Florida is a popular vacation destination with miles of white sand beaches, sunsets, natural springs and, theme parks like Disney World. But many may not know it also has a lot of weird and wacky, strange and spooky attractions.
In this piece we’ll unpack some of those weird and wacky attractions from a skunk ape to a headless dinosaur, a Coral Castle and much more. Everyone loves Florida for the rides, beaches, and sunsets – but it will be well worth your time to explore some of the other reasons Florida is such a unique destination. So, let’s take a look at Florida’s Strange, Weird, and Wacky Attractions.
The Smallest Post Office in the World – Ochopee, Florida
This is not what you’d expect when you think of a post office. It’s located in Ochopee, Florida in the middle of the Big Cypress National Preserve & Wildlife Management Area. Created in 1953 out of an old farm shed as an emergency post office after the original one burned to the ground.
Komodo Dragon Sculpture – Tallahassee, Florida
The Guyte P. McCord Park at Thomasville and Armistead roads in Tallahassee is one of Florida ‘s hidden gems, reports the Tallahassee Democrat. Scatted about the park’s pond and along it’s trail you’ll discover several bronze sculptures created by Florida native and well-known artist W. Stanley “Sandy” Proctor.
The sculptor is most well-known for his depiction of Florida State’s Bobby Bowden located at Doak Campbell Stadium. According to The Democrat, Proctor also has artwork on display at The White House and British Museum of Natural History as well as the Smithsonian. The most unique and iconic sculpture in the park is a giant, lifelike statue of a Komodo dragon.
Solomon’s Castle – Ona, Florida
Solomon’s Castle is an oddity unique to Florida. It’s a castle made entirely out of aluminum printer plates. The odd castle is located in Ona, Florida about 40 miles east of Sarasota. Wear sunglasses, the castle is highly reflective.
Artist and sculptor Howard Solomon began construction of the castle in 1972.The castle holds more that 80 stained glass windows and, within the home are seemingly endless galleries for Solomon’s extensive art and sculpture collection as well as his workshop.
If visitors get hungry, the castle is also home to the Boat and Moat restaurant where you can grab a sandwich, salad, or a homemade hot meal. Oh yeah, and they have plenty of sweets as well as beer and wine coolers. The castle is located at 4533 Solomon Road in Ona and is open from 10 AM to 4 PM Tuesday – Sunday. The castle is closed to the public in August and September.
Coral Castle – Strange Attractions
Florida is no stranger to castles as there is another notable castle – the Coral Castle. This castle is located between Homestead and Leisure City. As the story goes – Coral Castle was built by one man – Ed Leedskalnin, a 5-foot-tall, 100-pound Latvian immigrant.
Abandoned the day before his wedding by his 16-year-old fiancée, Leedskalnin left Latvia and immigrated to the United States. Ed was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1918 and decided to move to South Florida. After his arrival he began carving and sculpting more than 1,100 tons of coral.
The story has it that this feat was done as a tribute to his lost love. He reportedly constructed the entire thing without the use of construction equipment. That, of course, is probably why it took Leedskalnin more than 20 years to complete the project.
Skunk Ape Headquarters – Ochopee, Florida
The skunk ape is a mythical creature similar to Bigfoot. The creature calls the everglades home, according to Florida’s one and only skunk ape researcher, Dave Shealy. The Skunk Ape Headquarters is located in Ochopee, Florida – 40 miles east of Naples and 60 miles west of Miami.
Dave Shealy claims to have seen the creature and, to date, is the only one that has. The elusive creature is said to stand between six and seven feet tall and weigh 450 lbs.
It got its name from its rank odor – similar to rotting eggs or methane due to its natural habitat – alligator dens filled with rotting animals and swamp gas. Don’t get too excited though, it is still considered a local myth. But according to the skunk ape website. Shealy says he’s been documenting skunk ape sightings since he was 10.
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