7 Ruins and Abandoned Places in Florida You Can Legally Visit

Florida is a state that is known for its sunny beaches, theme parks, and natural wonders. But it is also a state that has a rich and diverse history, as well as a dark and mysterious side. There are many ruins and abandoned places in Florida that offer a glimpse into the past and present of the state, as well as a thrill for the adventurous and curious. In this blog post, we will introduce you to seven of these places, and tell you why you should visit them.

1. Fort Dade – Egmont Key

Fort Dade was a military fort that was built on Egmont Key, an island at the mouth of Tampa Bay, in the late 1800s. The fort was part of the coastal defense system of the United States, and was equipped with batteries, barracks, a hospital, a lighthouse, and a power plant. The fort was active until 1923, when it was decommissioned and abandoned. Today, the fort is part of the Egmont Key State Park, and is accessible by ferry or boat. You can explore the ruins of the fort, as well as enjoy the wildlife and scenery of the island.

2. Bulow Plantation Ruins – Flagler Beach

Bulow Plantation was a sugar plantation that was established in 1821 by Major Charles Wilhelm Bulow. The plantation covered over 9,000 acres, and produced sugar, cotton, rice, and indigo. The plantation also had a large sugar mill, which was one of the most advanced in the state. The plantation was destroyed in 1836, during the Second Seminole War, when the Native Americans burned it down. Today, the plantation ruins are part of the Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park, and are open to the public. You can see the remains of the sugar mill, the wells, the foundations, and the chimneys.

3. Dome Houses – Cape Romano

The Dome Houses are a set of six dome-shaped structures that were built on Cape Romano, an island off the coast of Marco Island, in 1980. The structures were designed by Bob Lee, an oil producer and inventor, as a self-sufficient and eco-friendly vacation home for his family. The structures were made of concrete and steel, and had solar panels, rainwater collectors, and a generator. The structures were abandoned in 1992, after Hurricane Andrew damaged them. Today, the structures are slowly sinking into the sea, and are only visible at low tide. You can see them from a distance by boat or kayak, but you are not allowed to enter them.

4. Old Cahawba – Selma

Old Cahawba was the first state capital of Alabama, from 1820 to 1826. It was located at the confluence of the Alabama and Cahaba rivers, and was a thriving town with a diverse population. The town had a courthouse, a statehouse, a jail, a bank, a hotel, and several mansions. However, the town suffered from frequent floods, diseases, fires, and crimes, and was eventually abandoned by the government and the residents. Today, Old Cahawba is an archaeological park, managed by the Alabama Historical Commission. You can visit the ruins of the old buildings, as well as the cemetery, where you can see the graves of the pioneers, the soldiers, the slaves, and the prisoners.

5. Miami Marine Stadium – Key Biscayne

Miami Marine Stadium was a water sports stadium that was built in 1963 on Key Biscayne, an island near Miami. The stadium was designed by Hilario Candela, a Cuban architect, and had a capacity of 6,566 seats. The stadium hosted various events, such as powerboat races, concerts, and political rallies. The stadium was also famous for its floating stage, which could be moved around the water. The stadium was closed in 1992, after Hurricane Andrew damaged it. Since then, the stadium has been abandoned and vandalized, and has become a haven for graffiti artists and urban explorers.

6. Bongoland – Port Orange

Bongoland was a theme park that was opened in 1948 in Port Orange, a city near Daytona Beach. The park was named after Bongo, a baboon that was the mascot of the park. The park featured various attractions, such as a train ride, a zoo, a botanical garden, and a miniature village. The park also had several statues of dinosaurs, which were made of concrete and chicken wire. The park was closed in 1952, due to low attendance and financial problems. Today, the park is part of the Sugar Mill Botanical Gardens, and is open to the public. You can see the statues of the dinosaurs, as well as the remnants of the train tracks, the zoo cages, and the miniature village.

7. Discovery Island – Bay Lake

Discovery Island was a theme park that was operated by Disney from 1974 to 1999, on an island in Bay Lake, near Orlando. The park was a wildlife sanctuary, where visitors could see exotic birds, reptiles, mammals, and plants. The park also had a walk-through aviary, a flamingo lagoon, a turtle beach, and a monkey colony. The park was closed in 1999, due to low attendance, animal abuse allegations, and the opening of Animal Kingdom. Since then, the park has been left abandoned and overgrown, and is off-limits to the public. Only a few people have managed to sneak into the island, and have reported seeing the remains of the attractions, the buildings, and the animals.


Florida is a state that has more than just sunshine and fun. It also has a lot of history, mystery, and adventure. There are many ruins and abandoned places in Florida that you can legally visit, and discover the stories and secrets behind them. Whether you are interested in history, nature, or art, you will find something to enjoy and explore in these places. So, next time you are in Florida, don’t miss the chance to experience these ruins and abandoned places for yourself. You won’t regret it.

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