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Day 6: Day-Trip to Weeki Wachee Springs

Trip
Day 6: Day-Trip to Weeki Wachee Springs

A day out paddling at Weeki Wachee Springs is the perfect way to spend a day off the booze and to recuperate a bit.

The dazzling crystal-clear water is perfectly tempereda steady 72–74 °Fall year round, which is refreshing on hot summer days and warm during the colder season—and a sure-fire post-drinking cure!

Depending on the time of year, you can catch manatees and turtles frolicking in the aquamarine river, along with the occasional mermaid–yes, you read that right! Weeki Wachee Springs State Park (about 1-hour drive north from Clearwater Beach) puts on a much-loved mermaid show since 1947 pulling crowds of all ages.

You could also hop on a 25-minute river boat cruise, if you are not much for driving yourself, or check an animal wildlife show while you are here.

Plan your visit

    • You’re going to want to book ahead for this one, and prices start from $35 for single kayaks and paddle boards, and $40 for a tandem kayakincluding life jacket, GPS tracker and dry bag to keep your valuables safe (*on request), and shuttle back.
    • The run is just under 6 miles in total and takes approximately 3 hours, ending in Roger Park. But you want to allow for longer if you intend to stop to picnic, or have a dip along the way. (You want to pay attention when booking your vessel.
    • Weeki Wachee State Park has a 2-hour rental cap with some juicy late fees, whereas other providers let you rent your kayak/SUP board the whole day. Double-check their launch sites ahead of arrival, too.)
    • Arrive at least 15 minute ahead of your launch. The last launch is 12 pm, and you want to make sure to finish up by 4:30 pm to not miss your pickup time.
    • Bring loads of water, sun block, towel and something to snack on along the way. Just remember, no single-use plastic (plastic water bottles, plastic bags, candy wrappers, papers, foils, etc), is not allowed on the river, so you want to pack accordingly.

And yes, swimming is permitted in the river except in the section of Weeki Wachee State Park.

Check the rentals:

SUP Weeki
Weeki Wachee Kayaking
Kayak Shack

Breakfast at Breakfast Station (9:30 – 11:00am)

But first, breakfast! And you might as well place yourself right next to the action over at Breakfast Station in Spring Hill, the home of Weeki Wachee. Here you’ll be just a 15-minute walk/short drive from the entrance. For breakfast, a Florentine Benedict or Train Station will undo whatever you did last night and start the day just right. 

Self-Guided tour down Weeki Wachee Springs (app. 11:30 – 4pm)

You want to make sure you arrive ahead of time in case of lines, and to get geared up with your vessel of choice, life jacket and general information. All set? Get ready to experience the true natural wonder that is Weeki Wachee, drift peacefully down the pristine water, keeping a lookout for wildlife and schools of fish along your vessel.

Stop for a picnic and a refreshing dip in designated areas while reminiscing about your perfect Clearwater Beach vacation and taste of Gulf-life like a local.

Once you’ve finished up in Rogers Park and snapped your final Insta-snaps you’ll be taken back to your car for the approximate 1,5-hour drive back towards Clearwater Beach feeling blissed out after a soothing day on the water. Stop off in Palm Harbor on your way back to eat an early dinner.

Early dinner and drinks at Ozona Blue (6:00pm – 8:00) 

You will be starving at this point, so Ozona Blue is the perfect, sort of mid-way stop. This waterfront spot has a big selection ranging from pastas, to flat breads, soups, fresh seafood and cuts from the grill. Plus, there’s some great veggie options, too. For dessert, treat yourself to some indulgent lava cake. 

Afterwards, head back to CWB. The night is still young, and if you still have some pep in your step, why not revisit any of your bar faves so far?

Have Sun
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madisonavenue
madisonavenue
14. January, 2021.
Relax a little Wonderful way to relax and enjoy the sun, surf and sand. The air is clean and fresh and people seem nice!
The Bis
The Bis
13. January, 2021.
Clearwater memories Super nice beach, I personally like to stay by Pier 60. Totally worth spending the day at the beach. Parking right at pier 60 by hour, or valet park at the hotels off Cornado (Hyatt, Springhill, and Residence Inn for less than $20 for day) You literally walk across to beach and Pier 60 area is right there. Many shops off the beach area that are worth browsing as well as local bars and restaurants Easy to get to , straight shot from Tampa airport, over the bridge and your there!
Nat C
Nat C
7. January, 2021.
Worth the parking wait What a gorgeous beach. Powder white sand. Plenty of space. Nice waves. Parking is a challenge. Parking is sporadic and hard to find.
Prizzis
Prizzis
7. January, 2021.
Endless beach An immense, wide beach where you can walk for hours or even days. It is lined with the dense row of big hotels, though.
Teresa K
Teresa K
4. January, 2021.
Clearwater Beach Beach was very nice. If you don’t have your own chairs you can rent some. There’s a lot of seagulls around . Be careful if you want to eat chips or anything they will surround you. Besides that you will be satisfied with the area.
Michael R
Michael R
3. January, 2021.
Very nice place First time here and i must say this is a very nice beach, i have no complaints and anyone planning to come to clearwater should definitely do so. I highly recommend ????
circlemfarms
circlemfarms
3. January, 2021.
Nice!! Simple review.. Crowded so show up early to park and get a spot.. But very worth at least a day or two of any vacation! Clean.. have to give Clearwater credit.. it was super clean!!
OKY M
OKY M
2. January, 2021.
Plage ???? tres belles ! La Plage est facile d’accès et très belle ! Le sable blanc magnifique! C est une grande plage idéale avec les enfants
Sandrinna8
Sandrinna8
1. January, 2021.
Clearwater beach review The sand is super soft it does not stick to the skin the water is very clear and cold the beach is very clean and organized.