Wekiva Island Fun

If you’ve been endlessly and desperately searching for that hidden island oasis in the heart of central Florida, stop now! Today is your lucky day, not only have I found this mystical island retreat for you, but I’m about to show you just how awesome it is!

A couple of weekends back, my two friends Tiffany and Amelia, had a combined birthday celebration at Wekiva Island. I’d been there only once before on a Friday evening for a work event, but I’d never taken advantage of enjoying a full weekend day there!
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WEKIVA ISLAND

Wekiva Island is definitely more of a local hidden gem, but despite its anonymity amongst tourists, on the weekends during summer, this place is hoppin’!

Wekiva Island Review

WHO?  Wekiva Island!

WHAT? Picture yourself wasting away in Margaritaville with Jimmy Buffet, a spring-fed 72 degree river, cabanas, a bar, adirondack chairs lining the river banks, kayaks, and an ice-cold beer in your hand, and you basically have Wekiva Island.

WHERE? Wekiva Island is located in Longwood, Florida; about a 20 minute drive north west of downtown Orlando. If you put Wekiva Springs into your GPS, you will end up at the wrong location. The Springs and the Island are two separate areas, so be sure not to make that rookie mistake!

WHEN? The Island operates on a summer and winter schedule. Winter hours are Sunday through Thursday, 8am – 7pm and Friday & Saturday, 8am – 11pm. Summer hours (Memorial Day to Labor Day) run Sunday through Thursday, 8am to 9pm and Friday & Saturday, 8am – 11pm.

PARKING?  On-site parking is offered, however it does fill up quite early on in the day, especially during summer. The Wekiva Island website indicates that it does not offer off-site parking, however parking can be found just up the street from the official parking lot.

ADMISSION FEE? There is a $1 per-person entrance fee on peak days (holidays and weekends).

PET-FRIENDLY? Yes, we saw plenty of dogs running around and enjoying the water!

Wekiva Island Review

Wekiva Island Florida

Wekiva Island Review

FOOD & DRINKS

First things first, alcohol… There is a bar on premise that serves beer and wine and due to this, alcohol is strictly prohibited from being brought onto Wekiva Island. They are pretty serious about their alcohol policy too and will check your bags upon entry into the park. While there, I saw two police vote one fool and his bottle of Jack off the Island. Alcohol prices aren’t too ridiculous, beer ranges from $2.75-$6 per bottle (buckets of Bud Light were $20) and wine for $5.25. You’re allowed to drink while in the water too which is awesome!

Food is also available from a small food-truck like stall. They sell all your regular America delights; hotdogs, burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, fries, etc. You are allowed to bring your own food in with you and there are BBQ’s provided if you feel like doing your own grilling, however you are prohibited from bringing in your own portable grill.

CABANA RENTAL

If you plan on spending all day at Wekiva Island and don’t want to roast away like a delicious, toasty, suckling pig, renting a cabana is probably the way to go… although who doesn’t like suckling pig?! *wipes drool*. Amelia and Tiffany rented one out for the duration of their birthday and it was perfect for us to leave our bags and towels, eat at, leave our buckets of beer at, and just chill at. It comes with table space and couches too and was a great size for a group of friends, we also all fit under it during the one-minute monsoon Florida decided to grace us with, and of course, five minutes later, it was like it never even rained!

Power outlets are also available at each cabana if you want to get some music pumping (or, let’s be honest, get your iPhone charging!). Reservations for the cabanas must be made ahead of time.

Wekiva Island Review

Wekiva Island Florida

KAYAK, CANOE & PADDLE BOARD RENTALS

If canoeing, kayaking or paddle boarding is your thing, you can bring and launch your own, or rent them from the Wekiva Island rentals stand which is located in between the bar and the rest rooms. Single and double canoes and kayaks range from $25-$35 with no time restriction on them, and paddle board rental is charged in two hour intervals and ranges from $30-$60. There is also a $10 launch fee which is a bit excessive, but there’s really no other way to get your stuff into the water!

You cannot rent inflatable floats or pool noodles from the rental stand, so I suggest taking your own. We conveniently had some stashed away in our cars… because that’s what living in Florida does to you. I am guilty of currently having a pool noodle and a deflated pool chair in the back seat of my car as I type this.

{Fellas, look at that provocative pose right there… hi Pam! Haha.}

Wekiva Island Florida

Wekiva Island Review

If you’re in the area, tourist or local, a day at Wekiva Island should definitely be on your agenda. The best part about mixing a few drinks, sun and water, you’re guaranteed the best nights sleep ever – I passed out the minute I got home!

One more group shot because we all look so cute, happy and I’m basically considering marrying my GoPro and my selfie pole (we’re in Florida, there’s been weirder). Until next time…

Wekiva Island Review.

WEKIVA ISLAND TIPS

1. Pack a picnic lunch to save yourself a couple of bucks.

2. Seriously, don’t even try to sneak in alcohol, it’ll be confiscated and you’ll be kicked out!

3. Bring your own water toys and floaties.

4. Don’t swim into the river grass growing on the other side of the decking, there’s tiny gators in there!

5. Get there early for parking to avoid disappointment!

Wekiva Island Review
Wekiva Island Review
Wekiva Island Review

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