The following guest post is from fellow blogger Krysti Reif. Right now many of us are dreaming of when we can escape and travel in crowds again. If your dreams include central Florida, put this on your bucket list.

Courtesy Wekiva Island

A secluded paradise down the river from Wekiwa Springs, Wekiva Island offers an array of outdoor activities and recreation for all ages! It’s not really a state park but more of a recreation area with easy access to a state springs (if you’re willing to paddle a bit!). While this awesome outdoor Mecca is easily accessible from Orlando, it’s a well-kept, local secret. 

But it’s time to let others know about it! Let’s take a look at all this amazing place has to offer! 

Courtesy Wekiva Island

Kayak, Canoe, or Paddleboard Rentals: 

For a fee, you can rent kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards of various sizes. There’s a limited number available, so they are distributed on a first come, first serve basis. Of course, if you have your own vessel, you’re welcome to bring it. However, if it’s an inflatable, you’ll need to bring our own air pump. 

Whether you rent a water vessel or bring your own, you can travel down the river towards Wekiwa Springs State Park and enter through the “back door.” It’s about a mile and half trip and a $2 entry fee (exact cash only). Once inside, you can enjoy swimming in the springs or hiking the thirteen miles of available trails.

Courtesy Wekiva Island


While fishing isn’t allowed from the docks, you can take your boat onto the water and fish in the clear waters of the river. 


Wekiva River stays a comfortable 72 degrees all year. Guests are welcome to bring their own floats, but large floats will incur a fee. 


There is an onsite boat ramp for guests to use (25 HP maximum).

Courtesy Wekiva Island


Wekiva Island offers a sand volleyball court for reservation. Your time will be limited to accommodate other guests.

Courtesy Wekiva Island

Food and Drink 

Without A Paddle Cafe

At this popular food truck, you can enjoy a riverside lunch. With a seasonal menu, Without A Paddle Cafe offers a variety of options to satisfy meat lovers, pescatarians, vegetarians, and vegans alike. 

The Tooting Otter Craft Beer, Wine Bar & General Store

An indoor and outdoor bar, The Tooting Otter provides a large selection of beers and wines. Visitors can enjoy live music every Friday and Saturday night from 7-10pm. 

Courtesy Wekiva Island

River Banas

For an additional fee, parties and groups can rent a private river cabana featuring extra amenities like cabinets and ice chests for food storage, comfortable seating, and a reserved, riverfront porch area. 

Courtesy Wekiva Island

Wekiva Island has so much to offer for a fun day outdoors! Here are a few things you need to know before visiting: 

  • Parking is very limited. You need to arrive early. 
  • There’s a $2 entrance fee per person. 
  • If you bring your own canoe, kayak, or paddle board, there will be a $10 launch fee. 
  • Unless you’ve rented a cabana, you cannot bring in outside food. 
  • No outside alcohol is allowed. 
  • Wekiva Island is not pet-friendly. 

To further plan your day, visit  

About the Author

Courtesy Krysti Reif

Hi! My name is Krysti, and I write about all things Orlando and Disney! You can read more of my articles at or You can also follow me on Twitter @OrlandoDecoded or @DisneyDecoded.

Are you planning your next vacation? I can help you! As a travel planner and Orlando local, I offer FREE vacation consultations, no obligation quotes, optional itineraries, and a whole lot more! Book your consultation by emailing!

2 Replies to “Your Guide to Wekiva Island: A River Paradise in Central Florida”

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