One Tank Trip: Weeki Wachee Springs

Image 1 of 2

The name means "Little Spring" or "Winding River."

Nestled at the corner of U.S. 19 and Cortez Boulevard in Hernando County, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is a haven for wildlife and an all-around water-themed attraction.

"We've got a riverboat cruise that takes our guests a little further down the Weeki Wachee River," said John Athanason, a spokesperson for the park. "Behind me is Buccaneer Bay, Florida's only spring-fed water park, where our guests actually swim in the spring itself."

But the main lure for the park is more mythical.

"We get a lot of visitors from out of state, out of country, who have heard of the world-famous mermaids, and have made that pilgrimage to the city of live mermaids to watch them perform," said Athanason.

The park's 30 young mer-ladies show their skills up to four times a day during the summer, and the springs become their theater.

"The spring is a constant 72 degrees year-round, 99.8 percent pure spring water, and out of the aquifer pumps 117 million gallons of water each and every day," said Athanason.

The girls make the water choreography so flawless, and for the brave, the park offers camps to learn how to channel your inner mermaid.

Camps are for seven to 14-year-olds, and also for ladies 30 and up. Participants can get a mermaid makeover, try some basic water ballet, and get a behind-the-scenes look at a show.

Another big draw for the park, Buccaneer Bay, is open daily for a week, starting April 3. Hours switch to a weekend-only basis after that, then back to daily hours on June 4th.

Click here for more information on the park and its activities.