Episode 65 – Interesting Historical Places in Florida

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Our beloved Sunshine State of Florida is known best for theme parks and beaches. But if you dig a little deeper, you can find some incredible historic locations for a roadtrip, day trip, or vacation. This week, we are going to talk all about some unique and interesting historical places in Florida.

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Our beloved Sunshine State of Florida is known best for theme parks and beaches. But if you dig a little deeper, you can find some incredible historic locations for a roadtrip, day trip, or vacation. This week, we are going to talk all about some unique and interesting historical places in Florida.

lighthouse, st augustine, florida

An all-time favorite of ours is America’s oldest city, St. Augustine. You can’t get more American History than the Castillo de San Marcos when it comes to historic forts, the oldest wooden school house, the Fountain of Youth, and of course, the industrialist, Henry Flagler, and St. George’s Street which is lined with historic buildings. America’s Oldest City stand the test of time as a visitor’s Destination.

There is a rich history to be found in Key West in the Florida Keys. Aside from being a beautiful place in South Florida, you will discover many historic tourist attractions. Visit the Lighthouse Keeper’s Quarters and Museum. It is at this historic lighthouse that you will find a historic, female run lighthouse. You will also find a quirky history in the people of the past in at the Key West Cemetery. Take a walking tour to discover the grave of a famous resident, graves of William Curry. Historical walking tours are a fantastic way to discover a new popular spot

Something Florida can be overlooked for is its military history. Take in some Civil War history at the Dade Battlefield. Established in 1921 to preserve and commemorate the site of Dade’s Battle of 1835, a momentous event that spawned the longest and most costly American Indian war in U.S. history, this National Historic Landmark has become a hub of the community. Experiencer reenactments, artifacts, and exhibits. You can also take a scenic walk in the surrounding area and discover the nature trails.

The Henry B. Plant Museum in Plant City educates visitors on Gilded Age tourism with artifacts collected from around the world. Now one of the historic landmarks, Built in 1891, this Moorish Revival architectural feat served as a resort for the wealthy and elite and was used throughout the Spanish-American War. This historic site is unlike most museums dedicated to lifestyles of the past. It contains the actual furnishings enjoyed by the first guests to visit here. The museum accurately reflects the opulence of turn-of-the-century America and the vision of American transportation pioneer, Henry B. Plant.

Coral Castle in Florida

Coral Castle Museum was built by one man, Edward Leedskalnin. From 1923 to 1951, Ed single-handedly and secretly carved over 1,100 tons of coral rock, and his unknown process has created one of the world’s most mysterious accomplishments. You will find audio stands with narration available in English, Spanish, French or German. You will also find knowledgeable guides available to conduct tours. Features of the Coral Castle Museum include a 9-ton gate that moves with just a touch of the finger, a Polaris telescope and functioning rocking chairs – all made entirely of stone.

light house at Dry Tortugas National Park
Photo by Bryan Goff on Unsplash

Dry Tortugas National Park is a 19th century fort offering the unique experience of snorkeling and diving through history. As part of the national parks, it boasts picturesque blue waters, superlative coral reefs and marine life, and the vast assortment of bird life that frequents the area.

Fort Mose Historic State Park It is historical sites like this that set Florida history apart. Many educational opportunities are available, particularly for visitors interested in history or wildlife viewing. Those inclined toward history will enjoy the interactive museum that tells the complete story of the first legally sanctioned free African settlement in what would become the United States. Although there are no remains of the earth and wooden structures, visitors can view the land where the settlement once stood. It is a historic site of a free-slave settlement, preserving history and natural beauty. 

Ybor City is the perfect location for a travel loving history buff. It was founded in 1886, so it has many tales to tell. Take a day at the museum: Inside the historic Ferlita Bakery building is the Ybor City Museum. The $4 admission offers a solid overview of Ybor’s history, starting with Spanish immigrant and cigar magnate Don Vicente Martinez Ybor. It also includes access to the adjacent park. You can also download the museum’s self-guided historical walking tour for $9.95. Take the cigar tour: There’s no smoking required on the cigar industry walking tour, which starts inside the Ybor City Museum and includes peeks inside a 19th-Century cigar maker’s house, a labor temple, the opulent Don Vicente Inn, and more. The tour takes about two hours and costs $17.95 per person. Your tour guide is Wallace Reyes, a historian at the Ybor City Museum, Guinness World Record holder for the longest rolled cigar (more than 196 feet!) and author of “Once Upon a Time in Tampa: Rise and Fall of the Cigar Industry. 

https://columbiarestaurant.com/The-Columbia-Experience/History

Fort Zachary Taylor in Key West is a location for teetering on the edge of nature and history. Predating the Civil War, this National Historic Monument houses the largest cache of Civil War armament in the world. 

Florida has history around every turn. You can make an entire living history vacation. Pick a city! Dive into history. But more important, explore somewhere new.