Saturday, February 20, 2010

De Leon Springs, A Destination

De Leon Springs is an amazing area full of rich history! Native Americans inhabited this area as long as 6,000 years ago, it was visited in the 1500's by Spanish explorers, and in the 1800's De Leon Springs became a very popular tourist destination known for its "Fountain of Youth" the natural sulfur and fresh water spring that gives the town its name. Historical significances include Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, Seminole Indians, Civil War battles, and wildlife enthusiast John Audubon expeditions.

In addition to the history there are also several notable attractions in town.

De Leon Springs State Park is right in downtown and has a swimming area that goes to depths of 30 feet at the boil and remains 72 degrees year round. The spring flows at a rate of 20 million gallons per day! The park also includes picnic areas, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboat rentals. The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Restaurant is also located within the park, allowing tourists and locals to cook pancakes at their table all while enjoying the views of the park.

Lake Woodruff Wildlife Refuge is also located in De Leon Springs. It has almost 22,000 acres of swamp, forest, and wetlands, attracting deer, alligators, otters, and an insane amount of birds. There are miles of walking trails where visitors can walk right next to an assortment of wildlife.

In addition, Spring Garden Ranch, the largest training facility for Standard bred horses in the country is also located in town. The Ranch has a restaurant that is open for breakfast and lunch and overlooks the track. Diners are able to be spectators as world renowned horses train right in front of the restaurant which is enclosed by windows, providing a great view.

De Leon Springs is a quaint, small town located right in the bustling area of Central Florida. It is located 20 miles west of Daytona Beach, known for Bike Week, Biketoberfest, The Daytona 500, and of course the beach itself; an hour north of Orlando, and all of the attractions it has to offer, Disney World, Universal Studios, and Sea World to name a few.

Need a place to stay while in town? Check out Spring Water's Inn!

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