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Florida’s Hidden Gems: Exploring the State’s 8 Most Impressive Caves

When you think of Florida, sunny beaches and theme parks might be the first things that come to mind. However, beneath the surface of this picturesque state lies a lesser-known wonder; its cave systems. While the caves in Florida are not as famous as some other states’ caves, the Sunshine State still boasts a collection of unique underground formations.

Today, we are looking closer at eight impressive caves in Florida you’ll want to see on your next visit. Let’s dive in!

How Many Caves Does Florida Have?

The number of caves in Florida is unknown and changing constantly. This is because Florida is geologically made up of many porous rocks, notably limestone and dolomite. The erosion from percolating water and Florida’s many natural springs causes voids and drainage systems throughout the state that give it the sinkholes it’s infamous for. Most of these caves are underwater, but some of them are above ground and accessible without a scuba tank or snorkel gear.

While there are a significant amount of caves in Florida, you can’t safely explore all of them. Still, many state parks offer ways to explore caves safely. 

CAVES in Florida?! 🦇 AMAZING Florida Caverns State Park

What Is the Biggest Cave in Florida?

Florida Caverns State Park in Florida’s Panhandle region is home to the state’s biggest cave system. This network of underground passages showcases stunning formations, including stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstones. It has dry and underwater caves throughout the extensive system. 

Does Florida Have Underwater Caves?

In addition to dry caves in Florida that you can go spelunking in, the Sunshine State is home to many underwater caves that you can explore by boat or swimming. Apart from guided boat tours, it is possible to kayak or canoe through many of these underwater caves. 

The Devil’s Spring System, which includes Devil’s Eye, Devil’s Ear, and Devil Spring, offers scuba-certified divers a unique opportunity to explore the cave depths. Ginnie Springs in this cave system allows only certified cavern or cave divers to enter these waters while carrying dive lights due to their strict “no light” rule. For those not scuba certified, some underwater caves like Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park, allow snorkeling and swimming. 

New to cave exploration? Start with the basics of Spelunking.

8 Caves in Florida You Must Visit

Whether you want to wander on foot or dive in for a swim, there are plenty of unique caves to explore in Florida. We found eight you may want to visit on your next adventure to the Sunshine State. 

Morrison Springs State Park Underwater Cave

Morrison Springs State Park covers 160 acres of land in northwest Florida. This extensive state park is one of the most popular diving spots throughout Florida. The state park has a 250-foot diameter spring pool with three cavities as deep as 300 feet to dive through. The park has an extensive boardwalk system for those who don’t wish to dive. For divers, a diver’s dock is fixed along the boardwalk for easy access to the underground system. You can find two scuba centers along the main path to quickly change into diving gear. 

Florida cave and water system
Head to Florida Caverns State Park to explore its impressive cave system.

Florida Caverns State Park

Florida Caverns State Park is in the Florida Panhandle and is the most extensive cave system in the Sunshine State. Explore the impressive state park cave trails by bike or horse or rent a canoe to explore the water system in the park. Guided cave tours offer visitors the chance to explore the underground system, providing a glimpse into the geological history of the region. Tours for children under two are free, children ages three to twelve are around $8, and from thirteen up are approximately $15 a person.

The day-use portion of the state park is usually open from 8 a.m. to sunset. The park provides helmets and headlamps, but they recommend wearing comfortable shoes and layered clothing. With knowledgeable guides leading the way, this family-friendly attraction offers a unique glimpse into Florida’s geological wonders.

The Blue Grotto

The Blue Grotto is a well-loved diving destination in Williston, Florida. It is a privately owned freshwater spring with an impressive underwater cave system. The water of the Blue Grotto stays consistently 72 degrees year-round, making it a refreshing spot for a swim. It is typically open from 8 a.m. until sunset. Certification is necessary to dive into the Blue Grotto. However, for those who want to learn how to dive, the Blue Grotto offers a half-day instruction course in a pool and finishes with a dive in the Blue Grotto for $199. The price of the training includes all equipment and entry fees. Pre-booking is advisable to secure a diving slot as spots fill up quickly.

Snorkeling in Florida cave
Head below the water to explore some of Florida’s most unique caves.

Warren’s Cave

Sitting in Alachua County, Florida, Warren’s Cave is the longest-known dry cave in Florida. It has more than four miles of mapped passages and visitors know it for its well-preserved stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstone formations. The cave system offers guided tours that delve into its unique history and geological features. While the cave is currently gated, they allow visitation. However, you must sign a waiver for admittance to the property. To visit the cave, interested spelunkers must email the Preserve Management Team to request entrance.

Devil’s Den 

Devil’s Den is an underground river, in which a stone collapse formed over the system. It is in Williston and has an impressive prehistoric spring and cavern for snorkelers and divers. The cave is 54 feet deep and has four underwater passages for divers to explore. One of the passages has preserved remains dating to 7500 B.C. 

Visitors can schedule snorkeling spots in 90-minute increments. They are available by appointment only. Snorkeling fees are roughly $18/person Monday through Thursday and $25/person from Friday to Sunday. Snorkeling equipment can be rented for around $12/person. For divers looking to explore the cave system more deeply, it is about $38/person with full gear rentals usually costing an additional $45/person. 

Pro Tip: Unsure if you should visit Devil’s Den? Let us convince you with these 5 Reasons to Explore Devil’s Den in Florida.

Dames Cave

Nestled within Withlacoochee State Forest, Dames Cave offers an off-the-beaten-path caving adventure. A moderately challenging hike leads to this hidden gem, revealing stunning formations to those willing to explore. The trail is a 1.2-mile, moderately trafficked, out-and-back trail. This is a wild cave, so there are no lights or guided tours. Bringing your reliable light source and wearing sturdy shoes are essential for a safe and enjoyable adventure.

Kid in Florida cave
Your kids will love exploring Florida’s cave systems just as much as a visit to Disney.

Ichetucknee Springs State Park Cave Systems

Ichetucknee Springs State Park is home to the 3.5-mile Ichetucknee River. It has eight major spring systems and a remarkable underwater cave system. These Florida caves starts 40 feet below the surface and has over 600 feet of complex passages. 

Diving through these passages requires cave certification and experience, but the adventure rewards divers with breathtaking rock formations and unique aquatic life. The famous Blue Hole Spring within the park has waters that stay a constant 72 degrees year-round. It’s a fun spot for snorkelers to swim. 

Leon Sinks Geological Area

Leon Sinks Geological Area is just south of Tallahassee. The geological area contains five miles of trails leading to a series of big and small sinkholes. While they’re not traditional caves, the formations in this area offer a glimpse into the karst topography that characterizes the region. This unique landscape forms when a layer of limestone erodes and dissolves by rainwater, causing groundwater to form caverns, holes, sinkholes, and tunnels. Entry to the Leon Sinks Geological Area is about $5/vehicle. 

Florida nature area with cave system
Head below the surface and make memories that will last a lifetime.

When Is the Best Time to Visit Caves in Florida?

Timing your visit to Florida’s caves can significantly impact your experience. The best time to explore these underground wonders is from late fall to early spring. Florida’s summers can be hot and humid, which might make cave exploration less enjoyable due to potentially uncomfortable conditions. Visiting during the cooler months ensures a more pleasant journey into the depths of the state’s caves. 

Staying Safe While Exploring Florida Caves

While cave exploration offers a thrilling adventure, safety should always come first. Before embarking on your journey, ensure you’re well-prepared with proper gear, including helmets and reliable light sources, or any diving gear you may need. Many caves might require guided tours for safety reasons, so it’s wise to check in advance and follow the guidelines experts set. 

Avoid solo exploration of caves in Florida. Instead, bring a spelunking buddy with you. Additionally, inform someone about your plans and expected return time, and always be mindful of your surroundings. Please respect the delicate cave ecosystems and stay cautious throughout your exploration.

Pro Tip: Florida is full of stunning sites, like these 6 Most Beautiful Waterfalls in Florida You Should Visit.

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Go Below the Surface in the Sunshine State

Explore a different side of Florida by venturing beneath its well-known attractions. Whether you’re a spelunker, a diver, or seeking a unique adventure, Florida’s hidden caves provide a remarkable opportunity to discover the state’s geological heritage in an immersive way. It is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Which Florida cave do you want to explore first? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

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Co-Founder, Logistics Queen, Business & Content Manager, and Animal Lover

An Upper Peninsula of Michigan native (aka a Yooper), Caitlin is the organization, big-picture, and content strategy queen of our operation. She keeps everything orderly and on track.

With a background in Business Management, she supports and helps channel Tom’s technical prowess into the helpful content our readers and viewers expect. That’s not to say you won’t find her turning wrenches and talking shop – RV life is a team effort. She keeps the business and the blog moving forward with a variety of topics and resources for our audience.

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She also loves the RV life due to the fact that you can bring your pets along. Sharing information about safely recreating outdoors with your whole family – pets included! – is very important to her. Because of this, Caitlin spearheaded the launch of HypePets in 2023.

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