They’re part of a fading tradition; roadside attractions designed to lure you in, offering food or fun of a type you could only find along this particular highway, in this particular spot. The Interstate highways are killing those places, but look hard enough and you can still find a few. Here are some of South Florida’s best and most unique.


Coral Castle

28655 South Dixie Highway
Miami, FL 33033
(305) 248-6345

It may be one of the strangest tourist attractions in South Florida. A man mourning his lost love built a castle made completely from local coral rock, moving such huge stones and placing them so precisely people still argue how he did it. Inside, you’ll find a 9-ton stone gate that moves at a finger touch, and things like a working stone telescope and moving stone rocking chairs. It took Ed Leedskalnin 28 years to build it, but legend says nobody saw him do the work. It’s unlike anything else you’ll see in your travels, and it’s a real piece of Odd Florida.


Robert Is Here

19200 SW 344th St
Homestead, FL 33034.
(305) 246-1592

It was once the last outpost on the way to the Everglades, but civilization has closed in a bit in the 50 years this fruit stand has been in business. It started when a young boy named Robert started selling fruit beside the road at his family farm, then in the middle of nowhere. To let people know when he was selling, he’d put out a sign that said “Robert Is Here”. The rest is history. That boy, now grown, runs the business, and in addition to an amazing selection of fresh tropical fruit, jellies and honey, it has the best strawberry milkshake you’ll ever find. Plan a trip to Everglades National Park, and treat yourself here.


Monkey Jungle

14805 Southwest 216th St.
Miami, FL 33170
(305) 235-1611

If you like monkeys, you’ll love this place. It started out as a research center in the 1930’s, but when researcher Joseph DuMond released 6 Java Monkeys into the wild, the little group grew, until today there are over 400 monkeys on the property. Visitors are caged in walkways, and the primates run free. It’s unlike any zoo you’ll visit, and is a fascinating way to get to know the secret life of monkeys.


Coopertown Airboat Rides

22700 SW 8th Street
Miami, Fl 33194
(305) 226-6048

There’s something about gliding across the grassy waters of the Everglades at 60 miles per hour, on a boat pushed by a giant fan. John Cooper started offering rides to passing tourists driving from Miami to Tampa in 1945, and word spread. Now, lots of places in the Everglades offer airboat rides, but Coopertown was the first, and is an authentic slice of old Florida. See gators and other wildlife, learn a bit about the “River of Grass”, and feel the wind in your hair in a way you’ve never experienced.


Elian Gonzalez Museum

2319 NW 2nd St.
Miami, Florida 33101
No Telephone
No Website

This museum is quintessential Miami. Elian Gonzales was a young boy who traveled to Florida on a raft with his mother, who died during the trip. Miami relatives took him in at their home, which is now the museum. His father in Cuba wanted him back, the relatives refused, and the tug-of-war for this boy became an international incident, that ended with him being taken at gunpoint by federal agents. The heartbroken relatives moved out of the home, and turned it into a museum of his time here. If you want to understand the Cuban experience in Miami, don’t miss this. Caution: the museum operates when the relative who runs it is available.