Weeki Wachee Springs
Weeki Wachee can best be described as a fresh water spring with a theme park built around it. In between dives you can watch the mermaid show that takes place right there in the spring. Divers must be accompanied by local dive shops with permission to enter and dive.
Located on US 19 in the heart of a very small town called Weeki Wachee. It's about an hour and a half north of Tampa, Fl.
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07/30/2011 David Stidham (Avg: 3.61 Review) - This was where we did our open water certification dives. When we purchased our personal gear, we came again to use this simple, easy dive site as a check out dive. We've done this site 3 times. The sandy bottom can be stirred up quite easily, so take care. However, with the spring head flowing, it generally clears again in short order. The maximum depth here is around 40ish feet to the grate covered spring which is surrounded by rocks starting from around 15 feet. You'll see many turtles, and some fish life. I even saw two Freshwater Flounders (Sole). The water was around 75 degrees. Current was light. If you're lucky, the mermaids may even be out doing some training of their own. Yes, you need to coordinate your dive through a local dive shop that goes to Weeki Wachee in order to gain access. Excellent dive for new divers. Not very exciting, but it does offer a conversation point about having dove where the mermaids swim.
02/04/2007 Dave K (Avg: 3.27 Review) - I had been wanting to dive this site for a while, but made it a priority after reading about all the problems the park is having, wondering how much longer it will be open. Like a lot of the springs, it is not real big, but a nice easy dive in a beautiful spot. You get to dive all the mermaid props before and/or after the show. You also get to play around in the water park and enjoy the shows. Very good way to spend a day or weekend, with a reasonable hotel right across the street. We will do this again for sure, probably one of the night dives hosted by them. Check out the website.
05/10/2005 Bill (Avg: 3.33 Review) - I did my check dives in Weeki Wachee and have only returned once since then as you can only get in the springs with a tour or dive class. If you have the opportunity to latch on to a class or tour, then Weeki Wachee is well worth it. The spring has a strong outflow which makes it difficult to descend, but it also makes for some of the clearest spring water in the state. The surrounding grounds are impeccable -- essentially a small, clean, and functional theme park. If you can get in to dive, then you can also spend the day in the park, so this makes for a great family outing if planned ahead of time.
02/04/2005 Jason NYC (Avg: 2.82 Review) - Even though my wife and I grew up in near-by Tampa, this was my first visit to the location of the world famous Weeki Wachee Mermaids. I remember as a kid I would drool at the tiny theme park as we drove by it on US 19 on our way to what my Mom called "a real park," OUR destination was Orlando. I must have known at an early age that I would one day be a diver because I always wanted to visit. Weeki Wachee can best be described as a fresh water spring with a theme park built around it. To quote another diver I overheard suiting up next to me, "It's too bad they had to build a damn Disney here." I personally found the park to be charming in a 1950's kind of way and the underground theatre was just too cool for words. But then again I'm an actor who dives, so I was in heaven. In between dives you can watch the mermaid show that takes place right there in the spring. During the show a real turtle kept trying to steal focus by swimming in front of the Mermaids as they performed. Very funny. (Never act with children or animals). If you do have small children or non-divers they can enjoy the shows, take a river boat trip or chill out at the water park, Buccaneer Bay, located within Weeki Wachee. Their admission is not included with your dive admission, though. As you explore the dive site you will see several air hoses for the mermaids, a castle, costumes used during the show, and an underwater "green room" sort of like a dive bell where the mermaids hang out while not "on stage." The water is a constant 72 degrees, about 50 ft deep, very clear, but lacks abundant life as most fresh water (Florida) locations do. You might see small fish and a few turtles. If you are really lucky a manatee may visit but don't count on it. The facilities are clean and comfortable and the entrance into the water is simply a matter of easing your way down a (rather slick) ramp. To dive Weeki Wachee (currently) you have to be with a class or have a guide from one of the local shops. If you can find a local shop doing a class, you don't have to be in the class, you just have to be in the water when they are. We dove with Sunny Seas Scuba in New Port Richey, whom we highly suggest. Cost for two with tanks/weights and admission to the park was about $100 bucks total. This charge is handled by the local dive shop. You can do two dives easily and maybe more if the shop stays longer. After your dives, hang out at the water park or explore the grounds for no additional charge. Once again, visit Ned's book for more info on Weeki Wachee and other shops around the area.
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Number of reviews for this site: 4