Deleon Springs, Florida is where we are heading this morning for a brunch at the Sugar Mill Restaurant located in the park itself. Our long time friend Patty Schwarze is proprietor of said restaurant and is always a joy to see when we have the opportunity to stop in for a bite and a swim.
The springs themselves are historic, beautiful, popular and well tended, making this a “must see and swim” stop on anyone’s route through north central Florida. If you have never swum in a spring, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s better than a pool because there isn’t any chlorine, it’s like swimming in a cold lake but you can see through the water clear down to the sandy bottom. I grew up swimming in a spring fed lake. Ours was warmer than a typical spring, which is always 72 degrees year round, because it was stretched out over a greater surface area. The comparative warmth was wonderful in the cooler seasons, but not so “cool” in the hot summer where it was like taking a luke-warm bath in a room with a heater on! Still, it spoiled me to swimming in water I can’t see through. I love swimming in springs and am lucky enough to live only a 20 minute drive from one.
Today though, my two “Frenchies” and I are in north central Florida and will “spring hop” our way back to south Georgia. We plan to see Blue Springs, Deleon Springs, Alexander Springs, Juniper Springs and Silver Glen Springs. Maybe, if we have time we’ll also go by Madison Blue Springs. Seems only the females in the party will be swimming as our one lone man doesn’t like “cold” water!
I mustn’t finish this without expounding upon the historical building and tasty treats at the Sugar Mill restaurant. It is, as the name implies, an old wooden sugar mill building, complete with water wheel, grinding stones and melting pots. If you are lucky enough to get a table, there you will find a griddle where you make your own pancakes, bacon, eggs, etc. if you’re having breakfast, which is about the only thing I eat there. The pancake batter is specially made and heavenly for those of us who are pancake connoisseurs. I swear I’ll bet you’ve never tasted better. If you ever get a chance to visit this magical place, with its beautiful spring and great food, you won’t regret it, I promise. I’m off to swim!
Photos courtesy of:
fs.usda.gov Alexander Springs
orangecitytoday.com Blue Springs
best-orlando-getaways.com Deleon Springs