Top 5 Things to Do in Weeki Wachee
We know what you think: what a quirky name! True to its moniker, Weeki Wachee is a unique place with a total population of a staggering 13! Located in Hernando County, it’s an unincorporated community that features the 12,000-acre Weeki Wachee Preserve and the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.
If you plan on visiting the west coast of Florida, make sure to spend a day in this charming place! Here are the best things to do in Weeki Wachee.
1. Watch a Live Mermaid Show
Of all the things to do in Weeki Wachee, watching a live mermaid show is certainly the most unique one. One admission ticket allows you to watch the show, swim at the on-site water park and go down its many waterslides, watch an animal or reptile show, and take a boat ride down the Weeki Wachee River.
In 1946, former US Navy SEAL trainer Newton Perry founded the live mermaid shows in Weeki Wachee. He developed a hose supplying oxygen from an air compressor, which allows the mermaids to breathe underwater, so while performing their show to the soundtrack of pop music or children’s fairy tales, the mermaids and their princes discreetly inhale the air from the breathing tubes.
From a 500-seat theater built 16 ft below the surface, you can watch the magic unfold in a natural spring.
2. Swim at Rogers Park
Located along Shoal Line Boulevard, RogersPark is a 3-acre beach park that offers many recreational activities, including swimming, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, and boating. With abundant picnic tables, a playground, barbecue grills, and a volleyball court, Rogers Park is a perfect destination for the entire family. People love gathering on and around the large man-made white-sand beach on the south of the spring-fed Weeki Wachee River.
A popular place for motorboats, Rogers Park also attracts avid kayaking and canoeing enthusiasts. Accessing the river through a convenient launch ramp, you can go upstream all the way to Weeki Wachee Spring in the State Park. The closer you get to the spring source, the clearer the water gets.
While the sandy beach area is perfect for swimming, you’re not allowed to swim in other parts of the river. That means you cannot leave your kayak while in other parts of the river, but nevertheless, visiting Rogers Park is a great option for things to do in Weeki Wachee.
3. Encounter Manatees in Jenkins Creek Park
Weeki Wachee is one of the best places to visit in Florida because it offers so many wonderful outdoor and watersports destinations. Jenkins Creek runs parallel to the Weeki Wachee River where you can go boating, canoeing, have a BBQ or a picnic, and go fishing. If you’re not into catching fish, however, you can also focus on finding manatees.
Since Jenkins Creek has a steady temperature of 72–74 °F, it draws in many manatees who migrate here for their winter retreat. If you’re visiting between November 15th and March 31st, you’re practically guaranteed to see manatees, as this is their migration season.
When you do encounter them, pay attention to some of their unique features. You may be surprised to learn that manatees have toenails, that they can hold their breath up to 20 minutes, swim at a speed of up to 15 miles per hour, and are talented water acrobats that love to do somersaults and swim upside down!
Don’t forget to bring your camera and take some pictures when you encounter these beautiful gentle giants.
4. Go Kayaking in Weeki Wachee
Obviously, one of the best things to do in Florida is kayaking through its many beautiful natural springs. The crystal-clear waters of the Weeki Wachee River are one of the Sunshine State’s most beautiful kayaking destinations and we offer the best Weeki Wachee kayaking! During one of our unique eco-tour experiences, you get to explore the area in a clear-bottom kayak.
While out on the water, you can expect to encounter an abundance of aquatic life including freshwater and saltwater fish, turtles, bald eagles, Cownose rays, the occasional otter, and even dolphins! Kayaking in Florida is a great way to reconnect to nature, stay active, and bond with family or friends over a fun activity.
5. Have a Meal in Weeki Wachee
One of the best things to do in Weeki Wachee is having a meal at one of its many dining options. A local and visitor favorite is the Breakfast Station, a quaint restaurant that serves American comfort food. The cinnamon pancakes are one of their bestsellers, and they taste equally delicious for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
For a quick fulfilling bite, head to Richie Cheesesteak where you can pick up a generously filled sandwich with fries. If you prefer something more exotic, try Greek City Cafe, La Bella Napoli Italian Restaurant, or Masa Asian Bistro and Bar, which serves Japanese, sushi, Thai, vegetarian and vegan options.