Wakulla Springs is internationally known as one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world and the park is host to an abundance of wildlife, including White-Tailed Deer, Alligators, Suwannee River Cooters, Manatees, Wood Ducks, Anhinga, Yellow-Crowned Night Herons, other birds, and snakes. A nature trail offers a leisurely walk along the upland wooded areas of the park.
Daily guided riverboat tours provide a close encounter with wildlife and glass-bottom boat tours are offered when the water is exceptionally clear. Swimming is a popular activity during the hot summer months but the water temperature remains a constant 69 degrees year-round.
The Wakulla Springs Lodge was built in 1937 by financier Edward Ball and is open year-round. Wakulla Springs State Park and Lodge is listed on the Natural Register of Historic Places and is designated as a National Natural Landmark.
The refuge was established in 1931 to provide wintering habitat for migratory birds. It is one of the oldest refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System. It encompasses over 70,000 acres spread out between Wakulla, Jefferson, and Taylor counties, and includes about 43 miles along the Gulf Coast of northwest Florida.
The refuge includes coastal marshes, islands, tidal creeks and estuaries of seven north Florida rivers, and is home to a diverse community of plant and animal life. The refuge also has strong ties to a rich cultural past, and is home to the St. Marks Lighthouse, which was built in 1842 (current tower) and is still in use today.
- Over 17,000 acres are protected under the Federal Wilderness Act.
- Longleaf Pine Land Management Research and Demonstration Area;
- Globally Important Bird Area
- Outstanding Florida Waters
- Class 1 Air Quality area
Built in 1838 by Thomas Orman, this antebellum home overlooks the Apalachicola River, and was used for both business and social gatherings. Orman was a cotton merchant and businessman in Apalachicola from 1834 to the 1880s. He helped the small town become one of the Gulf Coast’s most important cotton exporting ports during the 19th century. Visit the adjoining Chapman Botanical Garden, which honors Dr. Alvin Chapman. Enjoy the butterfly garden, other botanical features, walkways and open spaces. Also enjoy the Three Soldiers Detail, a bronze replica of the Vietnam memorial statue in Washington, D.C..
After multiple natural disasters and rebuilds, a replica of the St. George Island Lighthouse stands a couple hundred yards off of the beach with a museum and gift shop.