Saturday, December 15, 2012

Twelve Days of a Dixie Christmas - #10

A Countdown of our Favorite Southeastern Christmas Destinations
The Christmas season is taken pretty seriously in the southeastern US, and the Richardson Tribe has a dozen suggested destinations to make your holidays more adventurous. Over the next 12 days, we will publish a new destination each day until we reveal our #1 Christmas holiday destination.

#10 - Silver Springs, Nature's Theme Park: Silver Springs, Florida
Now we continue the theme of non-traditional winter vacation spots with Silver Springs park in central Florida. By late December, the Richardson Tribe is ready for a few days of balmy weather. Warmth makes for a nice break in the dreary wet cold days just a little further north.
Silver Springs, located near Ocala, Florida, is an ancient source of relatively warm water that proliferates lush vegetation and abundant wildlife including birds, gators, snakes, and monkeys. Yes, monkeys. They're everywhere, as are the Christmas lights.
Silver Springs is a natural paradise that has been retrofitted (emphasis on retro) for the 20th..... uhhh, 21st century. I say this because many of us southerners visited Silver Springs as kids about long long ago. Silver Springs is a legendary southern destinations that dates back to the 1870s when an early entrepreneur built the first glass bottom boat. The water here is crystal clear, and the view of the aquatic life and vegetation is spectacular. Today, the famous Silver Springs glass bottom boats still take tourists on scenic and educational tours of the river fed by the ancient spring.
When the sun sets during the Christmas season, Silver Springs becomes a winter wonderland. There are thousands (maybe millions) of lights that illuminate the park's many natural features. It's a truly spectacular sight.

While visiting Silver Springs, we recommend RV camping at Salt Springs Recreation Area. It's located in the Ocala National Forest, and features a pristine warm spring with a family of manatee residing just beneath the glassy warm water.

So, there you have it, our 10th favorite Christmas destination. Visit us tomorrow to discover the vacation spot we consider #9.

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