WEEKI WACHEE SPRINGS STATE PARK NORTHERN FLORIDA
YOUR ONE STOP SPRINGS WATER ADVENTURE
One of the best vacation values out there with years of history and experiences to last a lifetime!
Weeki Wachee is an enchanted spring where you can see live mermaids, take a trip on a river boat cruise, learn about Florida wildlife, and swim in the pristine waters at Buccaneer Bay.
You can also embark on a paddling adventure down the pristine waterway of the Weeki Wachee River.
Once monthly, former Weeki Wachee mermaids don their tails and slip into the 72-degree water. Catch them while you can.
Mermaids are everywhere, from the Starbucks icon to the Coney Island Mermaid Parade.
In the Las Vegas desert, there is an annual mermaid convention. And courtesy of Walt Disney, everyone knows Ariel.
But this Weeki Wachee mermaid show on Florida’s northern Suncoast, not far from the Gulf of Mexico, was the first of its kind. More than 60 years ago.
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park invited the world to watch mermaids dance.
In 1997, Weeki Wachee called former mermaids out of retirement to celebrate the Springs’ 50th anniversary.
Lines wound along park paths and out into the parking lot to see 26 former mermaids – some in their 70s – twirl and pirouette under the sea during their mermaid shows.
One show turned into three that day, and the former mermaids’ Tails of Yesteryear found its place alongside the current Weeki Wachee mermaid shows. Once monthly, former mermaids don their tails and slip into the 72-degree water.
They look little like their younger counterparts. These mermaids have spent 40 years on land. They have had babies and careers.
But back in their element, they are agile, graceful creatures again, eliciting applause and tears from the crowd. The spring washes away weight and wrinkles, and they play out a script from 40 years ago – dancing on the water, suspended in time.
Barbara Wynns, the spokes-mermaid for the “formers,” as fans call them, first swam as a mermaid when she was 17.
“There are no words. You’ve got turtles playing with you and manatees. You’re floating in cool, clear, fresh water.
It’s the most incredible thing in the world. You dream about it when you’re not here.”
In 1957 Brooksville, a girl’s choices were limited to getting married, go to college or become a mermaid. Marriage didn’t stop her, and when she got pregnant, she kept swimming.
“It’s like water in your veins,” said Vicki, at 71 the eldest of the Springs’ grande dames. She lives less than two miles from the park. “We’re still a part of the river, a part of the spring.”
CAMPING AT WEEKI WACHEE STATE PARK
The 45-acre resort offers campsites, RV hookups and amenities that include a large heated swimming pool, picnic tables and easy assess to fishing, hiking and other activities. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is just a 15-minute drive from this rustic setting
Admission costs $13 for adults and $8 for kids ages 6-12; Buccaneer Bay admission is included in the price of admission. Canoe and kayak rentals cost extra.
The Best Camping Near Weeki Wachee, Florida.
New Heritage Ranch – $30/night
Community of Consciousnes – $25/night
Smokey Acres – $25/night
Smokey Acres – $15/night
Enchanted Garden. – $40/night
Timberline Farm – $40/night
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is also home to Buccaneer Bay.
Buccaneer Bay is Florida’s one and only spring-fed water park, and it’s located right in Weeki Wachee Springs. Here you’ll find much more than just a swimming area, but also high-speed water slides, flume rides, a tube ride, a lazy river, sandy beaches, and a beach volleyball court.
Kayak rentals and guided trips are available at the park for a six-mile, downriver paddle to Rogers Park, which has a swimming area and restaurants on the river.
The park is a great place to take a walk, play sports, enjoy a picnic, and more. Amenities include picnic areas, tables, restrooms, playground equipment, and fields for sports play.
The park is located on the river side of San Jose Blvd between Loretto Road and Orange Picker Road. The address is 11950 San Jose Blvd. Check out this nice little oasis in Mandarin!
Closest airport to Weeki Wachee Gardens is Tampa International Airport
GO HAVE SOME FUN WITH THE KIDDOS!