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“Beautiful State Park With an Interesting History”

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Rainbow Springs State Park
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 January 2012

Rainbow Springs was a highlight of our Florida holiday.
We did not camp there, but did spend an afternoon exploring the springs and the trails of the park. The property was a popular theme park from the 1930s-1970s, until losing favor to newer attractions like Disneyworld (c.1970) and other Orlando locations.

Florida State Parks purchased the land in the '70s and have allowed it to revert to the wild, though there are still relics of its theme park days evident throughout the park. Ruins of a small zoo, rodeo grounds, and man-made waterfalls are interesting footnotes to its former life. There used to be glass bottom boat tours and an aerial tram way, both long gone. However, you can rent canoes and kayaks at a concessionaire inside the park, and cruise the beautifully clear blue-green springs. There's a buoyed-off swimming area for easy access to the year-round 72 degree water. Lots of fish can be spotted by the naked eye, because the water is so amazingly clear. (Note: there are also warning signs about alligators!)

Other hightlights: Beautiful dense tropical forests, and interesting birds. Plus a butterfly garden. The visitor center is well-stocked with park history, books and souvenirs and the staff is helpful and informative.

We really enjoyed Rainbow Springs State Park and will be sure to visit again next time we're in the vicinity.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
    • Location
5  Thank GhiaGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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188 - 194 of 201 reviews

Reviewed 21 November 2011

I saw that many campers thought the camp sites were on top of each other, but I guess I'm used to Florida campgrounds and thought the sites were decently set apart. Very clean grounds. We have a trailer, but there are separate sites for RVs and tents.

Camping sites are waling distance from the river, or you can pull your car over to the ranger station and it is a short 1/4 of a mile walk. Not sure why they don't have parking closer. That is one suggestion I would make.

I saw bunnies running around last night. There are owls, and of course gators. It is about 20 miles to Crystal River to swim with the manatees. A good overall experience.

Room Tip: We had lots of shade on our site. There are two separate camping areas, we were in site #50 which i...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Susan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2011

This campground is like a parking lot cut into slots for RV's. BUT there are some tent friendly spots site 12 and the sites to either side have shade and back on to woods. The "tent" area is in a back corner also backs to woods. Sites are tight and not very private. We had a good site and enjoyed the kayaking on the spring. It is a very beautiful place. The river/spring is long and you can spend the day floating, swimming etc.. However that is all the campground offers no hikes, just the spring. A note to parents bring bikes for the kids, the camp ground is paved and my kids had a blast riding around. I am torn, I would love to see the spring again but not sure about camping experience.

Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
1  Thank ocean68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2011

We take this trip with several families every year. Go thru the state park rather than the county for shorter organized trip. The fee includes a tram to the river and even a short tram ride back. The new company proving the service does a great job. No more lines, so easy. Make sure you arrive early for parking. Have fun!

  • Stayed: August 2011
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6  Thank Tootsie0728
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2011

As other reviews have said, no trees and very sunny campground. Sites are right on top of each other, and it looks like a parking lot with all the RVs lined up. There are a few (6?) tent only sites which were nice with grass and trees. The actual Rainbow Springs park where the spring is is LOVELY, but you have to drive there. Looks like it's out of a movie - rolling hills, beautiful grounds, BLUE, clear gorgeous spring. This is actually one of the prettiest springs we've been to in FL, and we have been to many! You also need to drive to go tubing (about 15 minutes), but we had a great time floating down the clear river for about 2 1/2 hours.

Stayed: September 2010, travelled with friends
1  Thank FamilyCampers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2011

We spent June 3 - 5, 2011; site 39 NO SHADE (a number of sites did not have shade) and it was HOT. If you will be using a tent do not forget the necessary spike nails, the ground is gravel and very hard. Campsites were big and easy to get in and out, best part you can park your car at the campsite. The pool was closed however we floated down the river (2hrs, so be prepared). Everyone at the ranger station were very nice; the company/people running the area to rent floats is another story. They were VERY unorganized! The bathrooms/showers were clean. We would consider staying again.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank polkadts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2011

We spent 2 nights here on Memorial Day Weekend. I will say that some sites are out in the open but many now have at least partial shade. (ours did #41) Lots were very big and easy to get in and out of. Pool was closed but there was a swimming area in the river. Small but it felt wonderful at 72 degrees compared to be 90+ outside. Lots of activity with tubers with it being a 3 day weekend. They have a tram that comes to drop off tubes and you can take the river down about 2 hours and the tram will pick you up and bring you back. Overall, nice stay and even as crowded as it was, it was not noisy at night, at least where we were.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Lindaosm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rainbow Springs State Park

Address: 18185 SW 94th St, Dunnellon, FL
Region: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Dunnellon
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Speciality Lodging in Dunnellon
Number of rooms: 60
Also Known As:
Rainbow Springs State Park Hotel Dunnellon
Rainbow Springs State Park Dunnellon, Florida

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