Here are a few reasons why Florida is so unique and beloved, and none of them are theme parks.
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:
1. The Best Beach In The U.S.
Siesta Beach on Siesta Key near Sarasota, FL, has sand made up of 99% quartz, making it cool on your feet even on the hottest days. It's often named the best beach in the country, and it was named the top beach in the U.S. on TripAdvisor in 2015.
2. Coral Castle
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.
Whimzeyland, AKA The Bowling Ball House, is a colorful artists' paradise in Safety Harbor, decorated with bright colors, all kinds of yard art and, yes, tons of bowling balls. pained and arranged in different ways. It's kind of hard to explain, but it's definitely worth seeing for yourself.
4. The Oldest City In The Country
St. Augustine is one of Florida's most beautiful and historic cities. You can visit the oldest fort in the country, several incredible museums, a top-notch state park (Anastasia Island), and lots of great shops and restaurants.
5. Bok Tower Gardens
Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales features romantic, sprawling gardens, a bird sanctuary, and the jaw-dropping, 205-foot singing tower.
6. Airstream Ranch
The Airstream Ranch in Dover, FL, is a great example of the wacky roadside attractions Florida was once known for that are becoming extinct. It's quite a sight to see several Airstream Trailers growing out of the ground on the side of the highway, and a great road trip photo opportunity.
7. Venetian Pool
The Venetian Pool in Coral Gables, FL, was transformed from an abandoned coral quarry into an impressive pool styled after Venice, Italy, in 1924. It's the largest freshwater pool in the country and the only pool listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
8. Jules Undersea Lodge
This lodge is the only underwater hotel in the country, and guests must be certified to scuba dive down to their room.
This spiritualist camp located in Volusia County is an entire community made up of psychics and mediums established in 1894.
10. Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
This unique museum in Delray Beach is a serene and unique testament to the last member of the Yamato Colony to stay in the city after WWII. It features two museum building, an excellent restaurant, and many popular festivals.
11. Skunk Ape Research Headquarters
This kitschy roadside attraction on the Tamiami Trail in Ochopee has a campground, exhibits, and Everglades tours to go along with its research on the elusive Florida Bigfoot. This is a unique and fun stop, especially for kids.
12. Butterfly World
Did you know the first and largest butterfly park in the country is right here in Florida? I bet a trip to this attraction in Coconut Creek would be an awesome excursion for the whole family.
13. Spook Hill
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.
14. The Ringling Museum
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is located in the circus magnate's impressive winter home in Sarasota. Stunning art and architecture, lovely gardens, and a circus museum are just a few of the reasons to visit.
Do you know of any other things that could really only exist in Florida? Please share your favorite unique places and attractions with us in the comments below!