Near You

Explore local locations and attractions to visit during vacation season.

A+map+of+Florida+showcasing+the+different+cities+and+counties+that+we+have+to+offer.+

Vidiani

A map of Florida showcasing the different cities and counties that we have to offer.

Amy Rodriguez, Staff Writer

This past winter break, many Suncoast students and staff planned to travel to exciting international locations, but in light of the new Covid strain, Omicron, many feel as though their travels have been hindered. However, there are many local attractions one can enjoy if they find they have been held back by the recent surge in the pandemic. So whether you are looking for a simple one day diversion or a long vacation, there are tons of in-state wonders to choose from.

One exciting place to travel in Florida, especially if you want a multiple day getaway, is the underwater hotel in Key Largo. This hotel has a vintage bunker quality, so if you’re just looking to get away this is the perfect place to do it. In order to enter your room, you will have to scuba dive down to the ocean floor. Thus, if you love swimming along with the ocean, this would be an optimal vacation spot.

You can also travel back in time with one of Florida’s many castles or estates! One of these being Ed Leedskalnin’s Coral Castle, located in Homestead. This castle was single handedly built by Leedskalnin and made entirely of self extracted Oolitic Limestone, a type of coral. The castle was dedicated to his lost love, dubbed as Leedskalnin’s “Sweet Sixteen” as that was when she abandoned him.

Another, less traditional, castle attraction is Soloman’s Castle. This castle is made entirely out of aluminum printing plates in Ona, Florida. The entire building is 12,000 square feet, including a courtyard and moat. This recyclable sculpture’s interior can be viewed through a tour led by Soloman himself.

If you would rather have a half day adventure, the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum is a wonderful place to visit. This beautiful manor encompasses the very words “old-money.” Each of the rooms show a different story, from the kitchen, to the court yards, to the washrooms. Pieces of clothing are artfully preserved and a gift shop is located in the main hall.

Each of these places and more are just some of the attractions located in the Sunshine State. Local and exciting destinations are available, if you ever find yourself needing a vacation. With spring coming up and Christmas behind us, now is the optimal time to travel. Now you can stay safe and have fun, with locations near you!