Weeki Wachee Springs is the destination for this week’s Travel Tuesday! This Florida State Park is best known for its mermaids, who perform daily for audiences in a unique underwater theater. Let’s take a look at the magic of Weeki Wachee!
About Weeki Wachee Springs
The Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is part of Florida’s renowned freshwater spring system. “Discovered” by Newton Perry, a former U.S. Navy man, the 74ºF springs were in need of some major TLC. The river and caverns were full of garbage and old appliances, and Perry devised a system of air hoses to allow divers to work in the depths without resurfacing.
From there, Perry built a small theater looking into the crystal clear depths, and hired women to use the same air hose technology to perform for guests. Over the years, these women began to dress in full mermaid suits, and now perform daily, 30 minute shows for the audiences that come to the park.
Additionally, guests can take a riverboat cruise, enjoy a wildlife education show, and also spend time at Bucaneer Bay, which boasts a beach, floating dock, and swimming area. This is all included with the price of admission.
Arriving At The Park
Pro tip: Arrive early. The park fills up quickly, especially during high season (summer), and once it has reached capacity, the gates close and no one else gains entry.
Adults pay $13, children aged 6-12 are $8, and children five and under are free. Cash and card are both accepted.
What To Bring
Since we just planned on walking around and going to the Mermaid Show, we arrived with the bare minimum: regular t-shirts and shorts, with hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
Had we planned on spending time at Bucaneer Bay, we would have brought beach bags with towels, a change of clothes, and a small cooler.
Things To Do In The Park
Once inside, guests receive a map, which provides the locations and/or times of the attractions.
The park isn’t huge, and is very easy to navigate. On the mermaid side, guests can explore a few nature trails, take a riverboat cruise (it was not operating during our visit), or experience a Ranger Show with native Florida animals.
The Bucaneer Bay side of the park offers a beach, waterslide, floating dock and swimming area, as well as a launch to rent kayaks for an additional fee. Guests can also snorkel in the depths. There are beach chairs and picnic tables available, and lockers to rent. The water is crystal clear and refreshing, and totally worth the initial chill!
The Mermaid Show
With run times of 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM, the mermaid show is the main reason for visiting Weeki Wachee Springs. Again, guests need to line up early, because the theater is small and fills up quickly.
I don’t want to ruin anything, but the shows last 30 minutes and are full of music, information about the history of the park and the mermaids, and choreographed underwater routines. It’s truly so one-of-a-kind, and everyone in our party really enjoyed it.
Weeki Wachee Springs is pure Old Florida, and so unique. We love the Florida Springs in general, but it was nice to have this little bit of this mermaid twist. The admission is incredibly reasonable for all that’s included, and guests can really make an entire day of the park. We would love to go back when the river cruise is operating, and we would also love to check out the floating dock a little more closely.
Have you visited the famous mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs?
Would you prefer swimming or kayaking in the crystal clear springs?