Calling the Wekiva home – the family connection to the Island

Some of my earliest memories with my family took place paddling down the Wekiva River. I can vividly remember stopping by the bait and tackle shop at the Wekiwa Marina before hopping in our canoes for a day on the river, trying to catch a glimpse of a turtle basking in the sun or a coveted alligator sighting.

Our family has always been the outdoors, get-your-hands-dirty-in-nature type. We grew up taking monthly camping trips to Wekiwa Springs State Park, amongst many other local Florida campsites, with a group of neighborhood dads and their kids. Our parents made an effort to immerse us into the wilderness, teach us about nature, and expose us to the beauty of disconnecting to connect from a very young age.

Alongside the nature motif of my childhood, I also was that one girl in high school that drove around in my red hybrid Prius and talked about the environment. In 2007, our family was featured on local broadcast The Early Show’s “Clean and Green” series, which highlighted viewers’ eco-friendly home ideas. The segment spoke to how as a family we were trying to reduce our carbon footprint by having solar panels on our roof.  We also had water cisterns that collect rain to water our lawn and our backyard garden.

When my family decided to buy the Wekiwa Marina in 2008 and transform it into the Wekiva Island we all know and love now, it seemed like a natural progression in raising awareness around sustainable practices. What started as a family goal to be champions of the Earth seamlessly transitioned to wanting to educate and inspire our community and beyond to do the same.

Wekiva Island truly is a family business, both operationally and for our guests. I have had the opportunity to work with my father, stepmother, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and family friends. Because we operate as a family, we value that family connection and experience. So many of our guests have been coming to Wekiva Island with their own families for generations. From the time I started as a bartender to my time now overseeing our marketing efforts more than 10 years later, I’ve seen children grow, relationships blossom and families welcome new members (particularly my own brother Billy and my sister-in-law Sammy, with their sweet new baby girl!).

Wekiva Island has always been home for our family, and we’re happy that many others can say the same. At its core, the Island is a place where people can come together with their family and friends, enjoy the outdoors, and discover a deeper connection with themselves through nature. We only hope that you leave inspired by the conversations you’ve had and the memories you’ve created–and we certainly hope you keep coming back home.

Some of my earliest memories with my family took place paddling down the Wekiva River. I can vividly remember stopping by the bait and tackle shop at the Wekiwa Marina before hopping in our canoes for a day on the river, trying to catch a glimpse of a turtle basking in the sun or a coveted alligator sighting.

Our family has always been the outdoors, get-your-hands-dirty-in-nature type. We grew up taking monthly camping trips to Wekiwa Springs State Park, amongst many other local Florida campsites, with a group of neighborhood dads and their kids. Our parents made an effort to immerse us into the wilderness, teach us about nature, and expose us to the beauty of disconnecting to connect from a very young age.

Alongside the nature motif of my childhood, I also was that one girl in high school that drove around in my red hybrid Prius and talked about the environment. In 2007, our family was featured on local broadcast The Early Show’s “Clean and Green” series, which highlighted viewers’ eco-friendly home ideas. The segment spoke to how as a family we were trying to reduce our carbon footprint through utilizing water cisterns that collect rain and gutter runoff to water our lawn. We also had solar panels on our roof and a backyard garden.

When my family decided to buy the Wekiwa Marina in 2008 and transform it into the Wekiva Island we all know and love now, it seemed like a natural progression in raising awareness around sustainable practices. What started as a family goal to be champions of the Earth seamlessly transitioned to wanting to educate and inspire our community and beyond to do the same.

Wekiva Island truly is a family business, both operationally and for our guests. I have had the opportunity to work with my father, stepmother, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and family friends. Because we operate as a family, we value that family connection and experience. So many of our guests have been coming to Wekiva Island with their own families for generations. From the time I started as a bartender to my time now overseeing our marketing efforts more than 10 years later, I’ve seen children grow, relationships blossom and families welcome new members (particularly my own brother Billy and my sister-in-law Sammy, with their sweet new baby girl!).

Wekiva Island has always been home for our family, and we’re happy that many others can say the same. At its core, the Island is a place where people can come together with their family and friends, enjoy the outdoors, and discover a deeper connection with themselves through nature. We only hope that you leave inspired by the conversations you’ve had and the memories you’ve created–and we certainly hope you keep coming back home.

Check out some of our family photos throughout the years

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    Wekiva Winter Wonderland Santa's Workshop

    Winter Wonderland Has Arrived!

    Winter Wonderland is back again, and we’re excited to celebrate the festive season all December long. In addition to our well-loved activities like daily “snow” flurries, the Christmas tree forest and our 24-ft tall tree, and visits from your favorite Christmas characters, Santa is inviting all the good boys and girls for the first time ever to his Workshop, right here at Wekiva Island.

    Hours alert

    website pop up - May 23
    We will be open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and will reopen at 5 p.m. for Springs & Strings VIP ticketholders, on Thursday, May 23.

    Join us for our annual Earth Day celebration this Friday, April 19th all day long! Click to discover all the activities we have in store. 🌎