The earliest review of Blue Spring gave the place an 18th-century version of thumbs down. Naturalist John Bartram visited Blue Spring in January of 1766, and found a “surprising fountain … the colour of the sea, [that] smelled like bilge water, tasting sweetish and loathsome.” Fortunately for modern travelers, the chemistry of the spring has changed […]
If the dream of Dr. Cyrus Teed had come true, the capital of the world would be located just south of Fort Myers, Florida. A century later, the fascinating remains of Teed’s failed utopia are preserved at the Koreshan State Historic Site. The story began in 1869 when Teed, a 30-year-old Chicago physician, had a revelation that he was the Messiah. He changed his name to Koresh (the Hebrew form of ‘Cyrus’), and in 1894 he led his wealthy followers into the muggy wilderness of Estero, where they founded a commune called the Koreshan Unity.
CARRABELLE, FL — If you’ve got trouble in Carrabelle, Florida, just dial 3691. That’s the number for a blue phone booth on the main drag that is the world’s smallest police station. The phone booth is shaded by a shiny berry tree, and there’s a park bench in front where policemen can keep an eye […]
At Wakulla Springs, Florida’s mysterious, primordial beauty has been preserved in a rustic, 1940s-era setting. The place has always been a tourist attraction, but commercialism is kept a minimum. Financier Edward Ball built a Spanish-style lodge and resort here in 1937, and the state took over control just a few years ago. All along, the […]
CRYSTAL RIVER, FL — Florida’s manatees may be endangered, but they’re not difficult to find. There are several ways to see a sea cow in central Florida. Crystal River Manatee Swimming Tours About 200 manatees (about 10 percent of the total manatee population) spend the winter in Crystal River. Here you will find the largest […]
JUNIPER SPRINGS STATE PARK, FL — As the sun rises over the tall grass and scrub pines of Juniper Prairie Wilderness, lighting up the mist on Hidden Pond, the only sound is the gentle breeze in the trees and the occasional call of scrub jays or the echo of woodpeckers. Here in the nation’s southernmost […]