If you’ve ever rented a canoe or kayak from Wekiwa Springs State Park, you’ve likely passed by Wekiva Island and instantly wanted to join the party.
This eco-friendly destination offers a little bit of everything: swim in the refreshing water, chill out at the bar, get active, give yourself the VIP treatment and more all in one place. Once you’ve arrived, there’s really no need to leave. And you likely won’t want to.
While summer is notably busier, there’s no shortage of happenings and activities to enjoy no matter what time of year you visit.
1. Paddle down the river
Whether by canoe, kayak, or paddleboard, rent your vessel of choice and make your way along the scenic Wekiva River. You’ll see wildlife such as birds, fish, and even the occasional alligator or otter all while soaking up the beautiful scenery. Canoes and single kayaks are available for rent for $30/day ($25 after noon), double kayaks are $35/day ($30 after noon), and paddleboards are $40/day ($35 if rented after noon, and $30 if rented after 4pm).
2. Rent your own private “River Bana”
For the ultimate combo of luxury and relaxation, treat yourself as a VIP for a day by renting your own private river cabana. Unwind and soak up the sun in your own little slice of paradise, which comes equipped with a comfy couch, Adirondack chairs, two guaranteed parking spaces, and more. By renting a cabana, you’re permitted to bring in your own outside food and beverage, although alcohol is not permitted unless purchased at the on site bar. Cabana rentals range in price from $85-$185 and typically sell out on weekends during the warmer months, so book online in advance.
3. Fuel up at The Tooting Otter
You won’t want to miss The Tooting Otter, Wekiva Island’s very own bar. The indoor/outdoor space offers fuel of several varieties. Take your pick of wine and beer, including an impressive selection of craft beer, or indulge in a selection of food and snacks. Expect to pay $13 or less for food, and $6 or less for drinks. End your day on a happy note and save a little money during happy hour (5-7pm) when beer and wine is $1 off.
4. Get sporty
Aside from adventures of the watersport variety, Wekiva Island has several activities to partake in on land. Challenge your friends to a beach volleyball match, or try your hand at a game of corn hole with your date. The beach volleyball court is available for rent if you’ve got a large group, just remember to make a reservation in advance.
5. Chill out on the boardwalk
Nothing beats an afternoon spent soaking up the sun by the water. Tons of Adirondack chairs are lined up right along the riverfront boardwalk for your use and enjoyment. Pull up a seat and watch the world go by, and if it’s a warm day take a dip in the refreshing river to cool off!
6. Stay warm and toasty by the firepit
For the cooler Florida months, nothing beats an early evening spent by the firepit. Roast marshmallows, trade fireside stories, and warm up on chillier evenings. Wekiva Island also hosts “Firepit Fridays” featuring themed dinners and live music, perfect for date night. Upcoming events include Firepit Fridays: BBQ Ribs on February 8, 2017.
7. Check out the full events calendar
Lazing the day away in an Adirondack chair by the water is a perfectly acceptable activity, but there are also a ton of events happening each month. From paint nights to wine events and live music performances, there’s something for everyone here. Check the events calendar for the full lineup and plan your visit accordingly.
Know before you go…
There’s a $1 entrance fee on weekends and weekday holidays, so make sure to bring along some cash.
Outside food and drinks aren’t permitted unless you’ve rented a cabana. Alcohol isn’t permitted, but you can enjoy beer and wine at The Tooting Otter.
About the Author
Stephanie Patterson is the managing editor of Orlando Date Night Guide. She’s a talented professional food and travel photographer and writer with a passion for creativity, the beach and great eats. When she’s not taking photos or writing, you can find her exploring the state for her Florida travel blog, Travel Taste Click. Find her online at www.spattersonphotography.com and www.traveltasteclick.com.