Weeki Wachee Things to Do

  • weeki wachee state park
    weeki wachee state park
    by doug48
  • yulee sugar mill ruins
    yulee sugar mill ruins
    by doug48
  • manatees
    manatees
    by doug48

Best Rated Things to Do in Weeki Wachee

  • Tolik's Profile Photo

    Weeki Wachee

    by Tolik Updated Nov 29, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Weeki Wachee, Pistachio St

    The Western Florida town itself is only of passing interest, with precious little to see or do other than a couple of hours of exploratory wanderings. But Weeki Wachee is a great home base if you are looking for an adventure that includes the surrounding areas. Another major road, Shoal Line Blvd. Runs takes you to the local parks and beaches.

    This area of the Western Florida is known as the Nature Coast. Instead of white sand beaches and seaside resorts you will find sea-salt marshes and wild rivers. While this spells bad news for the beach-lovers, it means excellent conditions for wildlife.

    Most famous inhabitants are manatees or the sea cows, but the Nature Coast is also home to hundreds of bird species. The ancient manatee used to confuse sailors into beleiving that they had sighted a mermaid. The sailors drank a lot of rum, as the sea cow, with its burlap-like skin and up to 3,500-pound un-girlish figure, more closely resembles the elephant. High tourist season in the area is January - March when you can see the visiting manatees - they come to winter here in warm pockets of water created by natural springs. You can even dive to see manatees in Crystal Rive Manatee Dive tour.

    But you can find the live mermaids too (no drinking necessary) - at the Weeki Wachee Springs Waterpark.

    Related to:
    • Business Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Tolik's Profile Photo

    Weeki Wachee Springs Waterpark

    by Tolik Updated Nov 27, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Weeki Wachee River

    Weeki Wachee Springs Waterpark is the main attraction in the area. It has given the town nickname the City of Live Mermaids.

    In attempt to make the town famous, local people invented the mermaids show somewhere 50+ years ago (Weeki Wachee Waterpark celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 1997) . The mermaids of Weeki Wachee wear green or silver-tailored costumes and take breaths of piped-in air to perform their attraction including eating and drinking underwater and singing "We've got the world by the tail". The Waterpark turns Disney films into its mermaid shows ("The Little Mermaid" of course, but also Pocahontas etc). After show, you have a photo opportunity to pose with a mermaid. Other shows around the park include exotic birds, petting zoo, and birds of pray. Currently they run the show Thursday through Sunday, 11AM - 3 PM. Admission cost is around $30.

    Recently, the mermaid story had unusual twist. Director Kim Cummings filmed a short movie here called "Weeki Wachee Girls". As the story goes, two young girls have dreamed of being part of the live mermaid show at the Waterpark. The movie received the Silver Illumination Award at the Philadelphia Gay & Lesbian Film Festival in 2001 for the Best Lesbian Short Film.

    Related to:
    • Business Travel
    • Birdwatching

    Was this review helpful?

  • atufft's Profile Photo

    Weeki Wachi Wetland Boating

    by atufft Written Jun 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Kayakers on Weeki Wachi
    4 more images

    There is a boat launch, but parking is limited. We had to improvise on a place to leave the car and trailer after launching the boat. Alcohol is illegal in the park, and power boats are limited to 5mph. Most boats are kayaks or inflatable rafts. The meandering waterways are lined on either side with houses that have shoreside access for cars. The manatee can be found swimming in these waters, believe it or not, and during my trip, I was able to see a group of juveniles.

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Weeki Wachee Wilderness Cruise 2006

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Wood Storks
    4 more images

    We got to Weeki Wachee right when it opened at 10, and the first mermaid show was not until 11:00. So in the meantime, we took the River Cruise which left at 10:15. The boat was propelled with an electric motor which was very quiet. The water of the river was very clear, and the guide showed us lots of birds, particularly the ones pictured (wood storks, anhinga, great blue heron, great egret and brown pelicans). He had fish to feed them, and they sometimes sat on top of the boats to beg for food.

    I didn't do the Silver Springs boatride last year because I thought it was too expensive, but this is more or less the same as I remember that boatride particularly in regard to the clearness of the water.

    At present, the park is open 10-4 and the River Cruise is included in the entrance price. The boats run 10:15am through 3:00pm. For more photos, see the travelogue.

    The website (and also signs at the dock) says: Due to limited seating we can not assure all guests will be able to enjoy this attraction

    Related to:
    • Cruise
    • Theme Park Trips
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • atufft's Profile Photo

    Spotting Manatee at Weeki Wachee

    by atufft Written Jun 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Manatees in Weeki Wachee
    3 more images

    Manatee thrive in this area, despite the encroaching housing along the waterway, because of increased popular concern for these huge animals welfare, and growing awareness of damage caused by speedboats and propellers. They are huge, shy animals that cause a lot of excitement among the kayakers, so it's not hard to spot them.

    Related to:
    • Kayaking
    • Whale Watching
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Photo Ops 1967 and 2006

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Oldest daughter
    4 more images

    When we were in Weeki Wachi in the mid 60s it was the heyday of the park. The mermaid shows included recreations of movies or plays. There were lots of little statues around where my kids could climb or could pose for pictures. The seahorse is named Bubbles and was in the Star Garden Hall of Fame. The original was in the Alice in Wonderland show.

    Currently, that is not the case. There were a couple of small 'riding' toys (see photo 4 with the saddled dolphin and the skunk), and a big clam shell were people could get in or stand in front and have their pictures taken but that seemed to about it.

    There were also mermaid photo-ops (which had to be paid for). Perhaps the old statues have gone over to the amusement part of Weeki Wachi (Buccaneer Bay), or maybe they are just gone.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Theme Park Trips
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • atufft's Profile Photo

    Other Freshwater Bayous

    by atufft Written Jun 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Weeki Wachee
    4 more images

    As longtime VTer from northern Florida, Pete Chamblis observes, this is old Florida. There are waterways with homes that date back to around WWII and before. Few of these homes are on stilts as they should all be, given the risk of higher sea levels and hurricane surges. My friend accelerated to high speed past the red pylons that mark the waterway and putting into a fear of capsizing. But, when he drifted to stop, I noticed that the depth a mile or so off shore into the Gulf of Mexico was till a mere 8 feet deep.

    Was this review helpful?

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Weeki Wachee Buccaneer Bay Water Park 2006

    by grandmaR Updated Jan 8, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sign at Entrance
    3 more images

    Since it was in January, and during a cold snap to boot, we didn't feel particularly inclined to do any water park activities. It was closed anyway at that time of year. But the Buccaneer Bay park has four water slides and a beach area on the other side of the river from where the mermaids swim. They are the Pirates's Plunge, the Thunderbolt, the Pirate's Revenge and the Cannonball.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Family Travel
    • Theme Park Trips

    Was this review helpful?

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Weeki Wachee Mermaid Show 2006

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Mermaid circle
    4 more images

    When my husband and I went back to the park in 2006, the park was obviously in decline. There was still a mermaid show, but it was a little different than it was in 1967.

    The theatre was still there, underwater. Initially, they had the blinds drawn across the viewing window. Women working as mermaids, but not swimming in that particular show were acting as ushers and as a narrator and they showed a slide show about the history of the place before the main show started. When they raised the blinds, we could see the wildlife of the springs (turtles, manatees) swimming around (photo 3). I do not remember seeing that before.

    The mermaids wore mermaid tails for most of the show, and in 1967 there was more emphasis on the show and less on the mermaid aspect of it. The show was not a recreation of a broadway show or movie - instead it was a series of skits. At the end, one of the mermaids did a deep breath-holding free dive to the bottom of the spring.

    According to their website, this year they are doing the "Little Mermaid" show.

    Of course another difference is that in 1967 we went during the summer when it was warm, and this time it was January and there was a cold snap.

    For more pictures of the 2006 show, see the travelogues

    Related to:
    • Water Sports
    • Family Travel
    • Theme Park Trips

    Was this review helpful?

  • doug48's Profile Photo

    weeki wachee springs state park

    by doug48 Written Oct 7, 2011
    weeki wachee state park

    weeki wachee springs state park is one of the most visited tourist attractions of west central florida. the spring was developed as a tourist attraction in 1947. the spring has a underwater viewing area where you can see their "mermaid" shows. the park also has a water park and a river cruise. a interesting place to visit to see an "old florida" tourist attraction.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Theme Park Trips
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • doug48's Profile Photo

    yulee sugar mill ruins state park

    by doug48 Written Oct 7, 2011
    yulee sugar mill ruins

    located 25 miles north of weeki wachee is the charming fishing village of homosassa. in the town of homosassa is the historic yulee sugar mill ruins state park. david levy yulee established a 5,000 acre sugar cane plantation st this site in 1851. at the state park you can visit the ruins of yulee's sugar mill. for more information see my homosassa pages.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • National/State Park
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • doug48's Profile Photo

    homosassa springs wildlife park

    by doug48 Updated Oct 7, 2011
    manatees

    homosassa springs wildlife park is located 25 miles north of weeki wachee on US 19. this state park offer a underwater viewing area where you can see fresh and salt water fish and in the winter months manatees. the homosassa springs park is more wildlife orientated than weeki wachee. for more information see my homosassa pages.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • doug48's Profile Photo

    crystal river preserve state park

    by doug48 Written Oct 7, 2011
    crystal river preserve state park

    crystal river preserve state park is located 35 miles north of weeki wachee on US 19. this state park is a large tract of undeveloped land on the crystal river. the state park offers wildlife trails, canoeing, and fishing. for those interested in nature and florida wildlife this is a very nice park to visit. for more information see my crystal river pages.

    Related to:
    • Fishing
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • doug48's Profile Photo

    crystal river archaelogical state park

    by doug48 Written Oct 7, 2011
    native american burial mound

    crystal river archaelogical state park is located 35 miles north of weeki wachee in the town of crystal river. the park has seven native american mounds and two steles dating back to 500 BC. for those interested in pre-columbian archaeology this is a very interesting park to visit. for more information see my crystal river pages.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Buccaneer Bay is a BUST!

    by ReneeO Written Jul 19, 2014

    We are not tourists, we live here but had never been to the park. I took a day off if work yesterday to spend time with my son and go to the park. When we first got there, we went straight to stand in line for the slides . All the slides are at the top of the same set of stairs. So while standing there on the stairs going up to the top, you have hoards of kids running up past you on the stairs saying they are in a different line! Apparently there are three separate lines going up the stairs but there is no sign saying this. These stairs were way to narrow for three lines ! Then when you get up to the top , you have to switch lines for the ride you had been standing in line for. I asked a lifeguard if on fact there were really three lines going up those stairs or were all those kids just cutting? He said it was three lines. The problem was one ride goes faster than the others so kids are constantly running past you up the stairs.
    After that chaotic adventure going up those stairs, one slide ride was enough so we decided to strap on our masks and snorkel . The only cool place to snorkel was a dock where kids were jumping off. We didn't want to get jumped on by kids so we decided to snorkel behind the dock. It was very deep and beautiful.. We were enjoying our view when we heard a blood curdling whistle telling us that we couldn't swim there ! That was only for people who rent tubes to go down the "lazy river"! We were told to stay within the confines of the ropes containing shallow water with hundreds of other pickles people corralled in by the ropes!
    Well we didn't want to be there within the ropes, we wanted to be in the beautiful deeper water where the tubers were. So, in order to be there , we had to rent a tube that cost &12! Only one dollar less than admission to the park! I stood in a long line to lay down my 12 bucks for the tube ! The lady told me if I didn't return it within 30 min that the line to return my tube and get my driver's lic back would get very very long BC the park would close at 5:30 and people would start lining up at 5!! The thought of that upcoming "tube return line" disturbed me but oh well finally we were off to "Lazy River"! We got on our tubes and couldn't see around the corner but we were sure it probably went around the park.. The current where we started wasn't very strong so because we couldn't wait to be on the main stream on the "lazy river" where the current pick us up, we started kicking our legs to propel our tube faster! Finally we make it to the mouth of the "lazy river" and right there within maybe 50 yards was the EXIT!!!! My son said ," Are you kidding me? The exit already?!?!" You couldn't see how SHORT the "lazy river" was from the rest of the park! You have to be the sucker to lay down $12 for a tube in order to find that out!!! We didn't have that $12 tube for more than ten minutes before we returned it... We ended up just leaving.. No fun and feeling like what a waste of my day that I took off work and felt so ripped off!! It's ashame to because we were looking so forward to going there !

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Weeki Wachee

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

97 travelers online now

Comments

Weeki Wachee Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Weeki Wachee things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Weeki Wachee sightseeing.

View all Weeki Wachee hotels