Volume 5 | May 2021
May Piece Of Paradise:
Warm Mineral Springs
The photo above reminds us of a Georges Seurat painting (Bathing at Asnieres? Bathers in the Water?), and what could be a more idyllic version of paradise than that? True, Warm Mineral Springs may not fulfill visions of warmth and luxury... but it most definitely contributes a unique experience to adventurist repertoires.
So let's start with setting realistic expectations. In its simplest terms, we would describe this experience as walking endless circles in cold stinky water. The "warm" in Warm Mineral Springs is relative. This is no hot spring near a volcano (not to be compared with places like Tabacon in Costa Rica)! The temperature of the surface water hovers around 85 degrees Fahrenheit. There are tiny fish in the water; the spring bed varies between sand and worn (sometimes slippery) rock. And although the first part of its name may be debatable, the aroma clears any doubt about its "Mineral" authenticity. Over 50 minerals - including calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorous, potassium, iron, flouride, chlorides and sulfur - have been documented in the water. And because of those minerals...
A fairly dark entryway (perhaps unintentionally) creates a dramatic entrance to this literal light at the end of the tunnel.
St Augustine and Punta Gorda also claim to be home of the Fountain of Youth, but look! Documented right here - historically proven in North Port!
Warm Mineral Springs attracts more than 100,000 visitors annually. Many are international travelers. In fact on both occasions we've been to WMS, nary a word in English was heard. (This may also be an effect of North Port's large Eastern European population, but not entirely so.)

There is a conviction among these visitors that the waters of WMS have healing properties. Some consider their trip a pilgrimage. Healing or not, we did notice a deviance in how heavy our bodies felt getting out of the water compared to getting in it.
While the waters may not fully reverse the aging process, they have proven their powers of preservation. The mouth of the spring is more than 200 feet below ground (incidentally, water exiting the spring vent registers at 97 degrees Fahrenheit before making its way to the surface). Divers who have explored the spring's depths have discovered prehistoric fossils and remains. Human remains from the springs have been carbon dated at 10,000 years. Human remains and tools from the Paleo Indians have been excavated and dated at 3,000 to 5,000 years old.
Colonel Bill Royal was one of the first modern archaeologists to explore and excavate the spring. Learn more at www.warmmineral.com.
A trip to Warm Mineral Springs can also feel like a trip back in time. The architecture of the buildings is in line with the mid-century Sarasota School of Architecture movement (learn more about that movement from the Sarasota Architectural Foundation). The SSA blended simplistic international design of the time with organic and environmental features that worked well for our resources and climate.
The rooflines of the main building and the "Cyclorama" display unique architectural features. The Cyclorama murals were painted in 1959 and depict the arrival of Ponce de Leon.
While there's plenty of "past" at Warm Mineral Springs, they're also looking toward the future. In February of this year the City of North Port (the property owner) approved a Development Master Plan for the site that will include multiple entertainment and recreation spaces.
The 2019 Conceptual Master Plan, and this Stream Gauging Station demonstrate two ways the Warm Mineral Springs Park is planning for the coming years. Streamflow information is used for flood prediction, water management/allocation, and recreational safety/enjoyment.
If you decide to visit, anticipate a $15-$20 admission fee. Locker rooms offer changing space and lockers. The spring is circled with plastic chairs, with a few lounge chairs sprinkled in. Spa services are available; call in advance to make an appointment.
Nearby Considerations
If you find yourself traveling on River Road as you head to Warm Mineral Springs, we recommend taking a detour down the less beaten path (or should we say, the very beaten up path...) to Snook Haven Restaurant. Their barbecue is two thumbs up, the waterfront scenery is tough to beat, and there is often live music. Additionally, open-air boat tours provide a relaxing trip on the Myakka River with some interesting local lore and legend (did I hear the restrooms were formerly brothels...?). On our Friday lunch visit we were treated to a polka by the band, and I've added that music to this footage from Warm Mineral Springs. It seemed appropriate.
Snook Haven offers indoor dining with their stuffed gators, or outdoor dining with the potential to see real ones.
Homeowner Tip
The Limitations of Friends and Family
You may have friends or family in Sarasota who are happy to stop in to check on your house every once in awhile. Before leaving your unoccupied home in their care, evaluate your home watch objectives.
  • Are you hoping to validate any future insurance claims? Your insurance provider may not consider your friend or family member a qualified professional, giving your provider reason to deny a claim.
  • How often would you like your home visited, and what will a visit consist of? Casual visits likely won't be as thorough or as frequent as the routine, documented audit of a professional reporter.
  • Are you interested in shifting the responsibility of damage prevention to someone local? It may be unfair to place liability with a friend or family member, leaving you responsible while miles away... but professional services are trained for the task.
Coastal Haven Home Watch of Sarasota delivers peace of mind... for your piece of paradise. Share your Sarasota pieces of paradise with us! We'll include them in an upcoming newsletter for other Home Watch clients to consider during their next stay in Sarasota.