Vortex Spring is a privately owned and operated diving, swimming, and camping resort in northwest Florida. The spring is commonly described as gin colored, and 28 million gallons flows to the surface every day at a constant 68 degrees.
Popular with scuba divers, the park includes underwater objects like rings and vehicles that are often used in dive classes. The spring basin is approximately 50 feet deep, and divers are guaranteed to spot a multitude of different freshwater fish species, including catfish, gar, suckers, bass, and blue gill. An underwater cavern invites more experienced divers to test their abilities, and the cavern sinks to 115 feet to a security gate that blocks the rest of the cave system.
For swimmers, the resort offers slides, high dives, diving boards, and springs. To take a break from the water, visitors can amble down short nature trails. For those who want to stay overnight, Vortex Springs rents space at a traditional campground, in cabins, and a variety of rooms in motel-like lodges.
Interestingly, local lore explains that the founders of Vortex Spring, Ruth and Denzel James Dockery, invented the original dive flag, used by underwater enthusiasts the world over to identify their location to passing boats. Eventually other companies began to sell the flag, and today it is the most recognizable symbol of the industry.