Explore the Quiet Elegance of The Lodge at Wakulla Springs, Florida

A trip back in time.

By: Sara Sheehy + Save to a List

Escape the winter blues with a trip to Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park in Wakulla Springs, Florida. Take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of Wakulla Springs, watch for marine wildlife and birds, go hiking, and rest your head at night in the historic, 1930s era Lodge.

When the weather gets cold, the cold head south. Quiet elegance awaits at Wakulla Springs.

About The Lodge at Wakulla Springs

The Lodge at Wakulla Springs is called "North Florida's castle," and for a good reason. It was built in 1937 by financier Edward Ball, who loved the area for its pristine and serene environment. Surrounded by 6,000 acres of forest and ancient cypress swamp, the Lodge sits on the edge of beautiful Wakulla Springs.

The building itself is a sprawling Spanish-style Lodge with 27 rooms that overlook Wakulla Springs. Each room is furnished with antique or period furniture and spacious bathrooms — a luxury in historical buildings. The Lodge has a dining room that serves three meals a day and a soda fountain and gift shop.

It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Explore the Springs

The Lodge at Wakulla Springs is right in the middle of Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, so exploration is just a quick walk away. The freshwater spring itself is one of the largest and deepest in the world. It is home to alligators, manatees, many species of birds, and other wildlife.

In the morning, take a riverboat cruise from the Lodge (they leave every hour from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm) for a nature tour of the springs. The on-board guide will share information about the history of the springs and help you spot wildlife. Grab some lunch at the Lodge's Soda Fountain, which serves American classics and has the longest marble soda fountain ever built.

In the afternoon, hike some of the park's nine miles of trail (the Cherokee Sink Trail leads to an 80-foot deep sinkhole lake) and then cool off with a dip in the crystal clear, always-70-degree waters of Wakulla Springs.

End your evening in the Edward Ball Dining Room, which serves a seated breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Why not try the southern fried chicken or one of the seasonal farm-to-table dishes?

No matter how you enjoy the Lodge at Wakulla Springs, its quiet elegance will nestle deep into your heart. 

Book a stay at The Lodge at Wakulla Springs.

All photos courtesy of The Lodge at Wakulla Springs

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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