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 tempered – a steady 72–74 °F – all 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
And yes, swimming is permitted in the river except in the section of Weeki Wachee State Park.
Check the rentals:
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 – 4:30pm)
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?