Just north of Tampa, and about two hours west of Orlando is an underwater treasure like you couldn’t even believe.
Where US Highway 19 and State Road 50 meet in Weeki Wachee, Florida you can find the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, home to a river boat tour, animal shows, water sports and an amazing underwater mermaid show.
Weeki Wachee Mermaids: A National Treasure
One of Florida’s oldest attractions, “the world’s only underwater mermaid cabaret” according to the Travel Channel’s Extreme Roadside Adventures, Weeki Wachee Springs is an incredible experience. Once a roadside attraction, this Florida state park now features an underwater theater seating 400 where the world-renowned mermaids play and frolic in the water to their underwater musicals three times a day. Even without Scuba gear, the mermaids are able to breathe thanks to the invention of ex-navy Frogman and park proprietor Newt Perry.
Each show includes a live underwater version of The Little Mermaid, the classic tale by Hans Christian Andersen, as well as Fish Tails: a historical/musical representation of the park itself. With a nod to the flag, the Fish Tails musical performance even includes red white and blue mermaid tails. On top of all that, the mermaids of years past come back to perform a show each month.
This isn’t just a theme park, though, as it’s been a popular location for film and TV productions, from the 50s when Elvis Presley himself showed up, all the way to 2004 when Paris Hilton and The Simple Life stopped by for a visit.
Not Just Mermaids
Along with your visit to see the mermaids of Weeki Wachee, you can come for a River Boat Cruise included in the price of admission. It’s an excellent opportunity to see Florida’s wildlife in their natural habitat, just don’t stick your hand over the side.
If you love your animals a bit more controlled, come on down to Weeki Wachee’s animal show, held three times a day at the Riverside Theater. Here you’ll see all sorts of Florida’s native creatures from alligators to snakes and more!
If the alligators and snakes didn’t scare you off, though, you’re welcome to get a little more wet with canoeing, kayaking and diving: just make sure to make a reservation because these aren’t included in the admission
Water Park at Buccaneer Bay
Right next door to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is Buccaneer Bay. The water park features a beach, picnic facilities, the Lazy River tube-ride and more! For the smaller adventurers among us, Lil’ Mates Caribbean Cove is a water play area for ages six and under. Unfortunately, even though the State Park is open year-round, Buccaneer Bay only opens in the summer.
So if you’re down in Florida, stop on by Weeki Wachee Springs State Park and make an amazing trip into something unforgettable.