• Florida is understood for its vacationer sights like theme parks and seashores, but it surely additionally has a wealthy historic previous with many deserted cities.
  • Ghost cities like Ellaville, Atsena Otie Key, and Kismet present a glimpse into Florida’s historical past and the individuals who as soon as lived there.
  • Exploring these deserted cities permits guests to study Florida’s previous and respect its intricate historical past.

From its theme park capital of Orlando and sprawling golf programs to Florida’s best beaches with the clearest water, the Sunshine State is understood for numerous vacationer enticements.

The various small beach towns in Florida and the state’s iconic cities (like historic St. Augustine, one of the oldest cities in the US, and the bustling leisure metropolis of Miami) by no means fail to draw all the eye. However lengthy earlier than any of Florida’s thrilling sights have been established lies an immense historical past stretching again millennia.

Historic gems within the type of long-forgotten cities and cities might be discovered sprinkled throughout the state, offering a glimpse into Florida’s unimaginable previous and the individuals who as soon as referred to as it dwelling. Showcasing a bygone period and interesting historic websites, listed here are a few of the finest deserted cities in Florida to go to to get a style of the state’s historical past.

Associated: 10 Hikes That Will Lead You To Ghost Towns Throughout The U.S.


Suwannee River old bridge, Ellaville, Florida
Photo by Ebyabe licensed underneath the CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Suwannee River previous bridge, Ellaville, Florida

Nestled on the banks of the Suwannee River, the ghost town of Ellaville was based again in 1861 by George Drew, who later went on to turn out to be the state’s twelfth governor. A lumber tycoon, he additionally established Florida’s largest sawmill; nevertheless, he later offered his firm and moved away.

A sequence of pure disasters coupled with the Nice Melancholy finally led to the city’s demise, which culminated with the closing of its submit workplace in 1942.

  • Location: Suwannee County in north central Florida
  • Notable sights: Suwannee River Bridge

All that is left of the city at the moment is the bridge over the Suwanee River, and solely bits of items of the Drew Mansion stay after it burned down within the Seventies.

Atsena Otie Key

Atsena Otie Key on Florida’s Gulf Coast 

Pigeon Key isn’t Florida’s only ghost island; Atsena Otie Key, which is now a part of the Cedar Keys Nationwide Wildlife Refuge, is one other.

Initially often known as Cedar Key by settlers who established the world in 1842, the area was dwelling to solely about 200 individuals till a mammoth hurricane destroyed the city some 54 years later, forcing them to maneuver to an island nearer to the mainland.

  • Location: Island off the northwest coast of Florida within the Gulf of Mexico
  • Notable sights: Atsena Otie Cemetery


The old smokestack in Brewster, Florida
Photo by John O’Neill, licensed underneath CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

The previous smokestack in Brewster, Florida

Established in 1910 for miners working in a close-by phosphate mine, this small city had all of it: a submit workplace, a grocery retailer, a faculty, a saloon, and even a swimming pool.

Nonetheless, after the mine was closed, the city was all however deserted by 1962, leaving solely the smokestack and a handful of buildings in its wake.

  • Location: Southwest Polk County, Florida

Associated: Safety First: These Are The 10 Safest Florida Beach Towns

Fort Dade

Abandoned buliding in Fort Dade, Florida
Photo by HVANMALDENCC BY-SA 4.0, through Wikimedia Commons

Deserted buliding in Fort Dade, Florida

Nestled on the distant island of Egmont Key off the coast of St. Petersburg, Fort Dade is likely one of the abandoned islands in Florida. It was built in 1848 and served as a U.S. navy outpost.

For these visiting the Tampa Bay space, the abandoned island gives an interesting look into Florida’s navy previous.

  • Location: Island off the west-central coast of Florida on the mouth of the Tampa Bay
  • Notable sights: Egmont Key Nationwide Wildlife Refuge, Egmont Key State Park, Egmont Key Lighthouse, Battery Mellon, Battery McIntosh,

Admission to Egmont Key State Park is free; nevertheless, there are charges related to accessing the island through ferry, such because the Egmont Key Ferry that departs from Fort De Soto Park.


An animal stands in a deserted dirt road in the Ocala National Forest
Photo by Trish Hartmann, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

An animal stands in a abandoned dust street within the Ocala Nationwide Forest

Located in Lake County simply exterior of Orlando, the small city of Kismet is likely one of the finest ghost cities in Florida to go to; it flourished within the late 1800s as a burgeoning citrus community till excessive blizzards, often known as the “Nice Freeze,” blanketed the world resulting in its premature demise.

It is stated that movie and tv producer Walt Disney’s mother and father met within the city and obtained married on the native church. Though nothing nonetheless stands at the moment, the world is now a part of the Ocala Nationwide Forest.

  • Location: Lake County in Central Florida
  • Notable sights: Ocala Nationwide Forest

Fort Drum

A road through Okeechobee County, Florida
Photo by formulanone from Huntsville, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

A street by Okeechobee County, Florida

Built in the 1840s, this settlement was a navy fort in the course of the Second Seminole Struggle and is among the many finest deserted locations in Florida to study this time period within the state’s historical past.

Though there are hardly any remnants of what it as soon as was, it nonetheless serves as one other helpful piece of Florida’s navy historical past.

  • Location: Okeechobee County in Florida’s Heartland area
  • Notable sights: Fort Drum Cemetery

Associated: Amtrak Orlando: 10 Things To Know About This Amtrak & Its Sunshine State Routes


A view of the St. Johns River in Palatka, Florida
Photo by EbyabeCC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

A view of the St. Johns River in Palatka, Florida

The Rollestown Historic Marker serves as one of many few reminders of this Florida ghost city’s existence, detailing the settlement’s founding alongside the banks of the St. Johns River in 1767 by English philanthropist Danys Rolle.

It was finally deserted in 1783 following the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolution and formally acknowledged the US as an impartial nation. As we speak, it is among the many finest Florida ghost cities to go to to study concerning the state’s historical past.

  • Location: Putnam County in northern Florida
  • Notable sights: Rollestown Historic Marker

The Rollestown Historic Marker, which was erected in 1961, might be discovered at 343 Hwy 17, East Palatka, FL 32131.


The Duval County and Jacksonville line

Located between the Ortega River and the St. Johns River, the world now often known as Tillie Okay. Fowler Regional Park in Jacksonville, Florida, as soon as served because the group of Yukon, which dates back to 1787.

After the Naval Air Station Jacksonville was established close by, the city was deemed a flight and security hazard and was closed.

  • Location: On the Atlantic coast of northeastern Florida in Jacksonville
  • Notable sights: Tillie Fowler Park Loop Trailhead, Tillie Okay. Fowler Regional Park


The Eldora House, Canaveral National Seashore, Florida
Picture by EbyabeCC BY 2.5, Wikimedia Commons

The Eldora Home, Canaveral Nationwide Seashore, Florida

Situated on a barrier island off the east coast of Florida, Eldora is an deserted city in Florida that served as a stop-over point for travelers in the course of the nineteenth century.

Additionally recognized for its orange groves, the city by no means recovered after the icy freezes that affected the world, in addition to the impacts felt throughout World Struggle II. The historic Eldora Statehouse serves as one of many few reminders of this charming city.

  • Location: Volusia County in east-central Florida
  • Notable sights: The Eldora Statehouse

Associated: 10 Things To Do In Key West: Complete Guide To The Florida Keys


Fisheating Creek, the heart of Wild Florida, USA

Fisheating Creek, the center of Wild Florida, USA

Tasmania is one in all Florida’s ghost cities, but it surely wasn’t at all times so. This former settlement was nestled alongside Fisheating Creek in what’s at the moment often known as Glades County.

Initially established in 1888 and later renamed Tasmania in 1916, the city’s finish happened in the course of the Nice Melancholy.

  • Location: Glades County in Florida’s Heartland area

Though many of those deserted cities in Florida at the moment are lengthy and gone, they nonetheless paint a superb portrait of the state’s intricate previous.


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