Florida is home to over 700 freshwater springs, each with a unique story. Vortex Springs is no different. Vortex Spring Adventures, Florida created by Doc and Ruth Dockery has become one of the premier and largest diving facilities in the state of Florida. But, this is not the only thing they created. Doc and Ruth designed the diver down flag now used internationally for diver safety. Since 1972 Vortex Spring Adventures has been recognized as one of the best and safest diving destinations in the U.S. Trust us, diving is just one of the many experiences offered at Vortex Spring Adventures. So, grab the family and a swimsuit and enjoy your time at the home of the “Diver Down” flag.
Vortex Spring produces 32 million gallons of 68-degree crystal clear water daily that flows out to form a beautiful blue creek perfect for your next Instagram post. There are numerous fish swimming along the sandy spring bottom and caverns accessible 59 feet below the surface. So, there is no shortage of underwater adventure. But, be careful. Interestingly, the Vortex Spring Caves are no stranger to controversy. On August 18th, 2010 Ben McDaniel, a 30-year-old scuba diver vanished 115 feet underwater in the cave at Vortex Springs. Shockingly, he has never been found. Alright, enough drama. But, swim responsibly.
Vortex Spring Adventures Springs is located in Ponce de Leon Florida and is a great day trip from the white sandy beaches of northwest Florida. The spring is an approximately 1-hour drive from Destin/Fort Walton Beach, 1 hour from Panama City Beach, and 1.5 hours from Pensacola. You can easily get to the beautiful county park by putting the address into your GPS. And, while you are there be sure to visit nearby Morrison Springs and Ponce de Leon Springs!
1517 Vortex Spring Ln.
Ponce De Leon, FL 32455
Monday – Thursday 8:00 A.M. – 7:00 P.M.
Friday & Saturday 7:00 A.M. – 8:00 P.M.
Sunday 7:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M.
Monday – Thursday 8:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Friday & Saturday 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
Sunday 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
Fees : Adults- $10, Ages 4-8- $8, Ages 3 and under- Free, Dive pass $22-25 dive pass. However, a 10% discount is offered to Military and First Responders.
Vortex Spring Adventures has beautiful campgrounds, lodging facilities, picnic pavilions with grills, a full-service dive shop, a swim shop, a bathhouse, a dump station, and even WiFi.
Don’t worry if you forgot to pack or bring your gear because Vortex Springs has rentals for anything you may need from diving equipment to canoes, kayaks, tubes, or paddleboard rentals.
The water temperature at Vortex Springs stays 68 degrees year-round. Beware,it is quite chilly but refreshing!
Best Things to Do at Vortex Spring Adventures
Vortex Springs is Florida’s premier inland dive resort. Vortex offers crystal clear visibility and 363 days a year of diving. Unsurprisingly, Vortex has been recognized as “the Mecca of dive training.” And, offers a diving class for every level of SCUBA training. If you are already certified, prepare for a top-ranked dive as you explore an extensive cavern system and a sunken 28 ft sailboat. Vortex is weed-free with abundant wildlife throughout the spring.
Vortex Spring Adventures has a full-service dive-shop with rentals. You can get rent a full SCUBA package for an affordable $60 daily. Or, feel free to bring your own gear.
Waterpark and Swimming Hole
Downstream from the scuba diving is the spring pool and swimming area that is perfect for your next family adventure. With two high jumping platforms, a diving board, zip line, multiple water slides, and a rope swing there is no shortage of exhilarating activities. If you want to take the more lazy/relaxing approach to sit back, and enjoy a tube ride down the spring run.
Canoe, Kayak, or Paddle board
Feel free to paddle all along the spring run. But, this may get crowded in the summer. Some folks will walk to nearby Otter or Blue Creek to launch. Regardless, it is sure to be a scenic
Go on a Hike
Vortex Springs Adventure Park is also home to nature trails that loop through the Otter Creek flood plain between the campground and Otter Creek Lodge. So, lace up your hiking shoes and explore some trails while you dry off.
Tucked into the pine forest are numerous primitive camping sites. But, they do have some accommodation such as a grill and a picnic table. Tent sites cost 31$ a night and are occupied on a first-come, first-served basis. However, no reservation is required.
Water and Electric Sites
If primitive camping is not your thing don’t worry at Vortex Spring Adventures there are 40 water and electric campsites located behind the dive shop. Water and electric sites are $37 a night. Reservations are recommended. However, they can be conveniently made here!
If tent or RV camping is not your thing. Relax, Vortex Spring Adventures offers multiple lodges and three cabins for rent. Pricing is dependent on which accommodation is chosen. So, book your lodge here!
Vortex Spring Adventures: Home of The “Diver Down” Flag is a Florida gem that must be visited on your trip to Destin or the Emerald Coast. Although, if you get the opportunity to spend more time in the area check out: Morrison Springs, Ponce De Leon Springs, and Alys Beach. Trust us, you will want as much time as you can get!