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.more
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.more
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...more
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...more
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"...more
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...more
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.more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
You aren't allowed to bring food or drink into the park, so whatever you want to eat has to be bought there. We were there between 10 and 11:30, so we didn't buy anything to eat. I did note that there were several places to eat including the Banquet Hall, a rental hall for groups. Pictures are of the Mermaid Galley Restaurant entrance with a...more
We did not go into this shop. It is right inside the entrance and is item C on the map (second picture)
The first warning - The guidebooks and website said that there would be a $3 parking fee. However the parking kiosk was not manned and there was also a flea market being held on the Saturday in January that we were there. So we didn't pay the fee. YMMV.The second warning is that there is a fee charged to pose with the mermaids. I didn't pay a fee,...more
10 Reviews and Opinions
The name is misleading - there is no sand beaches in Hernando Beach in this waterfront community. The network of channels built close to the Mexican Gulf, allows the residents to use both their cars and boats every day.
Two miles north from Bayport is another small gulfside community called the Pine Island. Were able to reach it without problems in October taking the Pine Island Drive from Bayport. But during hurricane season parts of the roadway are under the water making the area truly island. The mudflats and wetlands on the both sides of the serpentine road...more
Small town of Bayport is located at the mouth of the Weeki Wachee River. In the end of the Cortez Boulevard you'll find the Bayport Park. It offers free parking lots, restrooms, covered picnic area and two boat ramps with direct access to Gulf of Mexico - main reason to visit the area. It was not easy to find a spot to park our car during our...more
Next to the Wilderness River Cruise is something called the Tranquility Trail. We did not have either the time or inclination to do this.
We saw some kayakers on the river, and also a kind of boat ramp where canoes or other small boats could be put into the river if you can pick them up because the 'ramp' isn't paved.
The Wilderness cruise boat uses electric motors, and I suspect that gasoline motors are not allowed.
Equipment: I think boating equipment can be rented from the state park.
My first visit to Weeki Wachee was in 1958 with my parents. We also went to Cypress Gardens and Silver Springs on that trip. Famous people who have visited the park include Elvis, Arthur Godfrey and Deborah "Gidget" Walley. I remember Arthur Godfrey talking about the mermaids on his radio show.Another visitor was Don Knotts who played the...more
I don't remember doing the River Cruise when we visited Weeki Wachee before. But this is definitely a worthwhile attraction to see. The cruise goes by electric boat up the river and then at the end of the cruise, the boat goes by this platform.When the cruise gets to this point, there was a great blue heron on the platform (last photo), and the...more
Manatees or the sea cows are the most famous inhabitants of the Nature Coast. The ancient manatee used to confuse sailors into believing that they had sighted a mermaid. The sailors had obviously drunk a lot of rum, as the sea cow, with its burlap-like skin and up to 3,000-pund un-girlish figure, more closely resembles the elephant. Let me give you...more