Florida makes many of us think of sunshine and golfing, but this Southern state has so much more. You’ll be surprised to discover that Florida is a history buff’s treasure! Spend 5 days in Florida exploring these 5 places that are worth your time.
Stop #1: Fort Gadsden
Begin in the north, and visit Fort Gadsden, just outside of Sumatra. Fort Gadsden is the site of the brutal 1816 battle between the U.S. Navy and the free blacks holding the fort in Spanish Florida. The fort was referred to as the British Post on the Apalachicola. The U.S. Navy attack destroyed the fort, and killed the majority of the fort’s inhabitants, who were mainly farmers and their families. Two years later, the fort site was used again by Lt. J. Gadsden, and it remained in use through both Seminole wars, and the civil war. After the civil war, it was not used as a fort again, and is now an active archaeological site.
Stop #2: Castillo de San Marcos
Go to St. Augustine, Florida, which lays claim to being the oldest city in the U.S. and is home to the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest remaining masonry fort in the U.S. It has been standing since 1685. The Castillo is open for visits, and costumed reenactors put on frequent demonstrations of the weaponry of the Colonial Era. Check the calendar for exact times. Spend some time at this popular place exploring the cultural history of the various groups associated with this site.
Stop #3: Fort Christmas
Construction began on Fort Christmas on Christmas day, 1837, during the Second Seminole War. Fort Christmas Historical Park in Christmas, Florida has a full-size replica fort that houses exhibits about the Seminole Wars. The three Seminole Wars were conflicts between the U.S. Army and amalgamated groups of Native Americans and African Americans. Restored historical homes demonstrate settler life. The calendar of events shows exciting things happen here year-round.
Stop #4: Cape Canaveral/Kennedy Space Center
Stay in the Orlando area and check out Cape Canaveral, a must for anyone interested in the wonders of outer space, or humanity’s history of going to space. Take the Cape Canaveral: Then and Now bus tour to access Launch Complex 26. The bus tour originates from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor complex and includes a tour of the museum and several historic sites on the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Stop #5: Hemingway Home
Finish off your trip through Florida’s history in the heart of old Key West with a visit to a historical literary gem. Take a tour of Ernest Hemingway’s home in Key West. He lived and wrote here for ten years. The tour guides are enthusiastic and happy to answer questions and fill you in on the most prolific period of his writing career. The home and grounds are stunning, and the pool has some humorous background stories. Some of the 40 or so cats who live on the premises are descendants of Snow White, the 6-toed cat once given to Hemingway by a ship’s captain.
Florida is more than simply a land of sunshine and alligators. Many key events in America’s history happened in Florida. These 5 days in Florida barely scratch the surface, but will give you a snapshot of the breadth of Florida’s history. History makes for a great RV theme trip, and we know just the place to find the RV…
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