Silver Springs State Park offers home-away-from-home accommodations that bring guests close to nature.
Many of us tend to venture off to new places for getaways and vacations and it is understandable that when we have time off, we want to see new places. In doing so, however, we sometimes miss great destinations in our own backyard.
The rustic but comfortable rental cabins at the Silver Springs State Park are a great example. A quick internet search reveals rave reviews from visitors and travel writers alike. It is no wonder as, for example, the cost is enticing. The cabins are inviting and affordable at $110 per night, which I find is less expensive than many hotel rooms nowadays.
These sought-after hideaways may be overlooked by locals but are considered highly desirable destinations by folks from near and far. Having worked at the Silver River Museum & Environmental Education Center, whose campus is located inside the park, since 2004, I’ve met tourists from all over the world as they are visiting our beautiful part of the Sunshine State. Step inside one of the park’s 10 cabins and you’ll see why visitors often want to spend a night, or a week. The cabins are cozy, nicely outfitted and situated amongst stately old grandaddy oaks dripping with Spanish moss and tucked well away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
Each cabin has two bedrooms with a queen bed in one and twin beds in the other. Each offers a full kitchen equipped with essentials such as utensils, pots and pans. Air conditioning and electric fireplaces ensure a comfortable stay in warmer or cooler months.
Large, screened porches with rocking chairs beckon guests to linger and enjoy the abundant natural beauty all around. Picnic tables, outdoor campfire rings and barbecue grills are ready and waiting for those who enjoy cooking and dining under the sun or stars.
Pets are not allowed, which will deter some guests but is welcome relief for anyone with allergies.
There are accommodations for visitors who use wheelchairs or have mobility issues.
The Florida Park Service manages and protects 175 state parks, trails and historic sites that span nearly 800,000 acres. The goal is to “help create a sense of place by showing park visitors the best of Florida’s diverse natural and cultural sites.”
Silver Springs State Park is one of the gems of Marion County and indeed the park service at large. The park’s rental cabins allow visitors to “camp” in comfort in a safe, well-managed natural setting. Step outside during your stay and great hiking trails, wildlife viewing, kayaking, glass-bottom boat rides and the Silver River Museum & Environmental Education Center all await. OS
Scott Mitchell is a field archaeologist, scientific illustrator and director of the Silver River Museum & Environmental Education Center, inside Silver River State Park. To learn more about the park’s cabins, go to floridastateparks.org/silversprings or call (352) 236-5401.