It took us only about an hour from Orlando to drive to this park. Being a weekend, there were a lot of people on this nice day. A car show was also being held there which added to the atmosphere. Although the weather was quite hot we enjoyed going around the place, and saw a lot of fauna in their natural surroundings. We took two short river cruises, both times in a glass bottom boat and we could see different species of fish and amphibians underneath the boat, not to mention the alligators on land and water.

On the first cruise we took a glass bottomed boat down the river. The captain of the boat was a black gentleman who gave a running commentary as we went down the river at a leisurely pace. We could see the underwater life very clearly through the glass bottom. The captain mentioned about the water in the river being so pure that one could drink it!

Then we walked around the spacious and well maintained park. I can say that this place is ideal for family outings, and we saw many families with children. There is a small zoo where one can see flamingos, alligators and birds. They even had a panther and a cougar! Many Hollywood films were made here, including a couple of James Bond movies. We saw a couple of nice looking restaurants, but didn't eat in either one as we had already packed a picnic lunch before we left home.

The second cruise was a different one to another part of the river called Fort King River Cruise. Another captain/guide was in charge, this time a lady and she also gave an excellent commentary of life along this river in the past. We saw a lot of wildlife....exotic birds, turtles and alligators in their natural habitat.

Although this park is a little out of the way for those who may not want to travel some distance from the main tourist cities in Florida, Silver Springs is really a nice recreational area for people who love nature and wildlife.

On the way back to Orlando we stopped at Ocala for a while to take more pictures. The town of Ocala is chiefly known for its close proximity to Silver Springs, and for its horse breeding industry. There are over 1,000 horse farms in and around Ocala, and there is a big sign just outside the town proclaiming it to be "The horse capital of the world."