Weeki Wachi Springs


Weeki Wachi Springs
6131 Commercial Way

Spring Hill, FL
Tel: 352.592.5656

Spring Hill, FL: Where mermaids rule the waters

Weeki Wachi Springs

Oh sure, Paris is The City of Lights. And yes, New York is The City That Never Sleeps. But Florida's Weeki Wachi Springs is the City of Live Mermaids. Top that!

This classic Florida roadside attraction an hour north of Tampa was opened in 1947 by Newton Perry, a former Navy SEAL trainer, in a natural spring (Weeki Wachi is Seminole for 'little spring.'). Perry tricked the place up with underwater breathing hoses and hired the prettiest girls he could find to do mermaid routines. Now that's a business plan.

In the early days, not a lot of cars were passing through Weeki Wachi so when the mermaids heard a car coming, they'd hightail it to the road to lure the passing sailors in.

But in 1959, ABC bought the enterprise and used it frequently in broadcasts. The aquatic shows were, of course, a big splash (and Daryl Hannah wasn't even born yet).

Weeki Wachi today has only nine residents, making it one of the country's smallest towns and probably the only one with a mayor who was once a mermaid.

Where else but Florida would this all make total sense?

Photo: John Athanason

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