10 Places for Mermaid-Spotting in the U.S.

From aquariums and bars to family-friendly festivals, here's where to you can catch a glimpse of a mermaid.

A mermaid reclining in the waves on a beach

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Stories about mermaids, legendary creatures that are half human and half fish, have surfaced throughout the globe in different folkloric traditions: In Scheherazade's tale of "Djullanar the Sea-girl," and as ancient Greece's sirens, Scotland's selkies, Thailand's Suvannamaccha, the African diaspora's Mami Wata, Indonesia's Nyai Roro Kidul, Brazil's Iara, the Slavic rusalki, and Hans Christian Andersen's (and, by extension, Walt Disney's) "Little Mermaid." Today, mermaids — okay, humans in mermaid costumes — can be found across the U.S., in everything from aquariums and bars to roadside attractions and popular festivals.

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park: Spring Hill, Florida

Florida's Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is one of the oldest roadside attractions in the state, home to an underwater theater and, since 1947, live mermaid shows. In 2008, it became a state park, and today, continues to bring in visitors from all over the U.S. who come to see the mermaids swim, enjoy the springs, and learn about area wildlife.

The Wreck Bar: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Florida clearly loves its mermaids: Fort Lauderdale's mermaid spot, The Wreck Bar, has been offering live mermaid shows since 1950. With aquariums for windows and lots of tall ship-style lanterns and rope decor, the bar has everything from family-friendly shows starring the Coral Reef Mermaids and a mermaid-themed Sunday brunch to more adult-oriented offerings, like its Aqua Burlesque and Aquamen Boylesque shows.

Ripley's Aquarium: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

The mermaids of Ripley's Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, S.C., walk through Ray Bay, among cownose, spotted eagle, southern string rays, and bonnethead and leopard sharks. You can also have breakfast with a mermaid — your special event ticket includes a hot meal, a meet and greet, story time, and a souvenir photo, as well as admission to the aquarium so you can see the rest of the exhibits later. Check the website for available dates and book before you go, as these events tend to sell out.

The Mermaid Parade: Brooklyn, New York

In New York, Coney Island's famous Mermaid Parade gives spectators an annual opportunity to see merfolk of all shapes and sizes appear on dry land. The Mermaid Parade has celebrated the beginning of summer since 1983 — it takes place the Saturday closest to the season's start date — and reaches back into Coney Island's storied and carnivalesque past.

Silverton Casino: Las Vegas, Nevada

There are plenty of mermaids in the desert, too. Thursday through Sunday, Las Vegas's Silverton Casino showcases mermaids in its 117,000-gallon aquarium, which is also home to thousands of fish. Kids ages 7–12 can live out their underwater fantasies at Mermaid School ($175 for a 90-minute experience).

Downtown Aquarium: Denver, Colorado

Denver's Downtown Aquarium restaurant hosts underwater performances in view of their dining room, where mermaids swim to the music and teach their audience important environmental lessons. For a real treat, splurge for a private 45-minute meet and greet session ($200 for up to eight people) for the chance to chat with a mermaid, see them do tricks in the water, and end up with a nifty personalized shell and pearl souvenir. The Aquarium also boasts more than 500 species on display in a million gallons of water — there's a lot more to see here than just the mermaids.

Dive Bar: Sacramento, California

Sacramento's Dive Bar takes its name seriously. No dingy drinking spot, this aquatic-themed watering hole features a 7,500-gallon aquarium above the bar where patrons can find mermaids and mermen swimming every day, with themed shows happening Thursday through Sunday nights. Their tails were specially designed for the venue by "The Mertailor."

Siren School: San Diego, California

For merfans who want to get interactive, San Diego's Siren School offers Mermaid Bootless Camps, a two-day program in Long Beach, California, that promises participants fins-on experience. Bring your own tail!

Sirens of New Orleans: New Orleans, Louisiana

The Sirens of New Orleans are a marching group that parades in mer-costume each year during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Founded in 2010, the group of now more than 155 dancers and supporters show off their scales throughout the year at parades and charitable events.

Sip 'n Dip Lounge: Great Falls, Montana

In Great Falls, Montana, the Sip 'n Dip Lounge boasts an underwater view into a hotel pool at the O'Haire Motor Inn — part of which is roped off for mermaids-only swimming. Even Daryl Hannah has taken a dip here. Mermaids, and the occasional merman, swim here Monday through Saturday starting at 6 p.m. Guests under 21 are only allowed in until 8 p.m.

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