Take a break from city life and enjoy the natural beauty of Weeki Wachee Springs in Hernando County. This weekend getaway spot is one of the few places in the Tampa Bay area where visitors can canoe over the crystal clear waters of the Weeki Wachee River and see Florida’s world famous manatees in their natural habitat. For photographers, there may be no better place to capture Florida wildlife at its best.

Getting There

Weeki Wachee is easy to get to from just about anywhere in Central Florida. From Tampa, take the Veterans Expressway north to Exit #46 Brooksville/Weeki Wachee. Turn left on to SR50 and continue east for 5.9 miles. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is on the corner of SR 50 and US Highway 19.

What To Do

Mermaid Shows
6131 Commercial Way
Spring Hill, FL 34606
(352) 592-5656

Live Mermaids have been performing in the year-round 74-degree waters of Weeki Wachee Springs since 1947. Their underwater shows, “Little Mermaid” and “Fish Tails,” bring music and aquatic acrobatics together for an entertaining experience for visitors of all ages.

Paddling Adventures
6131 Commercial Way
Spring Hill, FL 34606
(352) 597-8484

Take in the scenes of the Weeki Wachee River at your own pace from a kayak or canoe. Rentals are available from Paddling Adventures by Cape Leisure. Floating over the gentle currents of the river, visitors often see wild raccoons, wading birds, alligators and the graceful sea cows commonly known as Florida manatees.

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Where To Stay

Cody’s Catfish Pond & RV Park
8588 Ostrom Way
Weeki Wachee, Florida 34613
(352) 596-6010

Relax in privacy in your own recreational vehicle. Just a five-minute drive from Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, this RV park campground offers the adventures of camping with the comforts of home in a friendly atmosphere with rates that start under $30 per day.

Camper’s Holiday
2092 Culbreth Road
Brooksville, FL 34602
(352) 796-3707

The 45-acre resort offers campsites, RV hookups and amenities that include a large heated swimming pool, picnic tables and easy assess to fishing, hiking and other activities. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is just a 15-minute drive from this rustic setting.

Where To Eat

Bayport Inn Restaurant & Lounge
4835 Cortez Blvd.
Brooksville, FL 34607
(352) 596-1088

This seafood restaurant is a local favorite known for its fresh-catch seafood and live entertainment. The atmosphere captures the best of Florida dining with a delicious menu and choice of tables indoors, or outside on a large screened-in deck surrounded by strings of soft lighting.

The Upper Deck 
5386 Darlene St.
Hernando Beach, FL 34607
(352) 597-7662

This multilevel bar and grill sits on the banks of the Weeki Wachee River at Rogers Park and visitors arrive by both car and boat.
In addition to a full bar and a sizzling steak and seafood menu, your experience here doesn’t end with dining with an amazing view of the water. The Upper Deck has pool tables, dart boards and seven 42-inch plasma televisions for sports fans to enjoy. There is also live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights. This is truly an entertainment and dining hub to complement a weekend getaway.

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Maryann Tobin is an award-winning writer based in Tampa, Florida. She has appeared on the History Channel’s ‘DECODED’ series, and her investigative reporting on animal welfare issues led to a WTSP 10 News Investigators report. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.