and shoot a few photos that will make my friends jealous while still immersing myself in nature.
As you can probably tell from the name, the waterfall here is set amongst the backdrop of some stunning Asian style gardens, which are unmatched anywhere else in Florida or even in the wider United States. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that this is the closest you’ll get to visiting Japan without actually visiting Japan, and if you’re into mindfulness and meditation, it’s definitely a no-brainer.
4. Rainbow Springs, Dunnellon
Rainbow Springs State Park is one of those Florida hotspots that’s truly unforgettable. Not only does it have a stunning waterfall, but also it has some of the easiest hiking trails you’ll ever come across. It’s also pretty simple to get to, located near Dunnellon just off US 41. With nearly 1,500 acres of land for you to explore, it’s also home to an incredible headspring that generates as much as 600 million gallons of water every day.
Of course, you can also stop by Dunnellon while you’re there, or if you’d prefer just to go for a little wander, I’d recommend taking the two-mile trail through the stunning scenery towards the Rainbow Springs proper. It’s a popular spot for Dunnellon natives as well as tourists, and while it’s a good idea to take a fully charged cell phone and appropriate footwear, you don’t need to be an expert hiker to walk the trail.
5. The Devil’s Millhopper, Gainesville
The devil didn’t go down to Georgia, he went down to Gainesville. The Devil’s Millhopper is a geological state park in the heart of Gainesville, Florida, and it’s already earned itself an impressive reputation thanks to the tens of thousands of people that flock to visit it every year.
The Devil’s Millhopper is one of the more unique national parks in the United States, and as well as its stunning hiking trails and beautiful flora and fauna, it also has a stunning waterfall for you to enjoy. If you can only visit one of the places on this list, it’s a good idea to make sure that you check out the Devil’s Millhopper in Gainesville.
The Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park is arguably the most stunning national natural landmark in the state, and the fall is one of the most beautiful of all of the Florida waterfalls, even if it’s not the largest waterfall in the state. That honor falls (see what we did there?) to Falling Waters State Park.
6. Falling Waters State Park, Chipley
When you take the name Falling Waters State Park and add the fact that it’s home to the Falling Waters Falls, you start to get a pretty good idea of what you’re dealing with here. Located in Chipley, Falling Waters State Park is home to a 10-foot-deep sinkhole at the end of its sinkhole trail, along with a 73-foot waterfall that pours into it. No one actually knows where the water ends up.
Falling Waters State Park is definitely one to visit if only for its sinkhole, but you’ll also want to check out some of the wildlife while you’re there. There’s no need to visit a butterfly garden when you can see them out in the wild.
Why not check out Chipley proper while you’re at it? Alternatively, explore the sinkhole trail and take a few photos of the local wildlife for your Instagram page. The choice is yours!
Now that you know just a few of the top spots to visit in Florida if you’re looking to see waterfalls, it’s time for you to start planning your visit to the sunshine state. Start looking into Florida state parks and the nearby campsites and nature trails.
The good news is that if you choose to, you can hit up multiple of these locations while heading off on a Florida road trip. You can start out at the panhandle and cruise south through central Florida, checking out the whitewater rapids as you go before stopping somewhere like Bristol or Jacksonville.
And so now it’s up to you to go ahead and make your vacation happen. Just don’t forget to pack a camera, because you’re not going to want to pass up some of the stunning shots you’ll be able to take when you’re up close and personal with the water. Happy travels!