This Odd Castle In Florida Is A Destination Worth Seeing

It's hard to deny that when it comes to castles, there's something magical about encountering one for yourself. They've fascinated people for centuries and, as a result, have frequently inspired stories of romance as well as battles won and lost. According to the World Population Review, there are over one million castles around the world that are currently towering majestically over the terrain. Many travelers head to Europe in pursuit of castles that bring Disney-inspired scenery to life. However, you might be surprised to find the U.S. is also home to a collection of castles well worth seeing. Among them is one that stands out from the rest thanks to its many oddities.

If future travel plans are taking you Southeast toward Florida, it's worth your while to swing by Solomon's Castle. Located in Ona, Florida, Solomon's Castle is a hidden away gem of a landmark crafted by a local artist who was dedicated to the idea of creating a one-of-a-kind castle right in the heart of Florida's wilderness. Back country roads are the only way to reach this reflective silver castle that stretches three stories high. There are plenty of signs pointing the way to the entrance, and once you arrive, it's clear to see why artist Howard Solomon was nicknamed "The DaVinci of Debris." He earned the title for his uncanny ability to turn scrap into something unexpectedly thrilling and beautiful.

A unique array of aesthetics and designs to admire

One of the first things you'll notice when you reach the entrance to Solomon's Castle is the unique blend of aesthetics that are combined to create the structure's eye-catching exterior. On a sunny Florida day, this castle sparkles with many angles of reflection thanks to the metal printing plates that cover the outside. These were purposely salvaged by Howard Solomon from a local newspaper to create the castle's decidedly sci-fi appearance.

The modern features of Solomon's Castle are starkly contrasted by the more traditional stained-glass windows in hues of blue, green, yellow, and gray. Across the castle's 12,000 square feet of space, guests will find no less than 90 colorful windows of this kind to admire. The castle also hosts a balcony-framed turret, which easily reminds visitors of the medieval architecture you might find in England.

Inside Solomon's Castle, guests are treated to an eclectic collection of art galleries to explore. The galleries feature sculptures Howard Solomon created from found objects that he repurposed over time. A piece designed to look like a motorcycle titled "Evil Kornevil" was crafted using a corn planter and discarded sprockets and gears. "Jeb the Bushman" is an elephant made from oil drums, while "The Menagerie" is a gallery featuring sculptures exclusively designed from wire coat hangers.

Explore a workshop, lighthouse, and whimsical eatery

Once you've explored the unique art galleries, you can tour the artist's workshop at Solomon's Castle too. Here, you'll experience the place where the whimsical imaginings of Howard Solomon became real over decades. Afterward, make your way over to the castle's lighthouse adorned with stained-glass windows and a pavilion of its own. It's known as "Lily Life House" and sits by the castle's moat.

When touring Solomon's Castle leaves you with an appetite, you'll find you don't have to go far at all to curb a craving or two. Boat In The Moat is the castle's on-site restaurant that's designed to look like a Spanish galleon and is just as whimsical as the rest of the destination you've come to enjoy. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday from October through July between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Guests can enjoy indoor and outdoor dining options at Boat In The Moat as well as a menu that features everything from sandwiches and salads to southern comfort food. If you want to end your castle visit on a sweet note, don't miss out on dessert selections like the apple crisp, lime pie, or cherry chocolate cake.

If you're looking for a non-traditional castle experience, Solomon's Castle has it covered. You'll find it sitting just over two hours South of Orlando. This means it could be a fun stop to make on your way to destinations like Disney World the next time you're in Florida.