As a parent, it’s really great when places accommodate both adult and children's needs. Wekiva Island is a 2,000 sq. ft outdoor area that faces the Wekiva River with plenty to do both on and off the water. Some of the amenities on the Island include volleyball, corn hole, private cabanas equipped with grills for rent and energy-efficient restrooms.
If grilling isn’t on your agenda, prepared food and beverages are also available for purchase on-site. The Tooting Otter Craft Beer & Wine Bar is currently closed but normally serves up a wide selection of adult draft beverages, and the Without A Paddle Café offers a delicious selection of menu items. If you happen to be vegetarian or vegan like our family, there is also a completely separate menu with a great selection to choose from! We were so impressed with how many items we were able to order such as a BBQ vegan burger, tacos, fries and more.
Once our bellies were full, we relaxed in the waterfront beach chairs to soak up the beautiful nature surrounding us. If you’re patient enough, you may just even catch a river otter or turtle swimming by like we did! Oh, and let’s not forget about the small sand “beach areas” perfect for dinosaur battles too!
While the land amenities alone are enough to make you visit, the water activities take it to the next level. Wekiva Island currently offers a variety of water vessels to rent for the day as well as the option to launch your own from their marina. The first-come, first-serve rentals include canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and small motorboats. The time of your arrival will determine the daily rate you pay with different options available for single or multiple riders. If you choose to bring your own water vessel, the launch fee is only $10. Each vessel comes equipped with safety life vests for guests to use along with paddles.
As a family of three, the large canoe was perfect and spacious for our day on the river. Once launched into the canal that opens up to the river, you have the option to turn right towards the St. Johns River or veer left towards the Springs. We opted to paddle towards Wekiwa Springs State Park which was roughly a 35-40-minute scenic trip upstream. Once you reach the backend of the Spring, simply park up your vessel and enjoy the water hole for a small fee of $2 per passenger.
Paddlers also have the option to steer left to visit Rock Springs and Kings Landing instead. The entire experience is welcomed at your own pace with small areas to stop and enjoy the water along the way. Our son loved swimming in the clear, shallow areas where we played tag and cooled off in the year-round 72-degree water.
After our canoeing adventure, we decided to also give paddleboarding a shot! Our son was instantly a natural and it looks as though we’ve found a new favorite hobby. We love that Wekiva Island offers such a great opportunity to enjoy nature in such a fun way!
Wekiva Island is an absolute must-visit that captures the natural beauty Florida has to offer. Whether you're planning a family outing or wanting to explore nature on your own, Wekiva Island definitely makes the list for one of Orlando North's top attractions. For more information on rentals and reservations, visit https://www.wekivaisland.com/
About the Writer
Chantel Rodriguez is a Latina wellness entrepreneur, artist and creative mind behind Choose Love Blog. Her content focuses on a down to earth approach to mindful living, healthy eating and natural practices. In addition to her blog, Rodriguez is also the host of the wellness-focused podcast, The Wellness Beast.