11 Amazing Places in Florida You Didn't Know Existed

Bubble Room
Bubble Room | julie corsi/Flickr
Aisha Moktadier

Florida might seem like all it can offer is damn good citrus and damn good beaches, but boy, does this state have some surreal stuff to offer guests. Not only do we make all your dreams come true with the magic of our Disney parks, but we’re also full of mysterious and charming hidden gems.

1. The Bubble Room

julie corsi/Flickr

Bubble Room | julie corsi/Flickr

Neptune Memorial Reef

The Neptune Memorial Reef is the largest man-made reef in the world and covers 16 acres of the ocean floor. Just east of Key Biscayne, this Atlantis-inspired reef is popular among scuba divers, marine biologists, students, and boaters – but its spiritual undertone means it’s also a popular place for families to send off the ashes of loved ones so that they can “create life after life.”
The Neptune Memorial Reef, Miami Beach Marina, Miami Beach, FL, USA, +1 954 655 3592

Neptune Reef

2. Coral Castle

© Christina Rutz / Flickr

Coral Castle | © Christina Rutz / Flickr

3. Whimzeyland

This crazy, funky, eclectic, and downright strange place is actually someone’s private home. Coined the “Bowling Ball House” for years, Whimzeyland is decked out in colored tiles, bowling balls, bottles, and other strange pieces of décor and embellishment. This is a really cool place to stop and take photos at, and the home feels like walking into someone’s imagination or a real-life storybook for a moment. Escape into colored glass, over 500 bowling balls, and all kinds of funky ornaments at this dreamlike spot.
Whimzeyland, 1206 3rd St, Safety Harbor, FL, USA, +1 727 725 4018
http://instagram.com/p/BHYVyKPjCrN/?taken-at=704037123

4. Salvador Dalí Museum

Museum, Building

The back of the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida
© Dan Lundberg/Flickr
Fans of Salvador Dalí are in a for a real treat. This museum stands as an ode to the highly imaginative and talented surrealist painter and features several of Dalí’s paintings, photographs, prints, book illustrations, and 3D objects. Some popular paintings to look forward to seeing here include Apparatus and Hand, Disappearing Bust of Voltaire, and Puzzle of Autumn. The museum also offers other fun and interesting events like film screenings and yoga.

5. Solomon's Castle

Restaurant

Sam Howzit/Flickr

Solomon’s Castle | Sam Howzit/Flickr

6. The Christmas Palace

A huge store that entirely dedicated to selling Christmas items all year long? Check, Florida has that, too. The Christmas Palace, located in Hialeah, is exactly what it sounds like: a haven for Christmas-lovers to come and buy beautiful ornaments, artificial trees, fake snow, home décor, and other goodies for the holidays. Even for those who don’t celebrate or aren’t fans of Christmas, just the sight of this winter wonderland smack in the middle of Miami is pretty darn magical.
The Christmas Palace, 9820 NW 77th Ave, Hialeah Gardens, FL, USA, +1 305 558 5352
https://www.instagram.com/p/BN5NuB0DmpZ/

7. Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens

Museum, Park

Mitch/Flickr

Morikami Museum & Gardens | Mitch/Flickr

8. North Port Warm Mineral Springs

Spa

The North Port Warm Mineral Springs, a water-filled sinkhole that’s been around since 1977, keeps a warm temperature of approximately 85°F (30°C) all year long and contains 51 different minerals (contributing to one of the country’s highest mineral content springs). Come visit for some relaxation, not just a typical beach. Make sure to book the available spa services, like Swedish full body and hot stone massages, in advance – perfect for a lazy weekend afternoon.
North Port Warm Mineral Springs, 12200 San Servando Ave, North Port, FL, USA, +1 941 426 1692
http://instagram.com/p/_7P59SyRyd/?taken-at=628501952

9. St. Photios National Greek Orthodox Shrine

Shrine

St Photios National Shrine
Dan Lundberg/Flickr
This shrine, coined “The Jewel of St. George Street,” was originally built by a Spanish family in 1749, and according to Atlas Obscura, “The reliquary contained bone fragments from 18 saints and was certified by the Vatican.” This beautiful spot in St. Augustine also features Byzantine art and gorgeous frescoes, as well as a garden for guests to enjoy.

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