Yep, that’s not photoshop.
With its golden water, I definitely understand where Rum Island gets its name.
Located about 20 minutes north of Gainesville, we just happened upon this place by using Google search that, when paraphrased, was along the lines of “free outdoor things to do in Gainesville.” It didn’t seem like much, but the name was interesting. After a few wrong turns down barren gravel roads and two-lane highways thanks to a broken GPS, we finally found it.
The natural spring is right off the shore and is a perfect spot for snorkeling. We met a certified diver who was nice enough to lend us her goggles for a quick dive to see the springs. She was surprised to hear that we were from Texas, as Rum Island is to be a spot the only locals tend to go to.
The further out you swim, the darker the water gets. The diver we met said the water was tinted because of the leaves from the surrounding forest. A bit like a giant teapot, I suppose. If you stand out on the sand bar, your feet appear to be stained red, your legs orange, and your hands gold.
Beautiful, and off the beaten path, Rum Island was one of my favorite Florida stops.