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  Home arrow Themed Vacations arrow Americas arrow Take a Peek at Some Unusual Florida Attractions  
Take a Peek at Some Unusual Florida Attractions PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fraser Hannah   
May 08, 2007 at 04:26 AM
When you are planning your next Florida vacation, you may be starting out with some ideas about the larger, more well-known Florida attractions that you and your family will want to visit. Your Florida vacation guide may be missing many unusual options that you can also check out. Some are near the more popular destinations, while others are just off the beaten path, but all are guaranteed to leave you with some great memories and interesting stories to tell when you get back home. Take a look at the following Florida attractions and discover all that this fascinating state has to offer.

Weeki Wachee Springs
Full of history, Weeki Wachee Springs on the North Gulf Coast offers visitors the opportunity to see "live mermaids." Families looking for something outside of their traditional Florida vacation guide will want to stop by and check out the mermaid shows, which feature actual living "mermaids" swimming underwater with Florida wildlife. (You'll have to visit to learn the secret.) Visitors seeking Florida attractions that offer fun water activities can also enjoy scuba diving or can play at the brand new Buccaneer Bay Waterpark.

The Nabor Kids Doll Factory
Another of the unusual Florida attractions on the North Gulf Coast is this out-of-the-ordinary doll factory and hospital in Homosassa. Nabor dolls are crafted from carved wood and have a unique look to them, to say the least. Check out the historical gallery that features many valuable doll creations from years past. You may even want to purchase one of these original creations to take home. You should definitely make this stop a part of your personal Florida vacation guide.

Coral Castle
One of the more beautiful and mysterious Florida attractions to visit is Coral Castle. It opened in 1923 and has been delighting visitors ever since with a beautiful castle made of over 1,100 tons of coral. To this day, nobody is quite sure how one man managed to move and carve this rock, which he did out of love for a young woman. Located near Miami, Coral Castle is an inviting side trip. Include this in your next Florida vacation guide, and take lots of pictures!

Solomon's Castle
Solomon's Castle is another of the remarkable Florida tourist attractions that families can visit. From afar, this castle simply looks like it is shimmering - up close, you'll find that it is made up of discarded printing plates. The setting also features many works of art created by sculptor Howard Solomon, as well as the intriguing Boat in the Moat restaurant. Keep this in mind when you're searching through your Florida vacation guide. Just a short drive from Orlando, this castle requires a whole day to fully explore all that it has to offer.

The Astronaut Hall of Fame and the American Police Hall of Fame
If your Florida vacation guide suggests a trip to the Kennedy Space Center in Titusville, near Cocoa Beach, you should definitely include the Astronaut Hall of Fame in your day. As a great foil to the Space Center's scientific angle, the Hall of Fame presents a more personal look at the men and women who have spent time in space. If you still have time after visiting these two Florida attractions, you can also stop by the American Police Hall of Fame, also located in Titusville, to view artifacts from the history of law enforcement and a memorial wall for fallen officers.

The National Museum of Naval Aviation
If you are searching for educational Florida attractions, make sure you stop at one of the largest air and space museums in the country, the National Museum of Naval Aviation, in Pensacola. Stop by and check out over 140 restored aircraft from various military branches, as well as a special IMAX movie and guided tours. The museum offers free admission and is open 362 days out of the year, making it a great addition to any Florida vacation guide.

The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
Located in Key West, the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is a must-see for literature and history buffs seeking relevant Florida attractions. The home has been preserved and includes Hemingway's furniture and his typewriter, which he used to write many of his best-known novels. Living alongside this history are dozens of six-toed cats, all descended from a cat given to Hemingway himself. The home is open year-round and provides an interesting and educational deviation from the traditional activities listed in a Florida vacation guide.

The Thomas Edison and Henry Ford Winter Estates
If you're looking for even more historical Florida attractions to explore, check out the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, located on the South Gulf Coast of Florida in Sanibel. A great addition to any Florida vacation guide, you can visit the homes in which these two great men spent winters, and take a peek into the chemical lab where many major experiments were carried out. The grounds also feature a beautiful botanical garden originally established by Edison for research purposes but later expanded to include plants renowned for their beauty.

The John and Mable Ringling Museum
This is one of those Florida attractions that is fun for the whole family! Primarily an art museum, the John and Mable Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida, also features a Circus Museum full of rare memorabilia. Stop by the Ringling Estate for the day and take in the official State Art Museum of Florida first, with its 21 galleries of European paintings and other fine artwork. Then step right up and enjoy viewing old handbills and posters while learning about the history of the circus.

The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
While you're enjoying the sunshine on Delray Beach, consult your Florida vacation guide and then take a detour to visit the beautiful Morikami museum and Japanese gardens. Take time to view the rotating exhibits that are full of Japanese artwork and cultural artifacts, and make sure you stroll through the stunning botanical garden that has been established in the Japanese style. If you're lucky, you may be able to watch a tea ceremony or participate in one of the many other special events that are always going here at one of the more exotic Florida attractions.

Last, but certainly not least, on this list of unusual Florida attractions is Gatorama, located in Palmdale. If you've come to Florida looking for alligators, you'll see more than your share here. Gatorama is a live, operating alligator farm where you can spend a day watching these fascinating creatures. It's is also home to hundreds of other animals, including peacocks, raccoons, and even monkeys. This intriguing spot may not be number one in a traditional Florida vacation guide, but it is definitely worth a visit.

About the Author
Fraser Hannah spent eight years working as a freelance television production manager and researcher before leaving to join his family's business working with the elderly. He founded in 2003 after purchasing his own vacation home in Florida and being frustrated by the lack of vision shown by many of the existing vacation rental sites., an online Florida vacation guide, now connects thousands of travelers directly with the owners of high-quality vacation rentals in Florida, from Orlando to the Florida Keys.
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