• Big Bad Don

    Dave Mitchell makes the pilgrimage to the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing, to pay homage all things hot rod, in the surprise return of Unknown Florida. Directions included!

  • Highway 50 Revisited (Part Two)

    “Similarly, the technology is limited to Abe’s jaw opening and closing in an arhythmic manner. Milli Vanilli it ain’t, and I went ahead and passed on a similar opportunity to invoke the presence of FDR later in the exhibit.”

  • Highway 50 Revisited (Part One)

    “Lilly’s Citrus Tower Gift Shop has changed dramatically since my last visit five years ago or so; for the better is a matter of one’s taste. I like tacky tourist sleaze, so I was disappointed. The shop is now dominated by Country Collectibles for your home and garden, lots of beanie bears and vanilla candles and wind chimes. Very Shania Twain country, if you will…”

  • Ramblin’ Guy

    “There’s a school of thought among some artistic types that the creative act itself holds more importance than either the concept explored or the final piece resulting from the act. Serious travel-heads have known this for years, that getting there is half the fun, and often more…”

  • Catch ‘Em While You Can

    “I’ve used up a few bytes here in the past to decry the vanishment of the sleazy old Florida roadside attraction, but I’ve given a lot of thought lately to the similar disappearance of the little community landmarks, especially here in the Greater Orlando Tri-County Tourist Axis…”

  • Unseen Disney

    “After inventing the modern theme park with Disneyland, and revolutionizing it with EPCOT, the Disney Imagineers turned instead to Disneyfied replications of existing attractions: Wet n Wild became Blizzard Beach, Busch Gardens begat Animal Kingdom, Universal Studios was reflected by Disney-MGM Studios…”

  • Burnished Airports Give You So Much More

    “When traveling, I obviously prefer to drive, if for no other reason than the wider palette of options for adventure. Circumstances often dictate a less relaxed mode of transportation, however, and this is when I opt to fly…”

  • The Bardin Booger (Our Pick of the Month)

    “North Florida is a good reminder that Florida is indeed Southern, despite what metropole naysayers and elitist Carolinians might have you believe. It’s as if the homogenizing effects of relocated tourists, retirees, transients an immigrants seep southward by some capillary action, leaving the Panhandle with a mildly Georgian ambience…”

  • Got Me An Asphalt Track Date…

    “I like sports. It’s not always the hippest admission in some circles, but I do like sports. But I know few people, while they may scorn baseball or football, whose eyes don’t light up at the mention of that finest of motorsports, Figure Eight School Bus Racing…”

  • Kissimmee, Land of Enchantment

    “Ask anyone outside of Florida to name Orlando’s landmarks and they are likely to reply with a litany of tourist attractions, most of which are not even in the same county. The real gateway to Vacationland Orlando is Kissimmee, once a quiet cattle ranching community in Osceola County, now a quiet cattle ranching community with a neon river called US 192 running through it…”

  • Bums

    “While I was going to try to resist the temptation to write about sports in this, a column about ephemeral Florida, but I was going to pass a glance at baseball’s spring training tradition. The emergence and growth of the Grapefruit Leagu parallels that of Florida tourism, even to the clustering around the superhighways and the tendency of slickness to replace the rustic and nostalgic…”

  • Northbound on A1A With A Broken Heart & A Bad CV

    “There is an unnerving synchroncity to my beginning this, the first Unknown Florida column, on the day after the closing of Marineland. Dozens of tourist attractions have bitten the dust since Uncle Walt moved the heart of Florida tourism to I-4 and US 192, but this is the most significant death…”

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