NORTH PORT, Fla. - For decades, thousands of visitors from all over the world have been traveling to North Port each year to soak in Florida’s only natural warm mineral springs.
"Florida really is the spring capital of the world. There’s no other spring, though, in Florida that’s quite like this one," explained Laura Ansel with the city of North Port.
The water at Warm Mineral Springs Park is 85 degrees year-round and the swimming area is shaped like a bowl, which means it’s shallow at the edges and more than 200 feet deep in the center.
The waters are also rumored to have the highest mineral count of any mineral springs in America. The minerals are believed to have healing properties, which is one of the reasons the park is so popular.
"It’s really old Florida at its finest," shared Ansel.
The warm mineral springs dates back more than 10,000 years. In the 50s and 60s archeologists dove in the waters and found evidence that prehistoric man was present at the site. Then it was converted into a tourist destination that offered spa services. Eventually, it became a state park.
"You can really walk in and see what it was like here in 1959," Ansel said. "It’s like a little time capsule that has been preserved and maintained for anyone who steps through those doors.
The structures on-site were built in 1959, but the city recently approved money to renovate the buildings and parking lot.
LINK: For more information about the Warm Mineral Springs Park visit www.cityofnorthport.com.