In Florida there is a small place where magic from the days of old still exists. No I’m not talking about all of those Orlando theme parks, I’m talking about a place where you can find beautiful, mystical creatures on display that have not been seen anywhere else on this earth. A place where you can find the grand sirens that tortured brave Ulysses and all of his men. The very divine creatures that have both brightened and haunted sailors’ dreams for centuries. A place where real live mermaids do still exist and can be seen. This place is tucked away in a sleepy little town nestled on the west coast of Florida. If you take a drive about an hour north of the bustling Tampa Bay area, you too can experience the magic of mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.
Founded back in 1947 Weeki Wachee Springs State Park harkens back to another time when life was a little slower. Lacking all of the bells and whistles of a modern theme park (there aren’t any animatronic mermaids here) what’s left is a mix of old fashioned charm and fun. The second we walked in there was no question that we needed to include it in our Tampa travel guide. The star of the show at Weeki Wachee Springs is by far the mermaids that perform several times a day in the mermaid theater. It was really great to see performers committed to some really difficult underwater acrobatics that allowed them to cast a spell on the kids in the audience and allow them to believe that mermaids do in fact exist.
There’s a lot more charm to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park than Mermaids though. Being absolute nature lovers, we both really enjoyed the nature cruise along the Weeki Wachee River. Formed by a natural spring, the river outputs 170 million gallons of fresh water every day as is flows out towards the Gulf of Mexico. The boat runs every 30 minutes, but if you are visiting on a busy day, plan on trying to make it to the dock early, as it is a very popular attraction. The boat ride lasts about 25 minutes and gives you the opportunity to see some of the incredible Floridian flora and fauna.
While we were visiting, we were also pleasantly surprised to see some of the local residents strutting their stuff.
These peacocks were definitely not part of the parks normal display, they just stopped by for a visit. Weeki Wachee Springs does feature a daily wildlife show that educates the audience and showcases some of Florida’s most misunderstood species.
After the show, you even get a chance to get up close and personal with a baby gator.
On top of all the great nature and relaxation available at Weeki Wachee Springs, there’s also time for some adventure and excitement. Buccaneer Bay, Florida’s only spring-fed water park, is included in the admission to Weeki Wachee Springs.
Featuring a beach, a play area, and 3 different water slides it’s a nice add on to the state park and gave us the opportunity to enjoy the cool 73 degree water. It was also a nice way to have some fun shooting down the water slide.
Lauren and I really enjoyed our day at Weeki Wachee Springs and feel as though you would too. While it’s not overloaded with activities, it has enough to do to keep you there for the whole day and have a fun and relaxing time.
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