Looking to scope out some abandoned places in Florida? We got you covered. Below are over 21 of our favorite abandoned locations throughout the state.
Abandoned Places In Florida
1. Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Marine Stadium is one of the most popular abandoned places in Florida, thanks its open waterfront location and ease of access. The marina was first constructed in the earl 1960s for 2 million dollars, and was the first stadium designed to accommodate power boat racing.
Over the years the marina would hold numerous races, and even attracting big names like Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley. The hardy stadium is made entirely of solid concrete, and would withstand the turbulent Florida weather until 1992.
When Hurricane Andrew made landfall the Miami Marine Stadium suffered significant damage. Upon inspecting the massive 6,566-seat stadium, city officials deemed it unsafe for future events. Today the marina is listed on the Endangered Historic Places list, and serves as a blank canvas for graffiti artists in the area.
2. North Dade Detention Center
North Dade Detention Center had a very short life span and is one of the few abandoned places in Florida that is a correctional facility.
The facility opened in 1974 and was shutdown only two years later. Later it would reopen as a work release center, but would eventually close around 2010.
Today the North Dade Detention Center sits eerily on the water, and is a popular place for graffiti artists and kids to hang out.
3. Annie Lytle Elementary School
Constructed in 1915 the school had formerly been known as Public School Number Four. It wasn’t until the late 1950s that the school had been renamed to honor one of its former principals. As the interstate highway system continued to make its way across the country, it eventually intersected with Annie Lytle Elementary.
As I-10 and I-95 were built they crossed paths nearly 100 yards from the school, making the area feel crammed and inconvenient to access. This, along with the noise pollution was enough to begin a steady decline in enrollment, and ultimately play a role in the schools downfall.
In 1960 the school closed its doors for good, and soon after was turned into a storage space for the county. Arson, vandals, and nature have all had their way with this school house, leaving it exposed to the harsh Florida elements.
4. White Sulfur Springs Ruins
White Sulfur Springs Ruins are the remains of an old health spa founded by the Sheffield family in 1835. The family built a hotel and spa near the springs, as many believed the springs contained water that could heal everything from shaky nerves, to kidney problems.
The hype of the sulfuric smelling springs wouldn’t last forever, and by 1930 business was in serious decline. By the early 1990s the once lush spring had turned to a mere trickle, sealing the resorts fate.
5. Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport
Isolated in the thick muggy swamp of the Big Cypress National Preserve you’ll stumble across of all things, and abandoned airport. Of all the abandoned places in Florida this has to be one of the most unique places in all of the state.
The airport was built in 1968 and had high hopes of being the largest airport in the world. This plan was cut short only two years later as protects from environmental groups claimed the airport would devastate the surrounding wetland.
The runway has been abandoned ever since. Today, some drag racing events use the runway and take advantage of two mile straight away where planes would have once landed.
6. Hillman Bridge
The Hillman Bridge was constructed in the mid 1920s to support the growing industry in Ellaville. It was named after Captain W.J Hillman who fought to get the bridge installed. The bridge operated for many years helping provide safe travel over the Suwanee River.
In 1983 an oversized truck snagged itself on one of the steel crossbeams, causing significant damage to the stability of the structure. It was closed shortly after the incident to all traffic. Today, the bridge is open to foot traffic and bicycles only.
7. Disney River Country
Disney River Country was the very first water park at Walt Disney World and was opened in the summer of 1976. While some abandoned places in Florida meet their demise in a tragic ending, Disney River Country was simply replaced by bigger and better parks.
In 1989 the park opened Typhoon Lagoon, which boasted significantly more slides, better parking, and more attractions. Six years later Disney opened another water park that shadowed their River Country.
In 2001 River Country was shutdown for good. Today there are no plans to reopen that side of the park, or demolish it.
8. Discovery Island
Located not too far from Disney’s River Country is Discovery Island. The 11 acre island was opened to the public in 1974, where tourists could take a short boat ride to the island and view many different species of animals.
The park was closed 25 years in 1999 when Animal Kingdom opened. Just like River Country, Discovery island would be eclipsed by something bigger and better designed by Disney.
9. Bongoland Ruins
Like something straight outta the Cretaceous period monolithic dinosaurs peer at you from between the overgrowth. Bongoland came to life in 1940 when dinosaur lover Dr. Perry Sperber leased a plot of land and decided to put dinos there.
Perry enlisted the help of Manny Lawrence, a talented stone mason to help pour the concrete that could cement these giants into place. Sadly the passion for dinosaurs that Dr Sperber had wasn’t shared by as many as he had hoped. Bongoland closed for good in 1952.
Unlike the real dinosaurs, the ones built by Perry have resisted extinction can still be visited to this day.
10. Cape Romano Dome House
The Cape Romano Dome House was built in 1979 by retried businessman and poor decision maker Bob Lee. After countless storms and years of erosion ate away at the break walls protecting the domes, the home would begin to slip into the surrounding sea.
In 1992 the home was completely abandoned. With no boat dock installed, the home is completely inaccessible.
11. Big Bend Jai Alai
The Big Bend Jai Alai isn’t only a mouthful, its one of the oddest abandoned places in Florida. The sport of jai alai was invested in Spain and involves running around in a three walled room with a giant wicker scoop on your hand hurling a rubber ball around at speeds close to 200 miles per hour.
If that isn’t odd enough, the owner was wrapped up in drama after his death as his fortune of $22 million dollars was fiercely fought over by his family and business associate. Rumors swirled about treasure being buried somewhere on one of his properties, but nothing ever surfaced.
Today the building remains empty and abandoned off the road of Flat Creek.
12. Aerojet Dade Rocket Facility
The Aerojet-Dade Rocket Facility is part of 25,000 acres of surrounding land that was purchased for the purpose of experimental rockets and fuel.
The site has two silos which were used for testing multiple types of rockets and their fuel. Since solid fuel was so incredibly heavy the only way to transport the rockets was by water. A massive canal was dug to allow the rocket to be transported from their assembly area through the Southern Glades to the testing facility.
After NASA chose to use liquid fuel for their missions, Aerojet scrapped the testing along with the entire facility.
13. Fort Dade
Fort Dade was constructed in 1898 during the Spanish American War to protect Tampa from the Spanish. The facility could house over 100 soldiers and featured thick concrete walls with three large guns that could fire at enemies as far as five miles out at sea.
After the war the fort was seldom used, only serving as a lookout point and training facility for soldiers. In 1974 the National Wildlife Preserve took control of the site along with the Florida Park Service.
The history around when Stiltsville was first built remains disputed, but most claim construction began in the 1930s. This collection of wooden stilt houses sit right off the coast op Cape Florida, and sit about ten feet above the surface of the water.
The stilt houses was a popular party place of the well connected in the early and mid 1900s. Its isolated location made it the perfect place for elicit activities away from prying eyes.
During its peak, the town above the water contained 27 buildings in total. As the buildings fell into decay, they were saved from demolition after 75,000 people asked that Stiltsville be spared.
Today what remains of the small collection of homes rots away off the Florida coastline.
15. Dry Tortugas National Park
One of the most iconic abandoned places in Florida is Fort Jefferson located in Dry Tortugas National Park. During the late 1860s roughly 2000 people lived within the safety of Fort Jackson. Many residents were soldiers training to protect the coastline during the Civil War, and prisoners’ whos labor helped construct many buildings within the walls.
The fort has withstood a century worth of hurricanes, shifting sands, and lack of repair materials due to its isolated location. Overtime the fort would fall into periods of abandonment after severe storms wipe away any sign of progression on the island.
Finally in 1935 President Franklin D Roosevelt listed Fort Jackson as a National Monument. Today you can visit the Fort via Ferry from Key West. Since the area is now a National Park, you can even camp on the island.
16. Bahia Honda Railroad Bridge
Bahia Honda Rail Bridge is impossible to miss, and a completely abandoned. Like most abandoned places in Florida the Bahia Honda Rail Bridge is located right on the water, and contrasts beautiful against the tropical foliage.
The railroad was first opened in 1912, and served to provide transportation between the Bahia Honda Key and the Spanish Harbor Key. Much of the railroad was devastated from the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane, triggering the Florida East Coast Railway to file for abandonment.
In 1972 a new wider four-lane bridge opened just north of the Bahia Honda Rail Bridge, leaving the old bridge to fall into disrepair. Today you can see where dilapidated sections have been removed to protect boats from falling debris.
17. Boca Grande Shipwreck
Not much is known about this lonely wreck off coast of Boca Grande, but if you do some digging it has quite the unique history. The USS Coral PY15 was built in 1913 and served during WWI. Its unknown if the ship saw any combat. In the 1940 the ship was reacquired by the Navy as a patrol vessel around the Florida coastline and Philippines.
The ship was soon decommissioned again in 1943, and intentionally grounded in the reef where she rests today. Later she would serve as a target ship for bomber crews training in anti-submarine warfare. The Navy used cement filled bombs during training to save on explosives, which kept the vessel intact during these exercises.
Today the Coral PY15 wreck acts as a man-made reef for sea life, and a resting place for migratory birds.
18. Bulow Plantation Ruins
Major Charles Wilhelm Bulow first began construction of the Bulow Plantation Ruins back in 1821. The plantation spanned 4675 acres, in which half of that was cleared by slave labor. The plantation primarily grew sugarcane, cotton, and indigo, which were all very valuable commodities at the time.
The property would eventually be passed down to Charles’s son, John Bulow who would continue to operate it until 1836 where the plantation would be burned to the ground during the Seminole War of 1836.
19. Turnbull Ruins
Today there’s not much left of the Turnbull Ruins accept for its foundation and swirl of rumors about the sites origins. Some historians believe ruins are all that remains of the old Spanish fort that was the first location of St. Augustine.
The ruins unique construction lead experts to believe the ruins could be the remains of an old church built by the Spanish. The style of construction and use of coquina rock resemble other documented Spanish forts that were built in the area.
20. Bellamy Bridge
Like most abandoned places in Florida, a ghost story surrounds this the old Bellamy Bridge and its connecting trails. In 1914 the bridge was constructed to replace an old wooden bridge that dates back to the 1840s.
Folklore states that Elizabeth Jane Bellamy haunts this bridge and the surrounding area after her death in 1837. She searches for her husband who tragically took his own life on the day after Christmas, 15 years after her death.
The ghost supposedly takes on many forms, including a blue or white light, and wispy mist form darting between the trees.
21. Dummett Sugar Mill Ruins
The Dummet planation was dedicated to harvesting its 2000 acres of sugarcane for rum during the early 1800s. Historically it was one of the first plantations to utilize a steam-powered mill before the start of the industrial revolution which provided four times the power as water-powered mills in the area.
Over 200 slaves worked the plantation until 1835 when a tribe of Seminoles liberated the land, and set fire to the plantation that was once theirs. Unlike some abandoned ruins in Florida, a good chunk of the Dummett Sugar Mill still stands today to be explored.
Go out and explore!
That concludes our list of abandoned places in Florida, but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to find. Take the back roads, follow train tracks, and discover some new places for yourself.