When thinking about Florida, most people imagine its spectacular beaches. Younger ones will definitely mention Disney World. The state, however, has a big number of historic landmarks. The historic points of interest and architectural attractions stand as evidence of the state’s intriguing past.
Needless to say, a number of these landmarks have a much higher historic importance than others. Here are a few of those.
The Homes of Famous Individuals
The houses of many famous individuals have been preserved in the state of Florida. Some of these homes have also been turned into museums, dedicated to the life and work of their popular inhabitants.
Ernest Hemingway’s home is located in Key West. Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is a picturesque building that served as the writer’s house in the period from 1931 to 1939. Today, it’s the house of six and seven-toed cats – all of them descendants of Hemingway’s favorite feline.
Civil rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune lived in Daytona Beach and the house is another famous Florida landmark. An activist, educator and president of National Association of Colored Women, McLeod Bethune dedicated her life to protecting the rights of African American women.
Located two miles north of Florida’s St. Augustine, Fort Mose was built in 1738 by Florida’s Spanish governor. The fort was established as a free black settlement and it served as an asylum for slaves that managed to escape the British Colony.
Archaeologists explored the remains of Fort Mose from 1986 to 1988. Their discoveries shed a lot of light on the role that slaves played in the rivalry between England and Spain during the period. Today, the fort is a part of Fort Mose Historic State Park where a museum is also located. Many of the artifacts discovered during the archaeological exploration are on display there.
Castillo de San Marcos
The oldest masonry fort in the states is located in Florida, more precisely, in the city of St. Augustine. It’s also one of the best preserved forts in the country.
Castillo de San Marcos was built in the 1600s. It impresses with the interesting design – a diamond-shaped construction that made the fort easier to defend from enemy attacks. The 14-feet-wide fortress walls are preserved till present day.
Once the fortress is explored, it’s also a good idea to spend some time in St. Augustine. The city has preserved its charm through the years and it’s proud to be called the oldest European settlement in the United States.
Ybor City is a historical district in Tampa. Originally (in the 1880s), Ybor City was an important cigar production center. It was the home of thousands of immigrants from Spain, Cuba and Italy. There were numerous cigar factories that gave the immigrants employment.
Today, Ybor City welcomes visitors with its numerous museums. The most prominent ones include Cigar Museum and Visitor Center, TECO Line Streetcar Museum and Ybor City Museum State Park. The district also holds intriguing annual events like the Fiesta celebration of Latin culture, Festa Italiana (dedicated to Italian cuisine), Tama Cigar Heritage Festival and Tampa Noles Pub Crawl.
These are just some of Florida’s architectural and historic landmarks. The state has a lot more to offer. Historic landmark hotels, cathedrals, plazas, museums and towers are all ready to welcome visitors.