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Silver Springs, Florida: Silver Springs: Glass Bottom Boats

Florida's first tourist attraction opened in 1878 with a glass pane in a rowboat. Became a more nature-oriented state park in 2013. You can still look through the bottom of your glass-bottom tour boat and see the fish in the clear water. Old boat displayed on land.

Silver Springs State Park

5656 E. Silver Springs Blvd, Silver Springs, FL
Silver Springs Nature Park. I-75 exit 352, then east on Hwy 40 for about nine miles. On the south side, just after the intersection of Baseline and Hwy 40.
Daily 8 am - sunset (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
$2 to enter the park, $11 for a boat ride.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Visitor Tips and News About Silver Springs: Glass Bottom Boats

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Postcard: Doing the Apache.

Vintage Underwater Antics at Silver Springs

Of the many surreal scenes a glass bottom boat passenger might witness at Silver Springs, this 1940s vintage postcard depicts its absolute peak as a tourist attraction. A submerged cafe of healthy teens watch a crusty sea captain sling around a bathing beauty in a dance move called "The Apache."

"The Apache" was an early 20th century swingout step -- which often involved slapping, choking and punching -- inspired by Paris street gangs. Apparently popular enough for the next 50 years so that this Tichnor Brothers postcard needed no further explanation.

Silver Springs is considered one of Florida's first tourist destinations, entrancing touring northerners since shortly after the Civil War. Glass bottom boats were invented here.

[ Team, 01/09/2018]

Silver Springs.

Silver Springs

We came down for the day during Spring Break. The glass-bottom boat tour is great, and still the main draw. If you have your own boat or paddleboard to put in, you'll love it. It appears that they are renovating part of the park for new exhibits, but other than the boat tour and the trails it's pretty much a quiet place to visit. Wild Waters wasn't open yet. I imagine when both are open it's a better time to come because there would be more to do.

[Kat, 04/14/2016]
Silver Springs: Glass Bottom Boats

This was something from our youth. It was fun to visit it again. Definitely worth the $10 admission to ride the glass bottom boat, even though you can't understand a word the man is saying. The state park system took over Silver Springs to save the springs. I hope they can bring it back to its original luster. Stop in and support this fun attraction.

[broekhof, 04/10/2014]
Silver Springs - Sobek the Alligator

Silver Springs is alive and well today. We are residents and buy a year round pass every couple of years. It comes with admission also to Wild Waters, right across the parking lot. We like to go to Silver Springs, watch a few shows and take a couple of boat rides, then walk over to wild waters to cool off. It really is a great deal for those who live in the area, and one of the cheaper attractions for visitors. It is also great for homeschooling parents, because of the wealth of information that can be learned from the different exhibitions, such as the free flying bird show or the reptile shows.

They also have one of the oldest and biggest alligators in captivity, named Sobek. He barely moves and almost looks fake, but we've been there often enough to know that he is indeed, in a different location than the last time.

[Amy, 09/13/2008]
Lewie the Kodiak Bear mauls Silver Springs worker

A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission report absolved Silver Springs of any fault in the May 1st mauling of a worker, by Lewie, a Kodiak bear. Lewie, an inhabitant in the park's "World of Bears" attraction since 1997, grabbed keeper Jessica Metz through two barriers and proceeded to gnaw on her arm....

[05/31/2004] Complete News Story

Nearby Offbeat Places

Molly the Marble DogMolly the Marble Dog, Ocala, FL - 5 mi.
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Concrete MonolithsConcrete Monoliths, Santos, FL - 8 mi.
In the region:
Atheist Monument, Starke, FL - 51 mi.

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