Having lived in Florida for over 35 years, and as much as we like to travel, you’d think we’ve seen every attraction and been everywhere in the state. Definitely not! So with a weekend off, we decided to check out Warm Mineral Springs. We found Myakka River RV Resort – a former KOA branded property – near Warm Mineral Springs and decided we would check it all out one weekend and include a visit to nearby Venice.
The campground certainly wasn’t what I’d consider a resort but it did have a pool and some excellent views from some of the sites that backed up to the natural area. Others backed up to the old US Highway 41 which is still heavily used as a local road actually. The office is small and there’s a pool table in the recreation center along with a small pool but it is priced reasonably for the most part. We were there in the off-season so that helps. During season, it is considerably more and not a great deal for Floridians to go camping because the daily rates become very high.
Down the street from the campground, and on the way to Warm Mineral Springs itself, we passed the Warm Mineral Springs Motel. It is absolutely one of the coolest mid-century motels in the state without question. The sign and the building is incredible and it still functions as a motel. This really is a prized find for anyone interested in style and architecture and specifically anything mid-century modern.
This is Florida’s only warm mineral springs – in this case the water is a constant 30 C/87 F degrees. When I stepped in I didn’t think it was all that warm but then it wasn’t cold either. We bought our tickets – a day pass is $20 – from the box office and sauntered along the hallway to reach the Fountain of Youth and cross a small bridge to scope out the scene. If you don’t encounter the Russian language here, you must be in the wrong place. It is everywhere and almost all reviews of the park mention this.
For probably two hours we did what most people were doing. We sort of went around in a circle around the perimeter of the water sometimes floating along and sometimes walking. This seemed to be the thing to do and most of the Russian-speakers were doing it. We didn’t hang out on the grass or in the seats as there were bugs of both flying as well as walking type around – nothing major just ants and what locals call “noseeums” and others call gnats or midges. There’s a small shop as you enter where you can buy basic souvenirs and some basic food and drink items.