Weird Roadside Attractions in Orlando: v1
Florida is a flashy and popular destination with the vacation crowd. Millions (128 Million in 2016) of domestic and international tourists flock to the State every year and our “City Beautiful” is right in the crosshairs of family fun. The obvious reasons are its numerous theme park attractions, you barely need to breathe the word Orlando and it conjures past memories of happy family vacations to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Florida, or SeaWorld (and there are several others I didn’t mention – since this is theme park central).
For many, this is a trip that they will ceremoniously take every year, and for others, it’s the trip of a lifetime. If you’re looking into going on a side adventure, or feel the itch for a road trip, there is much to explore.
A Concrete Aligator.
Floridians have a… eclectic taste for the unusual. Where else would you meet a 200ft long concrete alligator you can walk inside of (can we say new Facebook profile picture)?
His name is Swampy, he lives in the holiday themed and named town Christmas, and yes it’s a real place and so much more a feeling. Swampy is the guardian of Jungle Adventures, behind him you will find an Indian village, and animal shows featuring native bears, and various rehabilitated, injured, or surrendered exotic animals.
Have you ever had alligator bbq? It tastes a whole lot like chicken. Seriously. It has the firmness of pork and just a slightly fishy taste. You can get some frozen alligator meat here. Jungle Adventures also happens to be one of the largest alligator farms around.
YouTube Video of Jungle Adventures
If you’re already going to Lego Land… you might want to take a ~12-mile detour… and visit Spook Hill in Lake Wales.
Going along the lines of alligator themed weirdness. If you drive up a particular hill in Lake Wales you may witness a unique optical illusion… where you get the sensation of rolling uphill… this phenomenon comes with an interesting piece of local folklore.
They call it Spook Hill and according to legend…
Ages ago an Indian town on Lake Wales Lake was plagued with raids by a huge gator. The town’s great warrior chief and the gator were killed in a final battle that created the huge swampy depression nearby. The chief was buried on its north side. Later pioneer haulers coming from the old army trail atop the ridge above found their horses laboring here… at the foot of the ridge… and called it Spook Hill.
[Pause for effect]
Is it the gator seeking revenge, or the chief protecting his land?
So drive down to Lake Wales, find Spook Hill and when you see the sign,
Place your car in neutral, and let it roll back. Also, watch out for phantom alligators.
Want to spoil the magic?
YouTube Video of Spook Hill
…and since your going to be in the neighborhood, you might as well check out-
Bok Tower Gardens
Deviating from the alligator theme, Florida is full of them (we have named our University mascots after them), Florida is full of weird and wonderful things.
Bok Tower Gardens is a designated National Historic Landmark covering 250-acres of beautiful gardens, and contemplative garden, a bird sanctuary with over 100 native and visiting species, and a massive 205 ft (62 m) carillon tower, which is affectionately called a Singing Tower. It’s built on Iron Mountain (what Floridians call a mountain at 295 ft (90 m) above sea level. If you don’t know what a carillon tower is, it’s a bell tower which does more than just ring bells on the hour, it plays music. Several trails cross this landmark if you would like a move around a bit more.
Tour Pinewood Estate an on-site, restored Mediterranean Revival mansion and the Exhibit Hall and Museum- to look into the life of its creator Edward W. Bok.
YouTube video of Bok Tower Gardens
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Contact our reservations team at (855) 661-3700 to learn more about the wonders that await you in Orlando when you book your trip accommodations in one of the luxurious vacation rental properties that Reunion Vacation Homes has available for your stay today!