Do you ever wish you had a time machine? Don’t just sit around longing for the good old days, revisit the past at these retro attractions. The past is still very much alive at these awesome places in Florida:
1. Gatorland, Orlando
Mom and pop theme parks like Gatorland could once be found all over Florida, but the larger theme parks rerouted a lot of the traffic they relied on. Luckily for us, alligator-themed attractions like Gatorland, Gatorama in Palmdale, and the St. Augustine Alligator Farm are still going strong.
2. Weeki Wachee
The mermaids have been performing at Weeki Wachee since 1947, and it became incredibly popular in the '50s and '60s. They're still mesmerizing us with their underwater shows today.
3. Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlor & Restaurant, Dania Beach
A visit to Jaxon's might be the most fun you ever have getting ice cream. Serving hoards of locals and tourists since 1956, Jaxon's has had plenty of time to collect tons of memorabilia and to create some really wild dishes.
4. Old Town, Kissimmee
Though it's not actually "old," like the other places on this list, this amusement park and outdoor shopping mall devoted to yesteryear will still delight fans of all things retro. Old Town has food, rides, live entertainment and classic car shows. It's full of good old fashioned family fun.
5. Lester's Diner, Fort Lauderdale
Home to awesome lunch, breakfast, dinner, desserts, and their famous 14oz coffee cup, Lester's has been a family-owned success for nearly 50 years. Lester's has become a local chain, with several locations in South Florida.
6. Goofy Golf, Panama City Beach
Families love the vintage appeal and affordability of the long-standing miniature golf courses like this one found in Panama City Beach (and Fort Walton Beach). Bring a camera to capture some incredibly wacky statues or purchase some reproductions of their original postcards on site.
7. Angel's Diner, Palatka
Angel's is Florida's oldest diner, in operation since 1932. Guests can enjoy diner classics and breakfast all day from the converted dining car interior or from the comfort of their car. It's an essential stop for a retro road trip in Northeast Florida.
8. Silver Moon Drive-In, Lakeland
Many of Florida's drive-ins have unfortunately gone the way of the buffalo in recent decades. The historic Silver Moon Drive-In, however, opened in 1948 and hopefully isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
9. Mai-Kai Restaurant, Fort Lauderdale
This local landmark is one of the few tiki-themed restaurants of 1950s fame still in operation today. It's kitschy to the core, with tropical drinks, entertainment, and lots of fun.
10. Smallwood Store, Chokoloskee
Dating back to 1906, this place will make you nostalgic for Old Florida. Located in Chokoloskee on 10,000 Islands of Southwest Florida, the Smallwood General Store Museum is one of the few things left in town. It has a lot of uniquely Floridian history to share (including murder and mystery). Unfortunately, its days may be numbered by developers, so be sure to visit soon.
Have you visited any of these places? Do you know of any other awesome retro attractions that should be added to our list?