We’ve lived in Florida for over 10 years now and can honestly say that visiting the natural springs throughout the state is our favorite day trip activity. If your new to Florida this is a must do day trip or mini vacation. The crystal-clear water with vibrant colors of blue and green appear to be from a faraway exotic destination, however living in Tampa Bay they’re pretty much in our backyard! The closest and most convenient spring to visit from Tampa is Weeki Wachee Spring State Park. Driving to Weeki Wachee from Tampa takes roughly an hour. When we visit we typically bring our paddleboards and launch at Rogers Park and go upstream against the current. This makes paddling back a lot easier and less strenuous! Be careful arriving after 10am as the parking gets filled up fast. The best time to visit is during the weekdays when there is less traffic and congestion with kayakers, swimmers, and boaters on the spring. Bring a small cooler and pack a lunch to enjoy once you reach the headspring. If you have a snorkel and mask you’ll want to bring it to see abundant fish and manatee. The best times of year to visit Weeki Wachee is in the Fall and Spring when the manatees are abundant. When the Gulf of Mexico cools down the manatee seek warmer water from the springs, congregating and foraging on seagrass. It’s a breathtaking experience to see these majestic animals up close. If your new to the Tampa Bay area or are on a vacation, discovering Weeki Wachee is a fun and memorable experience that you’ll cherish!
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