Looking for something unique to do around the Tampa Bay area? If you’ve already been to a Buccaneers game, ate too many peanuts at a Devil Ray’s game and later made them re-appear on Busch Garden’s Sheikra, perhaps it’s time to switch it up and discover one of the area’s hidden treasures. Grab the kiddies, the girlfriend or old college buddies, and head over to Weeki Wachee Springs.
Located in Weeki Wachee, Florida, the Springs are just an hour North of Tampa Bay and off of State Road 50. As a native Floridian and former resident of Hillsborough County, I am a little ashamed that I have never heard of this gem. Aside from housing the Buccaneer Bay, a spring-fed water park for all ages, Weeki Wachee Springs is also home of enchanting mermaids. That’s right…actual mermaids.
What You’ll See
For over 60 years, the legendary mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs have put on performances for eager audiences. Guests are invited to sit in the 500-seat auditorium that is nestled conveniently 16 feet below the surface. How else can you comfortably watch the mermaids and mermen swim around in synchronized fashion? Their shows attract thousands of tourists each year. After you’ve enjoyed wanting to be a mermaid (or falling in love with one), take a canoe or kayak ride down the Spring. Relax as you float down the river and keep your eyes peeled for manatees, alligators, fish, otters, and turtles.
Admission is $13 will get you daily admittance into the Weeki Wachee Springs show park and $26 will get you in Buccaneer Bay, for water slide adventures and white sand beach relaxin’. Now that’s a side of Florida that I can’t wait to visit!
For more information visit their website and be sure to call ahead before booking a trip. Some attractions are seasonal and don’t re-open again until Spring.
For those of you that live outside the Florida area and are planning a trip, you can start here.