The Weeki Wachee River may be one of Florida’s best kept secrets.
If you want to see what’s left of part of the “real Florida”. You have to check it out Weeki Wachee.
Weeki Wachee is in Hernando County, Florida, located about an hour north of Tampa at the intersection of Highway 19 and State Road 50. It’s crystal clear waters twist through tons of stunning scenery to flow 12 miles west into The Gulf of Mexico.
The naturally beautiful springs are home to one of Florida’s oldest attractions, Weeki Wachee Springs, famous for its live underwater shows featuring beautiful mermaids. (Fun for little girls, and grown men.) It recently went from private ownership to become a Florida State Park. It’s still the same as it was when I went as a kid, which is not a bad thing. It’s a nice respite from today’s modern hyper-active world. They also have the Buccaneer Bay Water Park.
Weeki Wachee Springs Park dates back to 1947. I went there as a kid in the 70’s, re-visited in 2000, and made my latest visit in November 2008 over Thanksgiving weekend.
We spent a half day for the park, and half a day to kayak and canoe down the river. Going down the river was by far the most enjoyable for getting away from the hustle and bustle and seeing the real Florida.
The Canoe and Kayak rental says, “Your self-guided adventure averages about 2.5 hours”.
I feel sorry for the people that paddle through it that quickly. We took about 4.5 hours, stopped to enjoy the lunch we packed, took beautiful pictures and relaxed in the comfortable light breeze, warm sun, and tranquility of the Weeki Wachee river.
There were many people that just whooshed past us with their mouths just blabbering non-stop, missing half the sights and sounds, and breaking the tranquility like scraping of nails on a chalk board. We let them pass and then resumed our enjoyment.
Wildlife we saw included turtles …
There were snakes and racoons…
We also saw many different types of birds, fish and ducks. There were Manatees too, but I missed the shot as too many people scared them away at the end of the trip.
This was a fun, interesting and relaxing day. It was great being away from the hectic world, enjoying peace and quiet, nature and stunning natural beauty.
Book your canoe or kayak trip at http://www.floridacanoe.com/
Learn more about Weeki Wachee at http://www.floridastateparks.org
See all 69 pictures in the full gallery - Weeki Wachi Kayaking