Florida is a popular vacation spot, yet it’s anything but conventional. If you visit the Florida Keys, you’ll find plenty of interesting and odd things to do by the sea, or even under the sea. From haunted dolls to abandoned bat caves to famous houses, you’ll have no lack of excitement in the Keys! Check out a few of these weird activities.
10 The Southernmost Point
Technically, it’s not the furthest south you can go in the U.S., because Hawaii wins that claim by a mile (or, rather, hundreds of miles). Still, it’s fun to say you’ve been as far south as you can get on the continent without a passport stamp.
9 Hemingway’s Home in Key West
You can visit Ernest Hemingway’s home in Key West. You’ll get to see the $20,000 swimming pool that his angry wife built after hearing about his affair abroad, as well as his “last penny,” the remaining coin that an angry Ernest threw at his wife’s feet to dramatically illustrate his financial ruin.
8 Blue Hole Freshwater Lake in Big Pine Key
If you have to choose a Florida Key to get stranded on, pick Big Pine Key. Blue Hole Freshwater Lake is the only freshwater lake in all the keys! Surrounding the lake is a deer refuge that protects all types of wildlife.
7 Truman’s Little White House in Key West
Apparently, President Truman liked the south. Key West is literally as far south as you can get in the continental U.S., and this is where he chose to build his home-away-from-home. Back in the day, it wasn’t too uncommon for presidents to choose to spend most of their time away from the White House, and you have to admit that Key West isn’t a bad choice for a White House alternative. Today, of course, the commander-in-chief sticks to Washington, D.C. and the Truman house is a museum for tourists and school trips.
6 Historic Bat Tower in Sugarloaf Key
At a first glance, the bat tower seems like a weird thing to go out of your way to see. First of all, it’s creepy. It’s so creepy that even the bats didn’t want to stay. Second of all, why see a bat tower with no bats? When you take a look inside, though, you find the structure to be interesting to explore! Don’t build a trip around it, but do make time to go check out the historic bat tower.
5 Conch Republic in Key West
The Conch Republic playfully considers itself an independent nation, although it is, of course, just another part of the United States. The area “seceded” as a part of a protest regarding road blocks put up by the government. The protest worked, but the community still celebrates its Independence Day every year… just for the fun of it.
4 The African Queen in Key Largo
Have you ever seen the Bogart and Hepburn movie The African Queen? If not, go watch it right now! If you have seen it, you’ll be glad to know that the boat did not actually get blown up; rather, it’s floating out in Key West. You can even take a ride on it, and imagine you’re far away in East Africa.
3 Captain Tony’s Saloon in Key West
So, have you ever thought about how fun it would be to drink beer under a hanging tree? No? Well, add it to your bucket list, because Captain Tony’s saloon has not only a hanging tree, but also some headstones and bodies beneath the floor. Weird? Yes. Oddly fascinating? Of course.
2 Robert the Doll in Key West
Robert the Doll was a childhood toy of a local Key West artist, and such strange stories have arisen around the doll that many people are truly convinced that he is possessed. Could the rumors be true? We doubt it, but the stories are delightfully creepy. You can see the doll at the late artist’s mansion, which is now a museum.
1 Underwater Hotel in Key Largo
Two fathoms below the surface of Florida’s sparkling waters, you’ll find a tiny hotel where you can sleep with the fishes. We mean that it the best possible way, of course… there’s nothing dangerous about the hotel! The rooms are comfortable and dry, but the view outside your window is of the ocean floor and its colorful wildlife.
Florida is known for it’s wild and crazy ways and the Florida Keys have some of the most unusual sites and attractions in the state. Be sure to see some of these unique places on your next trip to the Sunshine State.