33 Unmissable Landmarks in Florida (2022) | How Many Do You Know?

penascola lighthouse

Florida is a fascinating, beautiful, and sweltering state. It’s a prime location for beaches and holidays. But it is also a treasure trove of historical and modern landmarks. One thing is sure; there are plenty of unique things to do and see in Florida.  





Space installations, historical plantations, theme parks and more iconic buildings adorn this list. And that’s not counting the wildlife preserves and natural attractions like springs and beaches. Let’s take a look at all these and more amazing landmarks in Florida.





The Most Significant Landmarks in Florida Worth Visiting





In no particular order, the attractions on this list are known for their historical value, attractive visual appeal, or uniqueness.





1.    Ben Hill Griffin Stadium





When you hear a Floridian refer to “the swamp”, you might think they mean the everglades or the murky southern waterways of the coastline. They might be talking about a football stadium, though, and you’d be well advised to wait until you know for certain before you comment.  





ben-hill-griffin stadium
ben-hill-griffin stadium




Ben Hill Griffin was a local fan and contributor to many local projects. The stadium was named after him in 1989. It is located at the University of Florida. Visiting teams often describe the stadium as difficult to play in because of the sheer volume of the crowd. It doesn’t help that the stadium sometimes reaches 100°F on the ground.





2.    Biltmore Hotel Miami Coral Gables





Built in 1926, the Biltmore was initially a venue for special events. At the time, it was home to the largest swimming pool in the world. Famously, Thomas Walsh, a gangster known as “Fatty”, was killed in the hotel in 1929 — on the 13th floor, to be exact.  





Biltmore Hotel Miami Coral Gables
Biltmore Hotel Miami Coral Gables




Since then the association with the murder on the 13th floor has yielded a “creepy” reputation for the hotel. But that’s just part of the hotel’s folklore-ish charm. The Biltmore also served as a military hospital in WWII. In the 60s, the building became abandoned for several years, further enhancing its ghostly reputation among neighbourhood kids.  





The Biltmore was restored and reopened in 1987 and today has a proud listing on the National Registry of Historic Places.





3.    Bok Tower Gardens





If you feel like visiting a garden that’s friendly to birds, try the Bok Tower gardens, a bird sanctuary built in 1929. Edward W. Bok’s intention was to create a safe place for people and animals in Lake Wales.  





Within the gardens is the Bok singing tower, which has a collection of 57 bells. These bells can be heard throughout the day when visiting the gardens.  





Bok Tower Gardens
Bok Tower Gardens




The gardens are impressive and took nearly five years to complete. Bok, a Dutch immigrant, had apparently been inspired by his grandmother’s advice to “make the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it.”





4.    Busch Gardens Tampa Bay





Fancy a little bit of Africa in Florida? This is an African-themed garden and animal theme park that will be a highlight for kids travelling with you. It has all the regular attractions of theme parks like rides and restaurants.  





Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay




But the kicker is the African theme, which adds a unique touch, making it just different enough to be intriguing. The park attracts more than four million people every year, so book early.





5.    Castillo de San Marcos National Monument





From a world history perspective, this building, built by the Spanish, represents one of the very first European military presences on the continent. The fort was built by the Spanish and has now stood for nearly 450 years, and it is the oldest masonry fort in the US.  





Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
Castillo de San Marcos National Monument




It was designated a national monument in 1924 and is now a major tourist attraction. The fort is also notable for its design incorporation of four points, with one wall facing the water.





Castillo de San Marcos, St Augustine
Castillo de San Marcos, St Augustine




6.    Cathedral Basilica Of St. Augustine





The colony of St. Augustine, established by the Spanish, is notable for its number of buildings and influences. One of them is undoubtedly the Cathedral Basilica, which serves as the seat of the Archbishop of St. Augustine.  





Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine
Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine




Although the catholic congregation had existed in the area for many years, the current version of the church and Cathedral was only built in 1797. Efforts to maintain and rebuild previous versions of the church had been waylaid by occupations, political distractions, and funding problems.





7.    Ca’ d’Zan





Call it a mansion, a palace, or just a wild example of the American Dream. Ca’ d’Zan is the home of the famous Ringling family, who became circus moguls in the early 20th century.  





Ca’ d’Zan florida
Ca’ d’Zan florida




The building is largely inspired by the great city of Venice and its buildings. The house itself is nearly 3,500 square metres in area. It has a bright and opulent exterior, and the interior furnishings match the impression given from the outside, too.  





Upon his death, John Ringling donated the mansion to the state of Florida. It is an extravagant and extraordinary home, now open to visits from the public.





8.    Cinderella Castle At Disneyworld





Most people who have ever seen a Disney movie know what this iconic castle looks like. It is the iconic skyline symbol of the Disney logo. And its spires and towers are one of the most exciting sights a kid might see as they approach a Disney theme park.  





cinderella castle