Bennett Field Primitive Camp – Daytona Beach, FL Since I just returned home from a #solocamping trip, I guess now is as good a…
Blue Grotto – Williston, FL
Blue Grotto Dive Resort is another great scuba site located near Devil’s Den in Williston, FL, about 2 hours north of the Tampa/St. Petersburg area. The freshwater springs are a constant 72 degrees. The location is great for students and training, as well as certified divers. The Grotto has a classroom and 12ft training pool (reserve in both advance), as well as a strategically placed platform into the springs to practice giant stride & back roll entries.
As you enter the open-water basin (depth of 40 feet/12 meters), there are 3 large platforms for training purposes. To get to depth of 50ft/15m, you’ll need to enter the large upper cavern; there’s an air bell near the entrance with breathable air and viewing windows – definitely worth checking out. There’s a lower cavern for those with the proper training & certs, offering depths up to 100ft/30m). Interesting artifacts are found throughout the cavern and keep your eyes peeled for the underwater resident, Miss Virgil the Turtle – you won’t be able to find her, but she will definitely find you.
Have no fear if you are cave certified – there’s some fun for you, too! The Cave at the Blue Grotto Dive Resort is something few have seen; it remains in its almost natural state, with fragile rock formations and deep, undisturbed layers of silt. Access is limited to those with exceptional skills, including proper cave certification, so the site is something few have seen. To ensure the preservation of the cave, you’ll need a qualified guide in addition to highest level of skills.
Cabins, cottages, tent & RV sites are available for camping on property. You can even book a reservation online.
Devil’s Den – Williston, FL
Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring is a unique little spot in Williston, FL. The underground spring is formed by a karst window. It is home to extinct animal fossils dating back 33 million years. The water is crystal clear with maximum depth of 54 feet/16.45 meters. Much like Blue Grotto, the water is a constant 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
The name “Devil’s Den” was given by early settlers – not because of spooky things lurking below the surface, but from cold winter mornings where you can see smoke-like steam rising from the chimney opening. Newbie divers looking to obtain Open Water certification regularly use this privately owned and operated training and recreational facility. You can opt for snorkeling if diving isn’t your jam.
Scuba diving admission is $38 per person and is first come, first served, except for night diving, where you’ll need to make an appointment at least 7 days in advance. Full scuba rental gear is available for an additional $45, or individual equipment rental is available. You must have a dive buddy for admission. No doubles, reels, re-breathers, knives, or side mounts allowed. Absolutely no cave entry.
Snorkeling is available BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Each snorkeler must register individually.
You can book a reservation for camping – options include cabins, tents and RVs. The lodging fees do NOT include snorkeling or diving admission fees.
Devil’s Den is open 364 days a year, closing only on Christmas Day. Hours of operation are 9:00am-5:00pm EST Monday – Thursday, and 8:00am-5:00pm EST on Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Make sure you’re in the water by 4:00pm EST if you are looking to dive here!
Super stoked – I am OFFICIALLY certified in Wilderness First Aid with NOLS! I can’t say enough amazing things about this experience; I may have finally found my “calling.”
So… long story short: I’m going for my #wildernessfirstresponder (& probably half a dozen other certs), because I literally can’t wait to learn more! If I could be in class learning from NOLS instructors right now, I would!
Seriously though, if you spend time in the great outdoors (or love it half as much as me), you need to check NOLS out… now! You’ll have a lot of hands-on experience with “real life” scenarios. You’ll learn from the best of the best!
If you are intrigued but not quite ready to get certified, check out the expeditions they host! Can anyone say, “best #gapyear ever?!”
#nolswildernessmedicine #nolsedu @nolsedu
Bennett Field Primitive Camp – Daytona Beach, FL
Since I just returned home from a #solocamping trip, I guess now is as good a time as any to start the blogging portion of the site! First up: Bennett Field Campground, which is located in the Tiger Bay State Forest.
Tiger Bay State Forest just 7 miles west of Daytona Beach on the East Coast of Florida! This gives you super easy access to the Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, New Smyrna Beach, Flagler Beach, and more!
There are 6 primitive camping sites as well as a group site, but the sites are dispersed and LARGE — it’s really rare to come across sites this size in Florida. Being a primitive campground there is no electric and no water, however there is a small communal pit toilet.
Bennett Field Campground is #petfriendly so all you #doglovers can bring your #furbabies along!
Sites require an advanced reservation for a small fee of $8.89/night (can’t beat that)! The rate is the same whether tent of RV, so what are you waiting for?! Check out availability and reserve your camping spot on ReserveAmerica!
Have you stayed or visited Tiger Bay State Forest? I would love to hear your thoughts!