Rainbow River and Springs Daytrip – Tubing
When friends ask if you can join them on a float down the Rainbow River, say “YES!”, as we did on Sunday. While it’s a 2 hr drive from St. Pete, we’re talking about a Registered National Landmark, Aquatic Preserve and an “Outstanding Florida Waterway”. Each day, 400 – 600 million gallons of 72 degree fresh water are produced to create the 5.7 mile long Rainbow River. It was drizzly & cloudy, yet we still had a blast, all the more reason to add this #DayTrip to your list. (weather + waterproof phone case were not ideal for 📸, though hopefully these pics give you an idea)
Floating down a tranquil river may sound easy enough, however you’ll need to have your ducks in a row to avoid issues. Follow our guide below and you’ll be good to go!
There are two common float options:
Option 1: (our choice): Park your car at KP Hole Park for a 3-4 hour float to Blue Run of Dunnellon Park. You’ll rent your tube directly from KP Hole for $25/person for ages 6+. Ages 3-5 are free. This covers your entry fee, tube rental & return shuttle service back to your car. Operates from 4/1 – 9/30.
Option 2: Park your car at the state park tubing facility, take their tram up-river & float back to your car. Tubes are $20/person, plus a $2 park fee. This is a 1.5 – 2hr hr float and operates seasonally as well.
Few Tips for Tubing Rainbow River:
1. You cannot reserve tubes, so arrive at gates near their 8am opening (or reserve using 3rd party such as RainbowRiverKayak.com)
2. Items to bring: Rope to tie tubes together (more fun social-wise), drinking water, waterproof phone case, snacks, goggles/mask to view aquatic life and ideally a speaker for tunes.
3. Young kids imo should opt for the tubes w/ bottoms. Seems safer & less stressful for adults supervising.
4. Disposable items are prohibited. Ie bring a thermos instead of plastic bottles
5. Alcohol is prohibited.
6. You cannot bring your own tube on the KP Hole (longer) float.
7. Visit Swampy’s Bar & Grille afterwards! Simply 100 yards before the Blue Run exit. Live music, food, drinks, kids can play/jump in the river (one of our highlights).
8. While there are gators/snakes all over Florida, we saw none.
9. Kayaks and life jackets can be rented (or bring your own).
10. Try to include the 1K acre Rainbow Springs State Park in your visit as there’s a small beach, swimming/snorkeling area, trails, plus waterfalls (man-made). Open year-round from 8am – sunset. Cost is $2/person for ages 6+, free for < 6.
Google Reviews: 197 with a 4.7/5 Average
Addresses: (all in city of Dunnellon)
- KP Hole: 9435 SW 190th Avenue Rd. (352- 489-3055)
- Blue Run Park: 19680 E Pennsylvania Ave
- State Park Tubing Facility: 10830 S.W. 180th Ave Rd (833-945-2925)
- Rainbow Springs State Park: 19158 SW 81st Place Road
Phone: KP Hole 352-489-3055 and State Park Tubing Facility 833-945-2925
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