Florida never ceases to amaze us with all of its wonder and weirdness. If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, skip the theme parks and head off the beaten path to one of these places.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
By most accounts, Stiltsville began in the 1930s as several offshore clubs cropped up a mile south of Cape Florida in Miami-Dade County. These clubs were popular hangouts for all kinds of wealthy and influential people seeking to indulge in vices such as gambling, until a hurricane in 1965 damaged the community beyond repair. The remaining seven houses are maintained and protected by the National Park Service. Currently only the exteriors can be viewed, and the interiors are off limits.
2. Spook Hill, Lake Wales
Spook Hill is a strange Florida attraction in Lake Wales. Visitors who follow the posted directions will watch as their cars seemingly roll uphill, defying gravity.
3. Coral Castle, Homestead
Coral Castle in Homestead, FL, was built and sourced completely single-handedly by a lovelorn Latvian man. He lived alone in his creation and gave tours until his death.
4. Koreshan State Historic Site
The Koreshan Unity was a religious community that settled in Estero, FL, in 1894. They held the belief that the Earth was hollow and humanity lived on the inside of its shell. Visitors can tour the historic grounds and even stay at the campground.
Cassadage is called the unofficial psychic capital of the world because there are so many psychics who reside there. If you have any burning questions, a trip to Cassadaga could be the perfect way to find an answer.
6. Monkey Island, Homosassa
Monkey Island came into being when a man developing what would later become Homosassa Wildlife State Park needed a place to keep his misbehaving monkeys where guests could watch them from a safe distance. The tiny place is still attracting curious visitors today.
7. Whimzeyland, AKA The Bowling Ball House, Safety Harbor
This colorful artists' paradise, also known as The Bowling Ball House, is decorated with bright colors, all kinds of yard art and, yes, tons of bowling balls, painted and lovingly arranged in different ways. It's kind of hard to explain, but it's definitely worth seeing for yourself
8. Neptune Memorial Reef
Neptune Memorial Reef is the brainchild of artist Kim Brandell and is located three miles off the coast of Key Biscayne. Ashes are cast into memorials that make up a 16-acre artificial reef divers are encouraged to explore.
9. Airstream Ranch, Dover
This strange yard art created by Frank Bates to celebrate Airstream's 75th birthday looks like eight Airstream trailers growing out of the ground. It's now the property of Tampa RV, but is still visible from the highway.
10. Spanish Monastery, North Miami Beach
How did a monastery that's older than this country end up in North Miami Beach? This 12th-century marvel was purchased by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst in the '20s, but his plans were sidetracked by shipping complications. It was finally purchased again in the '60s and reassembled in Florida.
11. Atsena Otie Key
This barrier island near Cedar Key was the original location of the settlement. The island has a long history but officially became a town in 1858 and had a thriving lumber mill and fishing industry. A hurricane in 1896 wrecked the town and most of the inhabitants moved to what is now Cedar Key. Atsena Otie now includes a swimming area, trail, and the ruins of the Faber pencil mill.
12. Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park, Gainesville
Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park in Gainesville, gives guests the opportunity to hike into a 120-foot sinkhole with a mini-rainforest, small waterfalls, and lush foliage.
Have you been to any of these places? Please share any other unique or mysterious things you can only find in Florida in the comments below!