3. Weeki Wachee, FL
THE SETTING: The town of Weeki Wachee is a pre-Interstate Old Florida gem with a population of 12 at last count. It exists where Highway 50 intersects with Highway 19, and at the mouth of the Weeki Wachee River, where crystalline water bubbles up from a limestone aquifer. It’s the deepest natural spring in the US and the dopest spot that time forgot.
THE SCOOP: Sabal palms and moss-dangled sand oaks flank a winding river, where loafing manatees and log-like alligators share water pure enough to bottle. But since 1947, the town’s only real business has been it's kitschy mermaid show at the state park, which boasts both theatrical mermaid performers (the whole show takes place underwater in the spring, behind glass in an underground theatre, which means real-life manatees, turtles, and gators have all made cameo appearances). Plus, there's Buccaneer Bay, a waterpark with spring-powered slides. And yes, their mayor Robyn Anderson was once a mermaid (apparently the pay is about the same).
THE SAVINGS: It's only 13 bones (or clams, or whatever) to get in. Compare that to a day at Disney's Magic Kingdom, which costs $94.79.