Florida welcomed approximately 122 million visitors, without including residents, a 54.1% increase from 2020. The state boasts a plethora of magnificent coastal cities, beautiful beaches, museums, a rich culture, and rare wildlife. But for tourists yearning for something out of the ordinary, here are ten phenomenal hidden treasures in Florida that will leave pleasant memories.
10 The Kampong Botanical Garden
The Kampong Botanical Garden is located on Biscayne Bay in Coconut Grove. The garden features a captivating array of flowering trees and exotic tropical fruits such as candle fruit, peanut butter fruit, cocoplums, and egg fruit. History buffs visit the garden to learn about the founder, Dr. David Fairchild, who traveled throughout Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and other tropical regions, searching for exotic plants he introduced to the United States. Curious travelers can also visit the garden to study various species of cycads, palms, and flowering trees. Visitors can also pass by Fairchild's old study and laboratory, where they learn how David Fairchild conducted his research.
9 Three Sisters Springs
Three Sisters Springs, located in Crystal River, is a perfect destination for family and solo adventures as it features wild animals such as manatees, amphibians, and migratory birds. Hikers can stroll the nature trails in the area as they enjoy the magnificent views of Wetlands, Magnolia Springs, and Lake Crystal. Tourists who love water activities can as well swim with giant manatees.
8 Morikami Museum And Japanese Gardens
Morikami Museum is a gem in Florida that was established to incorporate Japanese art and culture. History enthusiasts visiting the region get to learn about the tribe of the Japanese Yamato Colony, who settled in the area during the 1900s to pursue agriculture. They can also explore the collection of ancient historical artifacts such as ceremonial tea items, textiles, and galleries that showcase Japanese art. In addition, visitors can tour the magnificently planned garden, which reflects the traditional Japanese garden design.
7 The Dalí Museum
The Dali Museum at St. Pete was established to mainly preserve the work of Salvador Dali. The museum features more than 2,400 Spanish art pieces, including Dali's iconic melting clocks, avant-garde symbols, and imaginative visual illusions. Visitors are treated to amazing contemporary art, which features the work of Uruguayan-Spanish artist Yamandu Canosa. Additionally, the museum has a virtual reality experience, Dreams of Dali, where visitors explore the surrealist world of the artists.
6 Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park
The Historical Park is in Flagler Beach and reserves the remains of a significant sugar mill in Florida. History lovers visit the monumental park to get enlightened on the rise and fall of sugar plantations in Florida. Tourists can take a hike while admiring the buildings as the plaques explain how they were used. For a better experience, hikers can continue the Bulow Woods Trail and enjoy the magnificent view of pine forests and old-growth oak trees.
5 Coral Castle Museum
Coral Castle is a fascinating attraction made of coral rocks in Miami, Florida. Art enthusiasts visit the area to witness the phenomenal garden, single-handedly carved by Edward Leedskalnin out of massive coral rock. Moreover, historians get to hear about his mysterious tales of constructing the castle without any collaborators or the help of modern mechanics. Tourists can explore the mysteries of Edward's accomplishments, including a three-ton gate, a Polaris telescope, science gifts, natural stones, and jewelry.
4 Warm Mineral Springs Park
Warm Mineral Springs Park in Florida keeps a consistently warm temperature of about 30 degrees Celsius throughout the year. The park provides visitors with a therapeutic swim because of the availability of numerous beneficial minerals. In addition, the location bears historical significance due to the discovery of evidence of a prehistoric person, giant sloths, and tigers. Tourists can also enjoy full Swedish body and hot stone massages if they book in advance.
3 St. Photios National Greek Orthodox Shrine
The shrine is located steps away from St. Augustine's historic city gates at St. George Street, Florida. Visitors come to witness the great architectural structure dedicated to the first colony of Greeks to land in America in 1768. History buffs visit the shrine to learn about the life of early Greeks in America and the development of the Orthodox church. The shrine has special exhibits containing photographs, historical documents, and artifacts depicting ancient Greeks' lives.
2 Solomon's Castle
This is a perfect getaway for art lovers. Tourists visit the place to witness the home, workshop, and galleries of famous artist Howard Solomon, who used discarded items to create his art. Guests are offered a wide range of sculptures made out of junk, including Evil Kornevil and Jeb the Bushman. Visitors can also stroll down the beautiful trails and paths as they enjoy the stunning shiny silver color of the castle.
1 Neptune Memorial Reef
Neptune Memorial is an artificial reef located in Miami, Florida. Visitors come to witness a reef created to enhance coral expansion. It also helps improve the overall ocean health. The reef features custom columns, beautiful roadways, and stunning lion statues. Scuba divers visit the area to enjoy the beautiful view of artistic structures. On the other hand, marine biologists learn about various marine creatures inhabiting the reef. Additionally, the location bears spiritual significance, where families come to remember their departed loved ones.