Dunlawton Sugar Mill Gardens in Port Orange is one of those unique places that has just the right amount of history and quirky charm to make it a classic Old Florida roadside attraction.

The old sugar mill ruins, which had been a tourist site as early as 1939, were converted into a small amusement park called Bongoland in 1948. It was named for a baboon that lived on the grounds, along with a few other animals. Bongoland also included a miniature train ride, a replica of a Seminole village, a human sundial, and an assortment of life-sized concrete dinosaurs.

Apparently it wasn’t enough to keep the attraction open, and it closed only a few years later. After sitting abandoned for several years, the land was handed over to the county. In 1985, the historic site began its conversion into the lovely botanical garden you can tour today.

Although the attractions of Bongoland are long gone, you can still appreciate the lush gardens, historic ruins, and even spot a few remaining dinosaurs. Touring the grounds is a fun and free way to spend a day.

Check out some photos of the ruins and gardens of this unique Old Florida attraction below:

Have you ever visited the Dunlawton Sugar Mill Gardens? What’s your favorite offbeat attraction in Florida?

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