Do you ever dream of a mystical, magical place where mermaids swim in sparkling, bubbly springs flowing into crystal clear rivers with colorful birds perched in the trees and manatees grazing on billowing sea grass below?
You may be surprised to find that your dream is real – and it’s in Florida.
Welcome to Florida’s Adventure Coast.
Situated an hour west of Orlando, Hernando County (a.k.a. Florida’s Adventure Coast), is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to the west and the Withlacoochee River to the east. In the center lies Brooksville, the county seat, a charming small town filled with glimpses of Florida’s past.
Wherever you are on the Adventure Coast, you’ll find plenty to do and see. The area embodies everything Florida – from kitsch to the natural outdoors – with beautiful mermaids, endearing manatees, emerald green rolling hills dotted by farms and rural living. It’s full of Florida’s fascinating history and home to an emerging group of entrepreneurs who are sharing their Florida dream through business ventures in agriculture, craft breweries, distilleries and restaurants.
With so much to see on Florida’s Adventure Coast, consider three paths to cover it all: Water Adventures, Historic Adventures, and a third path Farm, Spirits and Culinary Adventures.
Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaid Shows
Let’s start with the fantasy world of mermaids. Since 1947, Weeki Wachee Springs has captivated families and children with underwater mermaid shows. Here, a first-magnitude spring bubbles up from the Florida Aquifer providing a fish bowl stage where guests are entertained in a glass theatre with synchronized underwater ballet shows.
Former Navy man Newton Perry created this 1940’s roadside attraction that later became part of the Florida park system. Perry’s concept of beautiful mermaids performing underwater while intermittently taking breaths through slim air tubes became an instant hit for audiences. Rigorous training, elaborate (fish-tailed) costumes and a choreographed ballet were set to music against the backdrop of clear natural spring waters.
This old Florida attraction remains one of the best bargains in Florida. In addition to the mermaid show is a riverboat cruise, animal show, and water park with flume rides and swimming in the clear and cool 72 degree water.