Skip to content

C is for Coral Castle, a Quirky Florida Must-See

Mysterious Coral Castle in Florida (photo by Tui Snider)
Mysterious Coral Castle in Florida (photo by Tui Snider)

Quirky Architecture

OK, so it’s not quite coral, nor is it truly a castle, but the Coral Castle Museum (28655 S Dixie Hwy, Miami, FL 33033) is a delightfully quirky structure, and a great example of someone marching to their own drummer. The grounds include a variety of unusual rock buildings and furniture carved from over 1000 tons of oolite limestone, including a water fountain, a sundial, a crescent moon, tables, and living areas.

Inspired a Billy Idol Song

As the legend goes (and, really, how could a place like this not have a legend behind it) a Latvian immigrant named Edward Leedskalnin built this unusual stone dwelling after being spurned at the altar by his 16-year-old bride-to-be. Now you know who Billy Idol was referring to in his song Sweet Sixteen, and why his lyrics refer to a moon-shaped rocking chair.

Built By a Single Man – Not Anti-Gravity!

In addition to all the whimsy, I was amazed to learn that the Coral Castle was built through the efforts of a single man. He was no Paul Bunyan, either. By all accounts, Ed Leedskalnin was a thin-framed man who stood only 5 feet tall, and yet he carved and maneuvered all that rock without any outside help!

Over the years, many have claimed that he must have had supernatural powers to have completed this difficult project. But, as someone who once astounded her family by rearranging heavy furniture all by herself at the age of 6, I know that patience can take you far. Don’t just take my word for it, though. Here’s an article that explains how Mr. Leedskalnin created his masterpiece: Coral Castle Busted – Interesting, but Not Magic. (Although I disagree a little. I think the man had magical patience!)

Mysterious Coral Castle in Florida (photo by Tui Snider)
Mysterious Coral Castle in Florida (photo by Tui Snider)

Follow me on Instagram & I’ll follow you back!

I’ve gone from turning up my nose at the idea of cell phone pictures, to being an avid iPhone photographer, which is why my theme for the 2014 A to Z blog challenge is Instagram Travel Photos. If you are on Instagram, I’d be delighted to follow you. Simply follow my photo feed (@TuiSnider) on Instagram and I’ll follow you back!

For more, check out my collaboration with Morgan Dragonwillow. Morgan used my iPhone photos to accompany her poems in a book called Wild Woman Waking. Check it out!

Mysterious Coral Castle in Florida (photo by Tui Snider)
Mysterious Coral Castle in Florida (photo by Tui Snider)

What is the April A to Z Blog Challenge?

Each April, people from all over the world participate in the April A to Z blog challenge, and you can too. It’s a lot of fun and it’s a great way to meet other bloggers. To play along, all you do is make a blog post for each letter of the alphabet during April, then use the blog hop linky to visit as many other bloggers as you can.

My A to Z Inspired Book: Unexpected Texas

I’d like to thank everyone who commented on my blog during the A to Z Challenge last year, because it convinced me to take the self-publishing plunge. On March 2, 2014, I released Unexpected Texas as a paperback and eBook and it quickly became an Amazon Best Seller!

Mysterious Coral Castle in Florida (photo by Tui Snider)
Mysterious Coral Castle in Florida (photo by Tui Snider)

Check out other A to Z blogs below:

Check out the other participants of the A to Z Challenge 


Tui Snider
Follow me:
Published inTravel Photo Essays


  1. Hilarious…these are the places you remember…the quirky ones.

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Hi Corinne, I’m always excited to discover another quirky place to visit! Writing these posts has really put me in the mood for a road trip, I tell ya. :D

  2. And I’m left wondering, “Where did he find the time to do this?” :)

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Hey Chuck, Haha! Well, he was a jilted eccentric and this was back in the 1920’s… No internet to distract him! :D

  3. Wow, beautiful. And amazing what he was able to accomplished.
    I, too, like phone pics. Thanks for sharing such beautiful photos.

    Silvia @

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Heya Patricia, Yeah – I’m thinking there might be enough quirk in that peninsula for an Unexpected Florida travel book! :D

  4. This is one interesting place. We pass through Miami occasionally, maybe we will put it on our list. Did the “castle” inspire the song, or the other way?

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Rhonda, I hope you do check this quirky little place out. It’s well worth it! Oh, and the castle inspired the Billy Idol song. (I should have added dates in my post, but I was trying to keep it short for A to Z… which is always tough to do!) Thanks for dropping by! :D

  5. Crazy! Definitely should visit it some point, just for the fun of it… :D

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary – Tales of Colors
    MopDog – The crazy thing about Hungarians…

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Oh, yeah! I’m all about visiting places just for the fun of it. :D

  6. Very cool, Tui! I love your theme for this challenge, I must say. I hope you get a chance to come back to mine again too. :)

    Have an awesome day!

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Hi Holli! Yes – I’ve been meaning to get back over to your blog. I had some internet and electricity problems, but I plan to catch up tomorrow. I’ll be tweeting, commenting, and hitting up StumbleUpon like crazy. Oh, and thank you for finding me on Facebook. I look forward to seeing and reading more from you! :D

  7. Wow Tui this is so interesting and for the tiny person that he was, it is an even bigger feat. Amazing. I look forward to reading Unexpected Texas. Thank you for dropping in at my blog. I have bookmarked you too. This stuff is fascinating.

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Thanks, Wendy! I think it would be fun to write a book about houses that eccentrics have built. He was such a whimsical and creative guy. :D

      And, hey – I’m excited that you’re gonna read Unexpected Texas. I hope you enjoy it… and if you do, please consider leaving a review on Amazon for me. It would really help me out!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.