Florida is the Sunshine State. However, the state has long earned a title of being home to some of the craziest things in the world. Thanks to its most popular contributor, “Florida Man” so many bizarre things happen there.
It is one the few areas where winter doesn’t mean much. So, here are some of the weirder things to see as you travel through and to your next exploration.
1. Build yourself a castle — out of coral
Consisting of giant coral sculptures carved by a single man from 1923 to 1951, the Coral Castle Museum in Miami is quite the artistic accomplishment. One of the great mysteries of the place is that no one ever saw the artist, Ed Leedskalnin, carve anything – so they don’t know how he managed to shape 1,100 tons of rock. One of the most impressive features here is a 9-ton carved gate that can open with the push of a single finger.
2. Drive-in church
Drive-in movies were the best way to see films once upon a time (and in some rare locations, still are). The Daytona Beach Drive-In Christian Church has taken it a step further – you can simply sit in their parked car on the church’s lawn while listening to a Sunday sermon. If you want to stop by to check it out for yourself, their services are at 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Sunday every week. No word on whether or not they offer popcorn, though.
3. A very tall cross
If you want to see something stretching to heaven, visit St. Augustine, where a 208-foot cross stands. This cross marks the spot where the first permanent cross of Christianity was placed in the mid-1500s. It is billed by some as the largest cross in the world, but that title is owned by a 500-foot cross in Spain.
4. Dark and scary museums
On the other end of the spectrum from the giant cross in St. Augustine is a slightly disturbing museum. The Wolf’s Museum Of Mystery is a gallery that also serves as the home of Wolfgang Von Mertz and his family. A few examples of what they’ve got include the Lizzie Borden boudoir, a slaughterhouse kitchen, and an exorcist bathroom.
5. An aluminum castle
Sprawling over 12,000 square feet, Solomon’s Castle in Ona is certainly an impressive sight. Built by artist Howard Solomon over many years and home to galleries of his sculptures, the entire exterior is covered with shiny aluminum plating. Just don’t visit during a lightning storm.
6. World’s smallest police station
It’s a blue box…but it isn’t bigger on the inside. No, it’s a police station in Carrabelle – an old booth that was once set up for the police department to make calls. However, this was removed after tourists used this line to make unauthorized long-distance calls home for free.
7. Underwater Jesus
Off the coast of Key Largo and 25 feet underwater, there is an 8½-foot, two-ton sunken statue of Jesus Christ with outstretched arms. It honors the founding of America’s first underwater park, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. The site is one of the most popular diving spots in the world.
8. Throwing dead fish
Once a year, thousands of Floridians stand at the state line in Perdido Key and throw dead mullets into Alabama. (These are not hairs trimmed from the back of your average Wal-Mart shopper – they are fish indigenous to the Gulf Coast area). The Mullet Toss event, which raises money for area youth charities, attracts thousands of onlookers each year. The odor from that amount of fish is believed to be drowned in substantial amounts of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
9. The smallest post office in the United States
A tiny farm shed in Ochopee was turned into an emergency post office when the town’s official one burned down in 1953. It worked so well, the town leaders decided to keep it. It’s not even big enough for a bathroom, but you can buy novelty postcards from the post office and have them sent for you at the same time.
10. Airstream Ranch
The Airstream Ranch was created by Frank Bates to celebrate the iconic trailer company’s 75th birthday. Similar to the Cadillac Ranch in north Texas, except eight Airstream trailers appear to be growing out of the ground. The exhibit is on the side of the road in Dover, on I-4 between Tampa and Orlando. Lawmakers have tried to get the installation taken down, but have failed so far.