Covering nearly 350 miles this jaunt down U.S. 1 along Florida's east coast is packed full of fun attractions including mill ruins, huggable manatees, and, if you're lucky, you might even find the fountain of youth!Less
It's wide-eyed in terror, mouthing a silent scream. Visitors can climb into the gaping mouth which reveals a pretty nice set of giant dentures. At one time it served as the entry way to the Museum of Science and History, but was relocated to its current spot in front of KidZone in 2016. The head sculpture measures 18 feet long by 8 feet high.
Treaty Oak was part of an amusement complex named Dixieland Park from 1907 into the 1930s. When the park closed the city wanted to cut down the Giant Oak and turn the park into office buildings. A local newspaperman named Pat Moran had a fondness for the tree so he invented and printed a fanciful story involving white settlers and Seminole Indians who met under the tree to sign their first and only peace treaty.
It's not a typo - Castle Otttis is really spelled with a triple T in the second word. Because it was about as high as a treetop the permit given for use of the building was as a garage structure. It was such an oddity that the owners, Rusty Ickes and Ottis Sadler, started using it for commercial purposes but heavy regulations and strict zoning laws forced them to close it down. Today it operates as a church where you can attend interdenominational Christian services.
Even though historians regard Ponce de Leon's search for the Fountain of Youth a myth, it still remains in the minds of people as almost historical fact. Thus, the name of this park comes from de Leon's supposed quest and the location is believed by many to be the site of his landing. Even if you have doubts about the veracity of the claims, the park has some interesting activities for all members of the family such as a Timucuan village, archaeological digs, and a blacksmith demonstration.
Around 1716, when Florida was still a Spanish territory, this wooden school house was built from red cedar, wooden pegs, and hand-crafted nails. This historic landmark gives you an authentic glimpse into the daily lives of 18th century people.
This museum is dedicated to pirate artifacts. Known formerly as the Pirate Soul Museum, there are 48 individual exhibits areas within the museum which states that this is the most authentic and largest collection of pirate artifacts ever compiled in one place! Relics such as Blackbeard's original blunderbuss and gold pieces retrieved from his warship and one of only three remaining authentic Jolly Roger flags in the world can be found in this collection.
Bulow Plantation Ruins is a Florida State Park containing the ruins of an antebellum plantation and its sugar mill, built of coquina sedimentary rock and made up of crushed shells. The Bulow Plantation was the largest plantation in East Florida. Activities at the state park include hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing, canoeing and kayaking, and picnicking. There's also a 6.8-mile hiking trail, a boat ramp, a screened picnic pavilion, and original artifacts and exhibits from the Bulow Plantation.
Once a sugar powerhouse this mill processed over 2,000 acres of sugar cane for use in rum. It was burned almost to the ground during the Second Seminole War - easy pickings as sugar is highly combustible. The ruins are in the wilderness a very short distance from the ocean and Old Dixie Hwy. It's one of the best preserved pieces of Florida's history in the 1800s.
Welcome to Christmas, Florida, the home of Jungle Adventures and "Big Swampy," the world's largest alligator whose total length is 200 feet and 1 inch. Swampy contains a gift shop, ticket counter, and the Jungle Adventures offices. Continue through to the rear of Swampy and Jungle Adventures to get tours of an native village and see animal shows with Florida bears as well as other injured or thrown-away exotic pets. This is also the largest largest gator farm in Florida.
Manatees have frequented the warm waters on the North End of West Palm beach for years, packing the lagoon during cold snaps. Once off limits to visitors (after the 9/11 attacks), in 2016 Manatee Lagoon was again opened to the public as a free manatee-watching attraction. There's also a boardwalk and a photo-opp manatee statue and an "Eco-Discovery Center," plus a gift shop!