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Florida’s Best Historical Attractions

SanMarco Reinactment
A look at Florida's best historical attractions
Joe Dorsey on May 2, 2014 - 6:37 pm in Attractions, Historical, Places to visit

On the show, we’ve featured a lot of historical attractions located around the Sunshine state, mainly because that’s where we’re headquartered. So, for today’s installment I thought I could do a nice roundup of my favorites from the show, and some that we haven’t explored yet. These are in no particular order, but a numbered list works nicely on the internet.

Florida’s Best Historical Attractions

#1. Space Shuttle Atlantis – Kennedy Space Center, Titusville, FL

Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit

Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit

Space Shuttle Atlantis showcases the priceless, historic spacecraft that tells the incredible story of NASA’s 30-year Space Shuttle Program. It is displayed as only spacewalking astronauts have seen her before — rotated 43.21 degrees with payload doors open and its Canadarm (robotic arm) extended, as it has just undocked from the International Space Station.

#2 Castillo San Marcos  – St. Augustine, FL

    Castillo San Marcos

Castillo San Marcos

Castillo San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the US. Originally built under Spanish rule, it’s been under the control of British and US governments on and off again for centuries. The walls are made with coquina shells, like limestone, which helped to absorb canon balls.

 #3 Weeki Wachee Springs State Park – Weeki Wachee, FL

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

An original Florida roadside attraction like no other. See the underwater mermaid show that’s been around since the 1940’s. Using air hoses, the Weeki Wachee mermaids perform the entire show without surfacing and perform synchronized acrobatic stunts.

#4. Fort Jefferson – Dry Tortugas, FL

Fort Jefferson

Fort Jefferson

Take the 2 hours catamaran ride out, or the 30 minute plane ride, but either way, you should see Fort Jefferson. This fort-turned-prison housed alleged Lincoln assassination conspirator Dr. Samuel Mudd before his pardon. You can even camp overnight on the beach at this, the US’s most remote fort.

#5 National Naval Aviation Museum – Pensacola, FL

National Naval Aviation Museum

National Naval Aviation Museum

Pensacola has been called the “Cradle of Naval Aviation.” The city had a major role in training thousands of Navy pilots. Located on board Pensacola Naval Air Station, the National Naval Aviation Museum houses an amazing collection of historic aircraft and other artifacts that tell the history of Naval Aviation from its earliest days to the 21st Century.[Source]

#6 Coral Castle – Homestead, FL

Coral Castle Courtesy of Christina Rutz/Wikimedia Commons

Coral Castle
Courtesy of Christina Rutz/Wikimedia Commons

Edward Leedskalnin was jilted by his 16-year-old fiancée Agnes Scuffs in Latvia, just one day before the wedding. Leaving for America, he came down with allegedly terminal tuberculosis, but spontaneously healed, stating that magnets had some effect on his disease. Edward spent over 28 years building the Coral Castle, refusing to allow anyone to view him while he worked. A few teenagers claimed to have witnessed his work, reporting that he had caused the blocks of coral to move like hydrogen balloons. The only tool that Leedskalnin spoke of using was a “perpetual motion holder.” [Source: Wikipedia]

#7 Florida Caverns State Park – Marianna, FL


Florida Caverns State Park
Courtesy of Ebyabe/Wikimedia Commons

Florida Caverns is one of the few state parks with dry (air-filled) caves and is the only state park in Florida to offer cave tours to the public. The cave has dazzling formations of limestone stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, flowstones and draperies.

 #8 Harry S. Truman Little White House –  Key West, FL

Harry S. Truman Little White House Courtesy of Ebyabe/Wikimedia Commons

Harry S. Truman Little White House
Courtesy of Ebyabe/Wikimedia Commons

The Harry S. Truman Little White House in Key West, Florida was the winter White House for President Harry S Truman for 175 days during 11 visits. The house is located in the Truman Annex neighborhood of Old Town, Key West. Truman so loved the Keys, and I think you’ll love the tour of this place.

Florida is loaded with great historical attractions, and there are a ton I didn’t mention in this article, but should you want to delve more into the subject matter, check out this list at www.visitflorida.com.

Photos courtesy of Dollar Photo Club and Wikimedia Commons.


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