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11 Unique Castles In Florida To Visit

castles in florida

Explore the top castles in Florida: uncover their histories and unique designs in our quick guide.

Castles are often associated with Europe, but did you know that Florida is home to many grand and historic castles? These castles blend history, architecture, and nature almost seamlessly. The grandeur of these historic sites is overwhelming and they are popular tourist attractions.

From chateaus and mansions to palaces, Florida has a wide variety of castles to explore. Some of the most popular castles include the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, and the Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas. Each castle has its own unique story and architecture, making them fascinating destinations for history buffs, architecture enthusiasts, and tourists alike.

If you’re planning a trip to Florida, don’t miss the opportunity to visit these magnificent castles. They offer a glimpse into Florida’s rich history and culture and are sure to be a highlight of your trip. In this article, we’ll explore the top castles in Florida, answer some frequently asked questions, and provide tips for visiting these historic sites.

Key Takeaways

  • Florida is home to many grand and historic castles that are popular tourist attractions.
  • These castles offer a glimpse into Florida’s rich history and culture and are sure to be a highlight of any trip to the state.

Castles in Florida

Florida may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of castles, but the state has a surprising number of impressive fortresses and palaces. Here are some notable castles in Florida.

Castillo de San Marcos

Castillo de San Marcos Sunrise” by Photomatt28 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Castillo de San Marcos is a historic fortress located in St. Augustine, Florida. Built in the late 17th century, it is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. The fort was designed to protect the Spanish colony of Florida from British attacks. Today, visitors can explore the fort and its many rooms, including the gun deck, chapel, and officers’ quarters.

Fort Jefferson

brown concrete building on beach during daytime
Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park

Fort Jefferson is a massive fort located in the Dry Tortugas National Park, about 70 miles west of Key West. The fort was built in the mid-19th century as a naval base to protect the Gulf of Mexico. It is the largest masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere, with 16 million bricks used in its construction. Visitors can explore the fort and its many rooms, including the prison cells and the lighthouse.

Castle Otttis

Castle Otttis Tower, Florida” by Rob Bixby is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Castle Otttis is a unique castle located in St. Augustine, Florida. It was built in the style of a 1,000-year-old Irish castle and features many unique architectural details, such as hand-carved stone columns and stained glass windows. The castle was built by artist and sculptor Ottis Sadler as a tribute to his Irish heritage.

Coral Castle

Coral Castle” by RuggyBearLA is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Coral Castle is a unique structure located in Homestead, Florida. It was built by a Latvian immigrant named Edward Leedskalnin over a period of 28 years. The castle is made entirely of coral rock and features many impressive sculptures and carvings. Visitors can explore the castle and its many rooms, including the throne room and the moon fountain.

Castle Warden

St Aug Warden Ripleys02” by Ebyabe is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Castle Warden is a historic castle located in St. Augustine, Florida. It was built in the late 19th century by millionaire William Warden as a winter home. The castle features many unique architectural details, such as a tower with a spiral staircase and stained glass windows. Today, the castle serves as home to Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

Solomon’s Castle

Solomon’s Castle is a unique castle located in Ona, Florida. It was built by artist and sculptor Howard Solomon entirely out of aluminum. The castle features many impressive sculptures and landscape sculptures. Visitors can explore the castle and its many rooms, including the art gallery and the gift shop.

Villa Zorayda

Villa Zorayda” by rperlin83 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Villa Zorayda is a historic castle located in St. Augustine, Florida. It was built in the late 19th century by millionaire Franklin Smith as a winter home. The castle features many unique architectural details, such as a tower with a spiral staircase and stained glass windows. Today, the castle is open to the public as a museum.

Curtiss Mansion

Curtiss Mansion is a historic castle located in Miami Springs, Florida. It was built in the early 20th century by aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss as a winter home. The castle features many unique architectural details, such as a tower with a spiral staircase and stained glass windows. Today, the castle is open to the public as a museum.

Loews Don Cesar Hotel (St. Pete Beach, FL)

West Florida- St Petersburg Beach – DON CESAR HOTEL” by Fabio – Miami is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

While not a true castle any longer, the Loews Don Cesar Hotel is a historic hotel located in St. Pete Beach, Florida known as the “Pink Castle”. It was built in the late 1920s by millionaire Thomas Rowe as a tribute to his lost love. The castle-like building features many unique architectural details, such as a tower with a spiral staircase and stained glass windows. Today, the castle is a luxury hotel and is open to the public.

Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom

Disney World Cinderella Castle

Cinderella Castle is a fairytale castle located in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. It was built in the early 1970s and is the iconic symbol of the Magic Kingdom. The castle features many unique architectural details, such as a tower with a spiral staircase and stained glass windows.

Hogwarts Castle, Universal’s Islands of Adventure

brown and gray concrete house

Hogwarts Castle is a castle located in Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida. It was built in the early 2010s as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The castle features many unique architectural details, such as a tower with a spiral staircase and stained glass windows. Visitors can explore the castle and its many rooms, including

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top-rated castles to visit in Florida?

Florida is home to several castles that attract visitors from all over the world. Some of the top-rated castles to visit in Florida include the Castillo de San Marcos, Coral Castle, and Villa Zorayada. These castles boast unique architecture, rich history, and stunning surroundings that make them a must-visit for tourists and locals alike.

Can you get married at a castle in Florida, and if so, which ones?

Yes, you can get married at a castle in Florida. Several castles in Florida offer wedding packages and event spaces for couples looking to tie the knot in a unique and romantic setting. Some of the popular castles that offer wedding services include the Castle Otttis, Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum, and the Winter Park Wedding Chapel.

Are there any castles available for overnight stays or events in Florida?

Yes, there are several castles in Florida available for overnight stays or events. Some of the popular castles that offer accommodation and event spaces include the Castle Hotel in Orlando, the Whitehall Mansion in Palm Beach, and the Castle Otttis in St. Augustine. These castles offer a unique and luxurious experience for guests looking to stay in a historic and charming setting.

What are some abandoned castles in Florida that can be explored?

While Florida is home to several well-preserved and maintained castles, there are also some abandoned castles that can be explored. One of the most popular abandoned castles in Florida is the Sugar Mill Ruins in New Smyrna Beach. This castle was built in the 19th century and was used to process sugar cane. Another abandoned castle that can be explored is the Stiltsville Castle in Biscayne Bay. This castle was built on stilts and was used as a private residence in the 1930s.

What is the history behind the castle built by a single person in Florida?

The Coral Castle, located in Homestead, Florida, is a castle built entirely by a single person named Edward Leedskalnin. Leedskalnin began building the castle in 1923 and worked on it until his death in 1951. The castle was built using coral rock and features numerous sculptures, including a 9-ton gate that can be easily opened with a single finger. The history behind the castle’s construction is shrouded in mystery, and many people believe that Leedskalnin used supernatural abilities to build the castle. However, it is widely believed that Leedskalnin used simple tools and techniques to build the castle, and his incredible feat of engineering is a testament to his ingenuity and dedication.

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