Exciting Off-the-Beaten-Path 3-Day Adventure Getaway in Wakulla Springs

If you’re seeking to be surrounded by pristine nature and a bit of history, you should most definitely consider an adventure getaway in Wakulla Springs.

With the center of Wakulla County located at a short 30-minute drive south of Tallahassee, it’s the perfect destination for outdoor lovers and nature enthusiasts alike.

For most, Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park is the main attraction of this Northwest Florida county. For others like ourselves, we prefer to experience its pristine outdoors to the fullest.

edward ball wakulla springs state park sign
Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

With no shortage of things to do in Wakulla County, kayaking on the Wakulla River is one of the most sought-after adventures.

You can also take a riverboat tour on one of the world’s largest springs, and stay at a historic lodge nestled inside the beautiful landscapes of an iconic Florida state park.

This itinerary is based on our own travel experience in Wakulla County and allows you to go on an exciting journey to explore its many off-the-beaten-path wonders for an incredible outdoor trip.

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a couple selfie at the lodge in wakulla springs

3-day Itinerary For an Adventure Getaway in Wakulla Springs

Day 1: Arrival and River Boat Tour

Morning:

Arrive at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park and check in at The Lodge at Wakulla Springs, a historic 1930s Spanish-style gem that’ll be your home for the next few days.

the lodge historic hotel
The Lodge at Wakulla Springs

Afternoon:

Head out to the back of the Lodge and check in for the Wakulla Springs Boat Tour (Jungle Cruise Tour).

This is a 2-mile riverboat tour along Wakulla Springs, which happens to be one of the world’s largest springs.

river boat tour in wakulla springs

You will see plenty of wildlife like Anhinga, turtles, and manatees. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy the views of beautiful bald cypress trees on this 45-minute tour.

Reservations for the boat tours must be made before arriving at the park.

florida anhinga

Day 2: Cherokee Sink Hike and Swim

Morning/Afternoon:

You can kick off your morning with breakfast at The Lodge’s Edward Ball Dining Room.

As a breakfast recommendation, I had The Springs Omelette every day because it was delicious! The coffee is also good and their menu is priced very reasonably.

omelette with biscuit and home fries
Breakfast at The Lodge

After breakfast…

Gear up for a day of adventure, hiking, and swimming at one of my favorite off-the-beaten-path locations in Wakulla Springs.

You’ll be going on a hike to the Cherokee Sink where you can jump in for a refreshing swim and enjoy a relaxing day outdoors.

cherokee sink trail hike
🥾 Cherokee Sink Hike Trail 

Length: 2.4 miles round-trip | Trail: Out-and-back | Difficulty: Easy

Keep in mind that it’s essential to bring tick repellent for this hike, as well as your regular bug repellent for protection.

That being said, I don’t recommend you do this hike in the summer months. In addition, cover yourself with proper clothing for hikes like long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and hats.

cherokee sink in wakulla springs

This hidden gem with turquoise waters offers a secluded spot to connect with nature and its beautiful surroundings. Since it’s a bit off the radar, I’ll do my best to share the directions.

📍How to Get to Cherokee Sink in Wakulla Springs State Park

Start west of the main entrance of Wakulla Springs State Park and drive south on SR 61 for about 1.2 miles. You’ll see the trailhead entrance on the right (across from the former Wakulla Springs entrance).

Keep an eye out for the small Nature Trail sign and go down the narrow road until you reach the parking area. The entrance fee is $6 per vehicle and it’s open until sundown.

cherokee sink

Evening:

Freshen up and prepare to head out to Panacea, FL for a nice dinner at Trident – one of the best restaurants near Wakulla Springs.

We tried pretty much every appetizer on their menu and you can’t go wrong with either selection. However, I have to admit that the Basil Button Mushrooms with Feta stuffing are out of this world!

From their Sea to Table menu we had the Breaded Lion Fish as the main dish and it was delicious. Dessert recommendation: Key Lime Pie

breaded lion fish at trident restaurant in panacea florida
Breaded Lion Fish at Trident in Panacea, FL

Day 3: Go Kayaking on the Wakulla River

Morning:

After breakfast at The Lodge, go for a walk around the hotel and head to the springs for manatee viewing. Then, prepare to head out for a super fun Wakulla Springs kayaking adventure!

For this one, we recommend a guided kayak tour with TnT Hideaway, which includes a shuttle to the launch site.

This local business is family-owned and operated and they are dedicated and attentive, which is important to me when I decide to go on guided tours.

tnt hideaway kayak rentals and tours

For reference, we took the Manatee Observation Tour, but there are other options to choose from.

On this 3-mile kayak tour, you’ll be paddling along the beautiful and impressive Wakulla River.

The best thing about this guided kayak tour is that it’s suitable for both beginners and experienced kayakers. The route is not challenging at all and it’s very enjoyable from beginning to end.

kayak paddle on the wakulla river
Kayaking on the Wakulla River

We had an incredible experience paddling on this river and I’m happy to say that we were lucky enough to see manatees swimming around us.

You’ll also paddle along a path that’s home to a large population of turtles and it’s the cutest sight.

Baby gators, birds, and cypress trees are also some of the things you’ll get to see while you’re paddling on the Wakulla River.

kayaking in the wakulla river

Afternoon:

As your 3-day adventure getaway in Wakulla Springs comes to an end, know that you’ve uncovered a piece of Florida that’s truly magical and deserves to be protected. Please explore responsibly.

🏕 Please follow the Leave No Trace principles every time you practice outdoor travel.

adventure getaway in wakulla springs

Things to Carry for Your Weekend Adventure

To ace this adventure getaway in Wakulla Springs, it’s best to be prepared. Although these are pretty basic things, this short list can serve as a good reminder of things you don’t want to forget when planning your trip.

  • Binoculars for birdwatching (because this place is like an aviary and Anhingas are beautiful ).
  • An action camera for the river views on the boat tour, and to capture the majestic trees and other nature wonders
  • Sunscreen; because this Florida sun is no joke.
  • A light jacket or sweater – weather’s got mood swings, and these springs can get a bit chilly, especially in the fall.
  • Hiking gear, swimsuit & water shoes for your Cherokee Sink Trail hike and swim
  • Don’t forget to pack water, snacks, and an extra pair of clothes!

Final Thoughts

As for us, we fell in love with Wakulla County’s pristine outdoors and the many exciting things to do for adventure lovers.

Although this is a short and simple itinerary for an adventure getaway in Wakulla Springs, we encourage you to explore the idea of extending your trip.

If you do have more time on your trip, we suggest you stop at the historic quaint town of Sopchoppy and visit Civic Brewing Co. for some craft beers and laid-back vibes.

Disclaimer: This trip was hosted by Wakulla County. However, all expressions and opinions are based on our personal experiences.


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adventure getaway in wakulla springs itinerary
Yanitza Ninett
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Yanitza is an avid adventurer with 15+ years of hiking experience and outdoor travel. As a PADI-certified scuba diver, she's also passionate about ocean conservation. When she's not exploring the great outdoors, Yanitza obsesses over The Vampire Diaries and dreams of traveling to Mallorca, Spain.

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