buccaneerbayThere are more than 700 freshwater springs in the state of Florida making it one of the largest concentrations of springs on the Earth. Most of the springs are located in northern and central Florida and one in particular has a small water park attached to it.

Buccaneer Bay is a small water park located in Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.  This isn’t a flashy water park with brightly colored slides and characters walking around. 

This water park is a true piece of Roadside America.  It is located in Weeki Wachi Springs State Park, a part of the Florida state park system.  There are just five slides (one of which was closed for repairs while we were there).  Three of the slides drop you off in the Weeki Wachee Springs, a real natural spring.

Besides the slides, there is a swimming area with a diving platform.  There is also a natural lazy river run that is a slow ride in an inner tube around the swimming area.  Lil’ Mates Caribbean Cove is a small wading pool for children six years and younger.

Thing to Know Before You Go

The cost of admission is $13 for adults, $8 for children ages 6-12, and children under 5 are free as of July, 2012.  The cost of admission includes entrance to the water park, the mermaid shows, and animal shows, and the river boat ride.

The cost of admission does not include a number of things.  Tube rentals are not included.  Prices begin at $8 and a portion of that will be returned to you when you return your tube.  Locker rentals are also not included.

Brrr…it is cold.  The spring is a brisk 72 degrees year round.  This water bubbles out of the subterranean caverns. Although the initial jump into the water is biting, it is a relief from that hot and humid Florida weather.

The swimming area drops off in unexpected places.  The spring is natural and much like the beach, there are a number of spots where it drops off.  At one point, my five year old was walking in water that was up to her shoulders when she disappeared. She had stepped into a drop off and although it startled her, she swam over to an area where she could stand again.

It is a natural spring. You will be sharing your swimming space with fish and turtles so keep an eye out!  Manatees, otters and an occasional alligator can also be found in the spring.

Buccaneer Bay – Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida