My name is Christy and welcome to my Ginnie Springs guide! I’m 43 and currently live in Greenville, South Carolina – although I’m originally from Oklahoma. My love of the outdoors began in 2014, shortly after moving from Florida to Upstate South Carolina. My husband took our kids and I to a state park, Jones Gap, and I got hooked. Until that point, I had considered myself to be very much an “indoor girl” and rarely did anything outside.
However, something about the rugged wilderness deeply appealed to me. I started hiking off and on in 2014. My hiking hobby really kicked off in 2020 during the lockdowns. I began exploring new trails every weekend and sharing photos and videos on Instagram, activities I continue to this day.
Camping for Two Nights at Ginnie Springs
My husband and I had the opportunity to leave our two kids (ages 13 and 11) with their grandparents and enjoy a weekend away in Florida. We spent two nights at Ginnie Springs and then another night in Saint Augustine.
Ginnie Springs is a privately owned park and campground near High Springs, with several crystal-clear springs. It’s open year-round and onsite activities include swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, paddling, scuba diving and camping. Certified cave divers can also explore the underwater caves.
We camped for two nights, and enjoyed swimming and tubing. After leaving Ginnie Springs, we spent a night in Saint Augustine and went on a haunted pub crawl. This is a tradition we enjoy when we visit a new city!
Why Ginnie Springs is Such a Cool Place
All in all, Ginnie Springs is a fun and unique destination. It’s very “Florida”. Guests can swim in crystal-clear springs, tube or paddle along the Santa Fe River, camp at one of the park’s campsites and unwind in nature. During the week and off-season, it’s generally peaceful. On the weekends and in the middle of summer, it’s a party site. Alcohol is permitted.
When my husband and I first visited on a weekend several years ago, we were amazed by Ginnie Springs. Some campers set up professional DJ equipment and hosted forest raves where women danced with illuminated hula hoops. There were also hippy drum circles, beer-bong frat parties, TVs, lasers and tricked-out golf carts that cruised through camp. It was a sight!
3 Best Things To Do at Ginnie Springs
1. Camp Overnight at Ginnie Springs
This is a park and campground, so you can visit for the day or camp overnight. To truly experience Ginnie Springs, I recommend spending the night. The campground is huge, and guests can choose to be in the midst of the action or away from it all. There are river sites, spring sites, wood sites and more. There are also bathhouses with showers and toilets.
Despite getting hundreds of campers per day, Ginnie Springs staff told my husband that the campground never fills up. By staying overnight, visitors can witness the nightlife described above and swim in illuminated springs.
2. Go Swimming in the Springs
Ginnie Springs is home to three to four breathtaking, crystal-clear springs that visitors can swim and snorkel in. The water is mesmerizing shades of blue and green, and is 72 degrees. The park offers floats and equipment for rent, or visitors can bring their own. Entrances to the underwater caves are also visible from the surface, therefore swimmers can watch divers enter or explore the edge of the cave themselves. But I found that a little creepy!
3. Tube Down the River
In addition to swimming and snorkeling, visitors can tube along the Santa Fe River. It’s a relaxing run that takes an hour. People often assume alligators will be a problem, but we never saw one or heard about them.
My Favorite Activity at Ginnie Springs
The main activity I enjoyed at Ginnie Springs was swimming and floating. It’s such a cool experience because the water is so vibrant and clear. There are three to four springs on site, so I recommend visitors explore them all. At night, the park illuminates the main springs and I fondly remember swimming in the spring under the stars with my husband.
Need to Know Before You Go
- Go Camping at Ginnie Springs: I recommend people camp at Ginnie Springs as it isn’t near anything. High Springs is the closest town, so people could stay there but I don’t know of any accommodation to recommend.
- Drive to Ginnie Springs: The best, and likely only, way to reach Ginnie Springs is to drive. The park is in a rural area and there aren’t any towns nearby. Renting a car or joining a tour are the only options for tourists.
- Visit During the Week and/or in the Off-Season: If you visit during the weekend or during the summer, the park and campground will get crowded. Because alcohol is permitted, visitors may get a bit boisterous. If you are camping with children or want a quieter experience, I highly recommend visiting during the week and/or in the off-season.
- Shop at the General Store for Food and Gear: There is a general store onsite with just about everything a visitor could want including food, snacks, souvenirs, camping supplies, equipment rentals and more.