Thursday, October 25, 2012

Go With the Flow

Warm Mineral Springs in North Port, Florida



Swimming holes and "mudding" are not just a redneck endeavor in the city of North Port.   At the spa of Warm Mineral Springs those two things have nothing to do with rope swings or four-wheel drive monster trucks and more to do with mud baths and water yoga. You are already forgiven if you don't recognize the name "North Port". Located in the southern most part of Sarasota County, North Port is ranked #7 for the fastest growing city in Florida.  Warm Mineral Springs is an annexed portion of the city that is home to an ancient artisan spring that boasts of healing properties akin to the fountain of youth. 

The spring has long been a popular tourist attraction especially with Eastern Europeans who have made the area surrounding Warm Mineral Springs and North Port their new home. This ain't no Wet & Wild attraction. There is a gift store, organic cafe, & Spa in the complex but the spring is for the most part in it's natural state.  The slight smell of sulfur in the air lets you know that this is a mineral spring - no chlorine here. The big bowl of a spring is surrounded by towering palm trees and ancient oaks.  

Put your towel and beach bag on one of the purple Adirondack chairs that ring the spring to claim your spot.  The official bathing uniform seems to be some sort of hat, comfortable bathing suit (no fashion show here), and a water noodle for flotation assistance. Entering the water takes the finesse of an I-75 on-ramp because there is an official traffic flow.  The spring flows clock-wise therefore the outer ring of people floating and water-walking are going with the current.  The inner circle where the depth reaches 225 feet is for free floating. The spring is one big unsinkable community bobbing along, laughing, and chatting in their Eastern European mother tongues as the current carries them round and round. 

The spring is open seven days a week from 9-5.  The admission for a day pass  is $20/adults & $15/students.  Sarasota County residents get a $5 discount.  The spring is clearest early in the day before the bottom gets stirred up by the water walkers and aqua Zumba classes. 



The spring is 1.4 acres of flowing spring water - 9 million gallons a day.


Better Homes & Gardens Magazine (2009) says; "The perfect swimming, wading, and soaking temperature." All the time...today, yesterday, tomorrow, always 87 degrees.

The spring offers free water exercise classes 3 times a day with a paid admission.


All that power noodling can wear one out.


A sun hat is a must have.


No one really swims, they just float.  Just go with the flow.

Check out Warm Mineral Springs on Trip Advisor for more info.