Having said all that, there's a whole lot of Florida that I haven't discovered yet. This state has so many beautiful state parks and springs that I just haven't gotten around to visiting, so when my good friend Brittany decided to have her birthday celebration at Weeki Wachee Springs this past weekend, I checked any reservation at the door and forced myself (and Ryan!) to sign up for the adventure!
Saturday morning, we left at 6:15 a.m. and watched the sun rise during our hour and fifteen minute drive to the springs. Shortly after announcing "it isn't supposed to rain until 2!", a storm formed completely out of nowhere right where we needed to be. Thankfully, the storm only lasted about 30 minutes, and we all piled into a couple vans to take us to the top of the river.
We had the option to rent canoes, single or double kayaks, or paddle boards. We did our rentals through The Kayak Shack, and it was only about $35-40 per transportation (so only $40 for two people on a double kayak, but it was $35 for me on a paddle board and $35 for Ryan on a single!), and that also includes your launching fee from the river, parking, and transportation of your canoe/kayak + yourself! Overall, I think it was a pretty good deal.
From the launching site, you have about 5.5 miles of river to trek through, and I'm not lying when I say every inch is absolutely beautiful. The water is crystal clear, so you can see all sorts of wildlife below. Some were even lucky enough to see manatees! Unfortunately, we weren't some of those people, but we did see plenty of fish!
Throughout the river, there are plenty of shallow, sandy bits to dock your transportation and just swim along the spring, eat some snacks, etc. Be warned, it's freezing. But in the middle of a hot, humid Florida summer, it felt more refreshing than cold. There were several tree swings and man made jumping platforms to launch yourself into the spring, so it's definitely worth it to make some stops. Plus, starting at 8 a.m. with "closing time" at 6 p.m., you'll want to utilize all the time you can!