Different from Blue Springs State Park, this is a private park. That charges admission. Ten bucks per adult head ($3 for each child 5 or older.) The grass is mowed, the trash picked up, and the showers clean and warm. And that's costly for them and reaaaally nice. But after we paid our $16 to get in, we walked the boardwalk to the Santa Fe River and looked across and upriver to Rum Island spring. Which is free. And I felt a little foolish. Like I'd just bought into a gated community with an overpriced HOA.
Here's Blue Springs Park (again, the private park near Poe Springs, not the state park), $16 for me and the kids:
GORGEOUS. If you don't mind forkin' out the bucks, you will be richly rewarded with clean bathrooms, a deep blue spring to eyeball, a vast expanse of shallow sandy beach for the shorties, and, perhaps the main reason people pay (kinda like gated communities), to be surrounded by other patrons who don't mind forkin' out the bucks.
Here's Rum Island, free, but you never know if you'll find beer bottles or undies lying about (kind of like my cool old downtown neighborhood):
I'd like to explore other springs in the area (please - leave comments for suggestions!), but maybe we'll wait til school starts and we can go on some quiet weekday morning and enjoy the springs as they were meant to be enjoyed - ALL MINE!