Weeki Wachee Springs is a diverse and unique offering among Florida state parks.
Here, you’ll find a water park, kayaking and paddle board rentals, the deepest freshwater cave system in the United States, and live mermaid shows.
This park has something to interest every visitor.
Below, you’ll find a guide for Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, including information on when to visit, what to do, and what to bring with you.
What You Need to Know About Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
Hours For The Park
The park is open daily from 9 am to 5:30 pm.
The Entrance Fee For Weeki Wachee Springs
This state park has an entrance fee of $13 for each adult and $8 for kids between the ages of six and twelve years old. Children five years and under may enter the park for free.
Available Amenities At Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
This state park has a variety of amenities available for its visitors. Some of the things you’ll find here include an amphitheater, a launch for kayaks and canoes, concessions and a restaurant, parking, restrooms, an interpretive exhibit, a picnic area, shower station, and playground.
There is also a beach and a historic site.
Weeki Wachee Springs also has river boat rides, a waterpark, and kayak and paddleboard rentals available at the park.
Planning Your Visit
You’ll want to take note of the weather and places to stay while planning your trip to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.
What to Expect From the Weather
As with many Florida destinations, winter is the peak travel time for this state park. The summers are hot, humid, and rainy, while the winters are more moderate.
Weeki Wachee Springs is a particularly popular state park. If you would like to visit when there are fewer people, but the weather is still more preferable, you may wish to plan your trip during a shoulder month.
The shoulder seasons for this state park include October and November in the fall and March and April in the spring.
Places To Stay Nearby
Unlike many state and national parks, there is not camping available at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. However, there are many places to stay within a few miles of the state park. In fact, some hotels are less than a mile away. Many of the close by hotels you’ll find are in Spring Hill, Florida or the town of Weeki Wachee.
There are also many campgrounds nearby, including ones suitable for RVs. You’ll find several options in the town of Weeki Wachee, Florida.
How to Get to The Park
Weeki Wachee Springs state park is approximately an hour north of Tampa, or a two hour drive west of Orlando on the Florida Turnpike. There is parking available at the state park.
What To Bring To Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
When planning your trip, make sure to think about the water activities you’ll engage in. Also plan for the sun and heat.
Keep in mind that this state park has a gift shop and restaurant. While we’re allowed to bring a cooler with food and snacks, you have the option to purchase them on site as well.
Some ideas for things to bring with you on your trip include:
- Your bathing suit
- A beach towel
- A hat, for sun protection
- A refillable water bottle
What To Do While Visiting The Park
This Florida park is most well known for its live mermaid show. The mermaid shows occur in a spring. There is a seating area in the lime rock with viewing windows that are below the surface of the water.
The mermaid show lasts for approximately half an hour. The times for these shows vary by season; they typically happen three or four times a day. You’ll want to check the state park website for current event hours.
The mermaid show is far from the only thing to do during your visit. Buccaneer Bay also has water slides and a lazy river. You can rent kayaks or paddle boards at the park.
You can also go swimming, snorkeling or jump on a boat tour.
The park has a white sand beach you can sunbathe on.
A picnic area is a great place to enjoy a meal, or there is a restaurant on site.
The Best Time to Visit
This state park is busiest in the winter months. That’s because during the summer months, particularly June, July, and August, the weather is much hotter, more humid, and there is an increased chance of rain.
If you’d like to visit when there is less rain and the weather is cooler, but there are fewer visitors to the park, the shoulder months are February through May, or October and November.
The Interesting History of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
Weeki Wachee Springs only became a Florida state park in November of 2008, but it’s been a part of Florida’s history since 1947.
At its start, a stunt swimmer and attraction promoter used underwater air hose breathing techniques to create a mermaid show. He started this park attraction in the spring and tourism began to take off.
By 1982, the bay had water slides, a lazy river, and the white sand beach for visitors to enjoy.
Over the years, many celebrities have visited the park. Some of these acclaimed visitors include Elvis Presley, Don Knotts, and Larry The Cable Guy.
Eventually, the park was briefly owned by ABC studios. Several movies, television shows, and music videos have been filmed in the park.
In 2007, when the spring waters dropped, it was discovered the underwater caves were much larger than originally believed.
While the caves aren’t open for everyone to explore, professionals discovered new passages and established that Weeki Wachee Springs state park is home to the deepest freshwater cave system in the United States.
As of November 1, 2008, the 200 acres of Weeki Wachee Springs is an official state park of Florida.
The state park system protects a diverse range of wildlife in the park, the underwater cave system, and this classic Florida tourism attraction.
Plan For An Exciting Trip to This Florida State Park
Enjoy a fun afternoon or a long weekend with your family at this historic Florida attraction.
There aren’t many water parks with as much history and natural elements as this unique attraction boasts.
Combined with the live mermaid shows, this affordable attraction park is sure to be a memorable vacation.