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The Best of Quirky Florida

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It wouldn’t be Florida if it wasn’t weird. From bars where underwater mermaids blink at you to retro theme parks and a restaurant in chichi Fort Lauderdale that's famous for Polynesian fire dances, here is where to enjoy the quirkier side of the Sunshine State.
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1825 4th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33704, USA
Visitors have enjoyed strolling the idyllic Sunken Gardens for nearly 100 years. At 1.6 hectares (four acres), this botanical garden in St. Petersburg is relatively modest in size yet it manages to find room for some 50,000 tropical plants, along...
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14501 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32837, USA
Since 1949, Gatorland has been raising, rescuing and allowing the public to get up close and personal with not only Florida gators, but also crocodiles from other parts of the world. Sure, check out Universal Studios and Disney World while in...
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6131 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, FL 34606, USA
The delightfully kitsch daily mermaid shows, which have been running for over 60 years, are why most people come to this famed Florida state park roughly an hour north of Tampa. The mermaids perform a rendition of The Little Mermaid within the...
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801 Seabreeze Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316, USA
The Jungle Queen dinner cruise experience has been a Fort Lauderdale institution since 1945. Take the kids and board the historic riverboat on a three-hour cruise through downtown Fort Lauderdale to a tropical island. You'll see superb views of...
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3599 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308, USA
While the Mai-Kai restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale is an experience all in itself, with a dance show, interior décor like no other, and a gift shop sporting Polynesian paraphernalia—not to mention that the drink menu is pretty delish. I...
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1140 Seabreeze Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316, USA
Ever see a mermaid? Me, neither. At least, not until I visited The Wreck Bar in Ft. Lauderdale last week. The magical mermaids return from their sea adventures every Friday, and always promise to put on quite the show. Just make sure you get there...
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2701 De Soto Blvd, Coral Gables, FL 33134, USA
This public pool is filled and drained daily with some 820,000 gallons from Florida's large aquifer. Open since the 1920s, the spring-fed pool is one of Florida’s original tourist attractions. Spend the day swimming and exploring its...
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77522 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036, USA
Never heard of tarpon, and certainly never thought I'd feed them for fun, dangling off a pier somewhere in the Keys. These fish are humongous (easily 6-8 feet long!)...and extremely hungry. Grab your bait bucket for $3 and get to work. Robbie's...