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“Cabins exceed expectations, great for non-campers”

Silver Springs State Park
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: A 5000 acre park in north central Florida.
Reviewed 23 June 2007

First, consider this is a State Park and that it is a cabin. With that expectation in place, the Silver River Cabins clearly exceeded my expectations. Second, he initial approach to the cabin is - "Wow, this place is huge" because of the large screen enclosed wrap-around porch. The cabins are of cracker style appearance, but the interior living is light pine wood paneling giving it more of the "lodge" look. They have large 2 bedrooms, a full kitchen and a large open living space. Actually, my sister rented one next to us, and they had a considerably larger master suite that took up little bit of the porch space, but our master bedroom had double-french doors that opened out onto the enclosed porch. We utilized the porch extensively, especially the large picnic table, as well as the fire pit outside where we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows; there is a cooking grille too. There were a couple of sub-par experiences: 1) even though the bathroom is very large, the type/texture of the floor tile does not lend itself to a feeling "spotlessly clean" in the shower and shower area, I recommend flip-flops during usage. and 2) even though they do have one fully fitted disable accessible cabin, they could still put about 3 runs of railing in the shower/bath area just for good safety for those with marginal steadiness. Our stay included a visit to the museum, which is Excellent - someone is doing quality work there! A trail walk down to the Silver River. And a 1/2 day canoeing trip from the Ocklawaha River into the beautiful Silver River. I have camped here before, mountain bikes and canoe/kayaks are recommended if you do that sort of thing. I would highly recommend the cabins, especially for all age levels and those not interested in the camping experience.

14  Thank FL_Adventure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,228 - 1,232 of 1,303 reviews

Reviewed 29 May 2007

I visited this park a couple of times when I was a child. I remember enjoying it. So finally, after many years, I was able to visit it again recently. It was a Sunday. There was hardly any cars in the parking lot, and they charge $7 to park.. a bit ridiculous I think for this park. Upon entering, I had a coupon I had downloaded from the computer for $8 off the 34.99 admission price. I noticed it was only good for the day before..why they would put something only good for a specific day on their website astounds me. And of course, the elderly man taking the money wouldn't let me use it. So we used my friend's $5 off coupon she got out of a tourist magazine (I believe). Well, be prepared. You may use it for up to 6 people, but you have to pay with the same credit card, or all cash. You can only use it for one "group" entrance, not individually. Onto the park: we immediately went to the first boat ride (Glass bottom boats), since we had only 3 hours. All 3 boats were returning to the dock at that time-but when we got seated on the boat, we waited almost 30 minutes for the ride to begin-they waited til the boat filled up with people-a waste of time for us. The ride was good, interesting, the water is beautiful, the captain did an okay job of explaining things, making the jokes etc. Started raining-asked another elderly person which shop had an umbrella for sale and was told they don't sell them at SS, just ponchos. Off to get a poncho, which I opened-heck, I am not paying for it unless I can see it first. A young woman told me that they do sell umbrellas-so, many of the workers have wrong info. So I bought the umbrella, and another elderly worker glared at me because of the open poncho.. which I switched with another customer, so in the end, there was a returned, closed poncho bag! Onto the next ride-a safari ride thru the wilds! Well, actually, around a dirt road in the semi-woods, fields, whatever. We waited on this too, but then asked to start the ride, said we wanted to see everything before it closed. The guy driving was from Carrollton, MI-very, very nice indeed. We saw the giraffes and bears. Off to the next boat ride. Captains microphone broke during this ride. You see the monkeys on this ride, pretty cool. More of the river, more forests. Some cool fish, especially the gars. We then raced over to the other side of the park, to get onto the last ride-another boat ride. Same spiel by the captain, same jokes. The fort is visible here, and a few other things. We also got to see the alligators and a few birds-like a Cockatoo. We had been informed by EVERYONE that the park closes at 5 PM, but all rides stop at 4:45 PM-yep, that makes sense. We just made it to the last ride a 4:45 PM, and at first did not think the guy was going to take us-but then several other people arrived too, so looks like he had to. That is about all the park has to offer, except a few more animals to view-which we could not because of their wasting our time. We were able to visit 2 shops-if you go, go to the safari ride shop-very friendly people in that one. The park has many elderly people working at it, and I think that is great, but MANY were quite rude and did not have correct information. I was very disappointed in that. There are also a couple of kiddie rides available. The gardens were disappointing for me also. More flowers would be nice. I consider the price much too high for what you get, especially if you do not have a coupon, discount etc.! And make sure if you do have one, it is up to date. But with parking fees, and the entrance fee, I would suggest going somewhere else. It is a quiet park, and easy to get around in, so a couple of positives there.

7  Thank tymetraveler222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2007

The park is fine. There are several trails leading to the river, etc. My problem is with the camping facilities. The campsites are actually long, gravel "turnouts" running parallel to an asphalt road that loops through the campground. More appropriate for RV's and campers but not tents.

7  Thank otownrob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2007

This was my second trip to the park, my first one being in 1985. It was much improved. The park's landscaping is well manicured and lovely. The atmosphere is one of relaxation and taking in the sights and sounds of nature. The boat tour guides were knowledgable and entertaining.
A suggestion might be that more daily entertainment shows be added, (in addition to the concerts.) The "Fantastic Fountain Show" left much to be desired.
I do not recommend Silver Springs Nature Park for teenagers due to the "low-key" atmosphere and lack of excitement. I do recommend the park for adults who seek a relaxing, slow-paced day outdoors.

7  Thank GeorgianOnTheGo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2007

We first went to Silver Springs to celebrate a quiet 43rd. anniversary. We had such a wonderful experience that we returned at Christmas. This time we took my brother and sister-in-law with us.
What a beautiful day we had. In fact all of us bought Silver Passes for the year. We were so blessed to see Roy Clark perform that day. The program was excellent and the people running the park so helpful.
We took our chairs and put them in a nice spot to see the show, then went to see the bears and ride some of the boats. The guides were so knowledgeable and helpful. There were NO LONG LINES.
People were very respectful of other peoples property. Just as we were told ,no one bothered our chairs that we sat down by the entertainment site early in the day. We got our lunch then enjoyed it while watching the entertainment. The food was good and not expensive.
This was an outdoor event and we could hear better than we could when going to large indoor concerts.
What a bargain to see great entertainers and relax in the beautiful park.
We are going this weekend to see the concert, just wish we lived closer to Ocala.You will not find any park cleaner or so much value for your money.
We are in our 60's and enjoy peaceful parks and clean surroundings without paying way too much. This has been our best value to date.
Take a folding chair and comfy warm clothes if you go on concert days.* Ocala can get cold.
Mr. and Mrs Gwin Wilburn and family
Hope to see you there!

8  Thank gwinskitten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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