Weeki Wachee is a Florida state park located in Spring Hill (formerly Weeki Wachee), Florida. The park offers kayaking, a spring-fed water park, wildlife shows, a riverboat cruise, and — what it is famous for — Mermaids.
I visited the park on December 9th, 2019, during my grand tour of Florida. Weeki Wachee — like the House on the Rock, Graceland & South of the Border — makes the bucket list of most fans of roadside attractions & tourist traps, so I had to check it out. Plus everyone likes mermaids, right?
I had the opportunity to purchase a ticket for the mermaid show and a riverboat cruise. I opted for both. The riverboat cruise takes you and a dozen other tourists down a vegetation-lined, spring-fed stream with a beautiful turquoise stream bed. The stream eventually connects to the sea, allowing manatees to swim into it, but we didn’t see any that day. The boat captain told a story about an island that was inhabited by monkeys. Not sure what happened to the monkeys. Didn’t ask.
The park grounds are decorated with dozens of sculptures of mermaids & nude swimmers. Sorry to disappoint/happy to relieve: the actual mermaids & swimmers in the exhibits and neighboring water park are NOT nude.
The Mermaid Mold-a-Matic molds you a plastic souvenir in a matter of minutes. I got a blue mermaid. Yes, that’s the only choice. There’s also a souvenir shop in the main building.
On to the show!
I entered the Newton Perry Underwater Mermaid Theatre, then descended down a long cement ramp (sort of like descending into a cave) and entered the seating area. If memory serves, the seats were like high-school bench bleachers. The air was humid, but not hot. Everything felt almost moist.
The entertainment started with a park ranger who gave a talk about the local geology, fauna, and flora. Don’t be shy — ask a question, and the ranger will have an answer. Snakes, birds, lizards, manatees, what type of stone the grounds are made of — the ranger knows.
Once the ranger left, the Mermaid show began. The “ring leader” announced the start of the show, the curtain rose, and I COULD NOT BELIEVE WHAT I SAW. Yes, three beautiful mermaids & their ring leader/announcer, but also the amazing sight of a huge, bubbling blue natural spring… held back my three thick glass windows. EYE-POPPINGLY AMAZING! If memory serves, the mermaids & the ring leader performed about a dozen “dances” & skits — all underwater, with the help of air hoses, and a lot of athletic talent (you try swimming underwater for 45 minutes).
It’s definitely worth seeing the show if you’re in the area, especially if you’re a mermaid or mermaid enthusiast.
The ring leader fights off the alga monster (alga is a problem with the local springs):
The ring leader and mermaid breathe oxygen through hoses:
Since I visited in 2019, a lot has happened. The park was closed due to the 2020 pandemic, the town of Weeki Wachee was dissolved by the state, but the area was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.