Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
Yes
ADA accessible
Yes
Guided tours
Yes
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

In 1947, Newton Perry founded the famous Florida mermaid shows in the first-magnitude Weeki Wachee Spring. Since then, underwater performers have delighted crowds throughout the year in daily swimming adventures viewed from a 400-seat submerged theater. As the lights dim, the mermaids act out a 30-minute version of The Little Mermaid in the waters of the spring, complete with original songs and dancing. Unlike other underwater acts, they don't use scuba breathing equipment, but rather take in air through thin tubes within the performance area. While times have changed since the mermaids became popular in the mid-20th century - and the show's themes could use some updates - the aquatic acrobatics remain impressive and incredibly popular with children.

Eventually the spring was incorporated into the Florida State Parks system, designated in 1982. Today, in addition to the mermaid shows, visitors can hop on 30-minute guided boat tours down the spring-fed river. The water remains completely clear and 72 degrees all year round, glowing aquamarine where it flows over white sand. Because of this clarity, one can easily see a multitude of fish species beneath the surface, including mullet, jack crevalle, and bass, as well as the occasional manatee. Anhingas, bald eagles, pied-billed grebes, and many other birds flock to the edge of the beautiful river. Canoes and kayaks are available for rent, and the Weeki Wachee River is one of the most popular paddles in Florida.

Within the 538-acre park, swimmers and snorkelers enjoy exploring Bucanneer Bay, bordered on one side by an artificial beach. An on-site restaurant offers multiple food and beverage options, and kids can visit a small playground.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Park entrance fee

Pros

Classic Florida destination. Great for kids.

Cons

Can be very crowded.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Features

ADA accessible
Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Covered picnic areas
Near lake or river
Amphitheater
Picnic tables
Potable water
Historically significant
Bird watching
Wildlife
Playground
Guided tours

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Crystal River Preserve State Park
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