Weeki Wachee State Park

Photo Opp ~ While exploring Central Florida, Al and I decided to visit another freshwater spring and one of Florida’s oldest roadside attractions.

Weeki Wachee State Park contains, of course, Weeki Wachee spring. Named by the Seminole Indians and roughly translating to “little spring.” The spring its self is anything but little, however, it boasts the deepest freshwater cave system in the United States bottoming out at around 407 feet. Unfortunately, neither Al or myself would be able to explore this even if we had the gear, due to the 117 million gallons of water pouring from the cave, each and every day. Still very pretty to look at though, because the water is so clear, which helps with the other site the park is known for.

Weeki Wachee was not always a State Park, the attraction started out as a roadside theater sunk into the limestone on one side of the spring, with windows allowing the audience the peer into the waters and behold, mermaids! Indeed, Weeki Wachee is home to real-life mermaids, or for the more decerning reader, women performing as mermaids. This tradition has been going on since 1947 when founder Newt Perry dreamt up an underwater ballet. The mermaids themselves have a very rich history spanning back through the seven decades since the first show.

After the state of Florida took over the park in 2008, they thankfully chose to keep the tradition going. Allowing for new generations to come and see a mermaid show any day of the year, even Christmas. Al and I were thankful for the chance to see a show on our visit and highly recommend that anyone passing through come see for themselves. Mermaids are not so mythical after all.

Weeki Wachee Mermaids perform underwater in the spring of the Weeki Wachee River viewed from an aquarium-like theater situated below water-level.
 
Weeki Wachee Springs with the Mermaid Theater to the left and Buccaneer Bay waterpark in the background.
Weeki Wachee Mermaids perform with Santa underwater in the spring of the Weeki Wachee River during their Christmas show.

About The Author: FMG’s guest explorer/writer Noah K. Parent is a blogger and author originally from the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. He now spends his time traveling the United States, working in outdoor education and seeking stories of a simplified life. His current project is breakstasis.com, a blog about his nomadic lifestyle and growing beyond bad habits.

Weeki Wachee State Park
6131 Commercial Way
Spring Hill, Florida 34606

N 28° 31′ 3″ W 82° 34′ 21″

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