Buccaneer Bay – Weeki Wachee, Florida
If you thought mermaids were just the lively imaginings of lonely sailors, then you’ll be surprised when you visit Weeki Wachee Springs, the City of Live Mermaids, on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
Buccaneer bay is located on a freshwater spring and is a small water park at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. It is not a flashy water park with brightly colored slides and characters walking around, but it is a true piece of Roadside America.. There are just five slides there. Three of the slides drop you off in the Weeki Wachee Springs, which is a real natural spring.
In addition to the slides, there is a swimming area with a diving platform. There is also a natural lazy river run that is a slow ride in an inner tube around the swimming area. Lil’ Mates Caribbean Cove is a small wading pool for kids that are six years and younger.
Here are some things you should know before you go:
The cost of admission is $13 for adults, $8 for children ages 6-12, and children under 5 are free as of July, 2012. The cost of admission includes entrance to the water park, the mermaid shows, and animal shows, and the river boat ride.
The cost of admission does not include a number of things. Tube rentals are not included. Prices begin at $8 and a portion of that will be returned to you when you return your tube. Locker rentals are also not included.
Located about an hour north of Tampa at the crossroads of U.S. 19 and State Road 50, Weeki Wachee is more than just a mark on a road map. Weeki Wachee is an enchanted spring, the only one of its kind in the world, and one of Florida’s oldest and most unique roadside attractions. For almost 60 years, the family oriented park has lured in visitors with beautiful mermaids who swim in the cool, clear spring waters. Weeki Wachee Springs is a magical entrance into a mysterious blue underwater world of mermaids, manatees, turtles and bubbles. Sitting in the Mermaid Theater, visitors feel like they are inside the flowing spring, and are transported back to simpler times. To get away from the super theme parks and super highways many come to Weeki Wachee Springs to see a splendid side of Florida lore, where dreams really do come true.
Today, the tiny city of Weeki Wachee is one of the nation’s smallest cities. The mayor of Weeki Wachee is a former mermaid. Who better to bring the dream back to life? Fresh coats of paint adorn the walls of the Mermaid Villa, the gift shop is stocked with fanciful and functional mermaid souvenirs, and the mermaid theater is being restored to its former glory. Recently, carpeting on the walls was pulled back to reveal original ceramic tiles in Florida colors like teal, pink and aqua.
Visitors can swim at Buccaneer Bay and see the Misunderstood Creatures animal show, or they can take a riverboat ride down the Weeki Wachee River and into Old Florida. A family of peacocks roams on the grounds. Turtles, fish, manatees, otters and even an occasional alligator swim in the spring with the mermaids. Visitors can pose with mermaids and swim in the spring with the new Sea Diver program. Children can attend the summer Mermaid Camp to fulfill their dreams of becoming a little mermaid or a merman.
Weeki Wachee Springs “The City of Live Mermaids” is more than just mermaids; it’s a truly original piece of Florida’s rich heritage.