Published: Summer 2010

Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, FL  

When you first visit Wakulla Springs, one of the most interesting facts that you will learn, is that many of the Johnny Weissmuller "Tarzan" movies were filmed here. Once you have caught that initial glimpse of the jungle like vistas, you cannot fail not to be surprised by this. In addition, it was also home to the classic 3D movie "Creature from the Black Lagoon" and more recently "Airport 77" where an airplane crashes into water. The water in the film was… you guessed it Wakulla springs! Although from the movie itself, you would never have realized it.

Even if none of these movies had ever been filmed at this stunning location, to visit North Florida and not take a trip to Wakulla Springs could be considered a crime against creation itself. Located about one hour south of Tallahassee, Florida, it is home to one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world. In addition, the park plays host to an abundance of wildlife, including alligators, turtles, deer, and birds.

What to do at Wakulla? Don't miss the ranger guided jungle riverboat tours which provide a very close up and personal view of all this wildlife. When the water is clear, glass bottom boat tours are available. And believe me, whatever the time of year, you will see wildlife everywhere with guides quick to point out that there are "'gators to your right or left!!" Oh yes, and "that was the very tree from which Mr.Weissmuller swung, when he was making those Tarzan movies"-I kid you not!

Swimming in that cool clear water is a popular activity during the hot summer months. If you feel so inclined, there are diving boards where the more daring can be seen jumping or even diving into the constantly 72 degree water below. Be assured that there are plenty of lifeguards to ensure safety of all the swimmers.

For those hikers amongst you, a nature trail offers a leisurely walk along the upland wooded areas of the park

Where to stay? Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the stunning Spanish style Wakulla Springs Lodge, built in the 1937 by financier Edward Ball, features 27 guest rooms, each with a spacious marble bathroom, walk-in closet, and antique or period furniture. Priced from $95 per night , the lodge provides luxurious accommodation at very affordable prices.

Hungry? The Ball Room Restaurant, located on the ground floor, overlooks Wakulla Spring and features daily specials and fresh seafood. There is also a café where you can purchase snacks, sodas, ice creams all served apparently from the "longest marble counter top in the world". Or why not bring your own picnic? There are plenty of picnic and barbecuing facilities located at the park.

If you are looking for that special place to hold a party, wedding or maybe even business conference, the lodge houses a variety of larger rooms to suit every occasion. Look no further than the Lodge for the provision of all your catering requirements.

Finally, if you would like to take something home with you from this quite frankly unforgettable paradise, there is a shop located at the café in the lodge, where you can purchase a variety of souvenirs.

So, if you happen to be touring North Florida, don't forget to visit Wakulla Springs. Whatever your taste, age or inclination, you will not fail to find Wakulla one of the most perfect places on earth.


Park Information
550 Wakulla Park Drive
Wakulla Springs, Florida 32327

For general and lodge room information call the park at (850) 926-0700.
For group booking information, call Janet Chernoff in the sales office at (850) 561-7217 or email Janet.Chernoff@dep.state.fl.us

Admission Fee: $6.00 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.
$4.00 Single Occupant Vehicle.
$2.00 Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.

Overnight Lodging:
$95.00 - $150.00 per night.

Boat Tour Fees:
$8.00 per adult.
$5.00 per child, 12 and under.

- ADVERTISEMENT -