There is a sure cure for the summertime heat just north of Hwy. 90 in Ponce De Leon. Vortex Spring Adventures offers an adventurer cave diving, swimming, and family-oriented year-round fun, including crystal clear dives into a deep limestone cavern. W 28 million gallons of water daily at a year-round temperature of 68 degrees. Just north of U.S. Hwy. 90 on SR 81 in Ponce De Leon you will discover a great place to chill out on a hot summer day.
A popular dive and recreational spot since the mid 1970s, Ruth and Denzel “Doc” Dockery, the creators of the “diver down” flag were the original owners of Vortex. The park is now owned by their son Daryl and his wife Angela Dockery.
The recreation area is popular spot for swimmers during the warm weather months. A diving board, high jump platforms, slides, and a rope swing provide fun-filled launches into the cool spring water. Picnic tables with grills, and grassy areas along the spring run offer opportunities for a fun-filled day in several areas. A dive shop with everything you would need including suits, masks, gauges, snorkels, water toys, and even a children’s line of clothing are available for the water explorer. Several SCUBA certification classes are offered at Vortex year round. Click here for info.
A variety of lodging accommodations are available at Vortex, including a large home for divers, corporate retreats, or private events which hosts up to 24 people. Additional lodging includes bunk-bed lodges, rooms with queen beds and kitchenettes, cabins, and campsites with electrical hookups. Water and sewer is available at some of the sites, along with a dump station available on site. Day camping is also available.
Big plans are in the works as the Dockerys continue to expand their more than 500-acres and make Vortex Spring Adventures a more family-oriented destination. In addition to new cabins, campsites, and a wedding venue barn in the works, the couple plans to facilitate two multi-acre open fields; one 30-acre area and one 57-acre area into event venues. Trail improvements are also in the works.
Hours of Operation
Summer: Monday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., Friday – Sat. 7 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sunday 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Winter: Monday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Friday – Sat. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Diving fees are $22.00/day for certified full cave diver or equivalent, all other divers $25.00. A full line of scuba rental gear is available including nitrox air. Click here for details.
Swimming $10.00/day, children age 4-8 $8.00, children 3 and under free. If you wish to upgrade to the basin dive area, it is an additional $6.00. Tubes, snorkeling gear, canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards are available for rent.
Vortex Spring Adventures, 1517 Vortex Springs Lane, Ponce de Leon, FL, 32455. Tel: (850) 836-4979.
Click here for their Facebook page. Note that some images in video below are courtesy of Vortex Springs.