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While the state might be known for the beaches and sunshine, there are a few surprisingly beautiful waterfalls in Florida. From impressive cascades and rushing whitewater rapids to smaller and peaceful waterfalls, there are many places to explore. Some are naturally occurring in nature and others are man-made but all are beautiful making them some of the best waterfall destinations in Florida.
If you’re looking for a good way to beat the heat or simply want to seek out some new things to do in Florida, here are some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Florida.
Rainbow Springs, Dunnellon
Rainbow Springs is one of Florida’s top attractions, and its waterfalls are highly rated despite being artificially created. This area has been a local hot spot for nearly a century, and it’s not hard to see why.
The three waterfalls sit within Rainbow Springs State Park, where visitors can hike trails, swim in brilliant blue natural springs, and camp overnight. The warm spring waters sit at a balmy 72 degrees Fahrenheit year round, and in addition to swimming, you can kayak, snorkel, and maybe even catch a glimpse of some local wildlife swimming beneath the surface.
Falling Waters State Park, Chipley
If you prefer something more natural, the waterfalls at Falling Waters State Park are some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Florida. Cascading down from 73 feet, these are also the tallest falls in the state, and absolutely worth seeing. This waterfall is unique in the fact that you’ll need to climb to the top to see it, as the water flows down into a natural 100-foot deep sinkhole. It’s quite a sight to see, especially after a heavy rain!
While the falls are undoubtedly the main attraction here, the state park also has a large lake and sandy beach, several trails, and a campground for overnight visitors.
Falling Creek Falls, Lake City
Falling Creek Falls is one of the lesser-known waterfalls in Florida, but that doesn’t keep it from being one of the best. The falls drop a mere 10-12 feet over a limestone ledge, but the serene surroundings make a beautiful backdrop.
The journey is part of the beauty at Falling Creek Falls. As you hike to the waterfall, you’ll pass by bald cypress, magnolia, and sweetgum trees. There’s also a playground and picnic tables if you want to hang out in this beautiful area after you check out the falls.
Fruit and Spice Park Waterfall, Redland
Situated on the outskirts of the Miami area, Fruit and Spice Park is a 37-acre tropical garden with hundreds of fruit trees, winding boardwalks, a lovely lake with water lilies, and, you guessed it, a waterfall.
The waterfall is manmade and flows over into the lake below, and while it’s not the largest or grandest cascade, it is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Florida, even if only thanks to the oasis that surrounds it.
Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park, Gainesville
Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park offers one of the best displays of sinkholes in the state – it’s not a geological state park for nothing! There are also plenty of waterfalls trickling into said sinkholes.
The park also features a variety of winding nature trails, some unique flora and fauna, and a lush, rainforest-adjacent environment. The main attraction here is the 500-foot wide and 120-foot deep sinkhole, which has several falls trickling down its limestone cavern.
Torreya State Park, Bristol
Torreya State Park sits in the panhandle just outside of Bristol, and it is home to one of the best waterfalls in Florida. Unlike most other parts of the state, Torreya boasts some seriously steep bluffs and deep ravines, which is the perfect condition for beautiful waterfalls to thrive.
To reach the park’s waterfall (which has no official name), you’ll need to hike along Weeping Ridge Trail. As you hike you can admire rare species like the Torreya tree and plenty of wildlife.
Steinhatchee Falls, Steinhatchee
Although somewhat lacking in grandeur, Steinhatchee Falls is widely considered one of the best waterfalls in Florida. It’s actually the widest waterfall in the state, though its flow is extremely shallow.
The falls sit within a sprawling 1,800 acre natural area largely covered in hardwood forests. There is an easy, 3-mile trail leading to the falls, and once you’ve taken a gander you can enjoy a day of canoeing or fishing on the river.
Big Shoals State Park, White Springs
The only thing better than a beautiful waterfall is a series of them, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at Big Shoals State Park, located in White Springs. Technically, rapids aren’t waterfalls, but the raging white water at Big Shoals is still worth checking out.
Seasoned pros can kayak or raft these Class III rapids if they dare, while everyone else can get a great panorama over the river from the 80-foot blufftop overlook. If you want to work up a sweat without braving the rapids, you can explore the wooded trails in the park with your bike, horse, or simply your own two feet.
Morikami Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach
For a full day of chasing waterfalls, head to the Morikami Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach. There are six stunning gardens on display here, with beautiful waterfalls sprinkled throughout the area.
While it’s hard to tell, the waterfalls are man-made, but that doesn’t take away from their beauty. The gardens are inspired by authentic Japanese gardens, and you’ll see pine forests, a beautiful lake, bamboo groves, and more as you wander through this peaceful area.
Volcano Bay, Orlando
Unlike the waterfalls at the Morikami Japanese Gardens, you likely won’t be fooled by the artificial waterfall at Volcano Bay – an exhilarating water park in Orlando’s Universal Studios.
The massive, 200-foot Krakatau Volcano at the center of the park has some raging waterfalls cascading off it, some of which you can ride down via waterslide! There are also rides, pools, lazy rivers, and other attractions to keep you entertained for hours on end.
Bulls Bay Preserve, Jacksonville
Popular with nature lovers in the northeastern part of the state, Bulls Bay Preserve features lush wetlands that act as the headwaters to the St. Johns River, the Cedar River and Sixmile Creek.
There are also several hiking trails, some interesting flora and fauna, and one of Florida’s best waterfalls. It’s not the largest or most Insta-worthy waterfall, but it is one of the lesser-known falls, and the peaceful surroundings make it worth seeking out.