Weeki Wachee Springs
One of the oldest and most iconic roadside attractions in Florida, Weeki Wachee Springs (State Rd. 50 at U.S. 19, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. daily July–Aug., hours and days vary in winter, $24.95 adults, $16.95 children) is where the mermaids have lived since 1947. The famous mermaid shows still happen three times a day, and for some, watching a bikini-clad swimmer drink a bottle of Coke still provides a thrill.
Most park visitors come to enjoy Buccaneer Bay, a water park that was added in an effort to boost attendance. Since the arrival of the interstate system—and to a greater degree, Walt Disney World—the park has struggled with attendance, and despite the addition of Buccaneer Bay, Weeki Wachee was turned into a Florida state park in November 2008, mermaid shows and all.
© Jason Ferguson from Moon Florida, 1st Edition