“Who wants to go to Disneyworld? Raise your hand! Ask that question almost anywhere, and you’ll see everyone’s hands raised.
“Ok, good. Now who wants to go to Gatorland?” That question is going to get you rooms full of silence. People will stare at you as if you’ve gone mad.
That’s the kind of reaction I would get if I were planning a trip to Florida. Disney World is cool, and everyone goes there. However, seeing, crazy, wacky, interesting, unique, and exciting places and attractions is much more fun and memorable than visiting a theme park that you already know everything about.
I myself have never been to Florida, and have only traveled the Western side of the United States and New York. I’ve been wanting to go to Florida for ages to see the vast beaches and visit some cool locations and cities! Florida seems to have a lot of uncommon places, exhibits, and museums to offer.
As I was browsing for fun places to visit in Florida to I came across so many weird, yet cool places to see, stay in or around, and do things in.
Here are the top 5 places to visit in Florida, besides Disney World, that every traveler to Florida should see:
5 Non-Disney Places to Visit in Florida
- Ancient Spanish Monastery
The famous Ancient Spanish Monastery is just what the name implies: a historical monastery built during the Spanish era.
This monastery is located in North Miami Beach, Fl. It is said to date back to the year 1141. Now that’s old! The cool part about this monastery; it wasn’t built here. A wealthy newspaper publisher by the name of William Randolph Hearst had it built elsewhere, broken down, and then shipped here. It is said to be peaceful and relaxing in and around the entire monastery. Many people come here every year to get married, including tourists from other countries.
- Dinosaur World
Dinosaur World, located in Plant City, Fl is the world’s largest dinosaur attraction. It’s probably the most fun both adults and kids will have out in the open!
With over 150 life size dino replicas, who wouldn’t want to be around this hot spot? This mega dino land will instantly remind you of Clifford, Jurassic Park and other movies. In Clifford, the boy played by Martin Short does anything and everything to visit his beloved Dinosaur World. Well, here it is, in real life.
No where else on earth will you see, touch and learn about so many dinosaurs, giant reptiles, and flying man-eating birds of the past.
Wonderworks is a wacky, upside down, hands on exhibit in which you learn about science and life! Yes, my friends, this is what many call the most exciting and fun place to learn about different things.
From experiencing the 1989 Loma Preita earthquake to surviving laying on a bed of nails, at Wonderworks you get to learn how and why things happen. Also learning about space and trying to defy gravity has my geeky name written all over it, so I totally want to go.
- Coral Castle
This is literally considered one of the world’s mysteries. An awesome castle built out of, you guessed it, coral! Well, technically the coral covers the limestone, but all the limestone has bits of shell and coral already in it. There is no other structure like it elsewhere on the planet.
A man by the name of Edward Leedskanin carved the Coral Castle himself at night, alone, and would not let anyone see him do it. This castle is located in Homestead, Fl and is made from massive heavy stones. How did he build this all on his own? The word “supernatural” has been thrown around a lot by people when trying to explain this, but we may never know. It’s pretty cool to think one man moved giant, several tons stones around and carved them into beautiful things.
Ah, Gatorland the place I would want to go to most. It’s the scariest place on the list, and it’s something I would visit rather than Disney World.
I don’t know why, but visiting a place which is considered the Gator Capital of the world means it should be on every tourist’s list.
You walk in through a giant alligators mouth as an entrance, visit different exhibits with alligators, a petting zoo where alligators are actually petted like cats and dogs, one-of-a kind reptile shows not found anywhere else on earth, and many educational experiences where you’re only a few feet away from real alligators out in the open.
This is a unique theme park you won’t get to see or experience anywhere else.
What will you see in Florida?
The things you take for granted in your own town are a blessing for the tourists passing by. Same is the case with Florida. There are tons of places to visit and stay in Florida, and they’re all outside of DisneyWorld. You can even make a trip to DisneyWorld, and after your on or two days of Disney fun, you can head on over to the real gems that await you in Florida.
From the above list of places, which one would you visit the most? Would you be willing to visit one of these more than DisneyWorld? Have you ever been to Florida, and any of the above places?
Share your thoughts or comments below. Thanks for reading!