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Historic Florida

The largest all-masonry fort in the United States,

The largest all-masonry fort in the United States, Fort Jefferson, lies on a island in the Dry Tortugas group 70 miles west of Key West. The bastion was used as a federal prison in and after the Civil War and now is part of Dry Tortugas National Park. Photo Credit: National Parks Service

With Florida celebrating its 500th anniversary, here are some historic sites to visit.

The largest all-masonry fort in the United States,
Photo Credit: National Parks Service

The largest all-masonry fort in the United States, Fort Jefferson, lies on a island in the Dry Tortugas group 70 miles west of Key West. The bastion was used as a federal prison in and after the Civil War and now is part of Dry Tortugas National Park.

Ca d'Zan, in Sarasota, Fla., is an elaborate
Photo Credit: Handout, 2007

Ca d'Zan, in Sarasota, Fla., is an elaborate Venetian-style villa modeled in part after the Doge's Palace in Venice and built by circus magnate John Ringling and his wife Mable. The 56-room house and art museum are open for touring.

Visitors approach the entrance to the Ernest Hemingway
Photo Credit: AP

Visitors approach the entrance to the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, Fla. Hemingway lived in the house from 1931 through 1939 and wrote many of his manuscripts in the property's second-story writing studio. The Pulitzer and Nobel prize-winning author owned the property until his death in 1961. (March 14, 2010)

A Model T stands in front of the
Photo Credit: Handout, 2006

A Model T stands in front of the Henry Ford Estate in Fort Myers, Fla., adjacent to the home of inventor Thomas A. Edison. A variety of tour options are available.

Phonographs are on display inside the Thomas A.
Photo Credit: Handout, 2007

Phonographs are on display inside the Thomas A. Edison home in Fort Myers, Fla.

The Castillo de San Marcos, built in the
Photo Credit: National Parks Service

The Castillo de San Marcos, built in the late 1600s and now a national park, is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States and sits on the shore of Matanzas Bay in St. Augustine, Fla.

The Castillo de San Marcos sits on the
Photo Credit: National Parks Service

The Castillo de San Marcos sits on the shore of Matanzas Bay in St. Augustine, Fla.

Presentations and historical re-enactments are regularly given by
Photo Credit: Handout

Presentations and historical re-enactments are regularly given by rangers and living-history volunteers at Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Fla.

Visitors tour the Castillo de San Marcos, a
Photo Credit: AP, 2007

Visitors tour the Castillo de San Marcos, a fort built by the Spanish of the stone coquina in the late 1600s.

Re-enactors portray the Spanish military at Castillo de
Photo Credit: Handout

Re-enactors portray the Spanish military at Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Fla.

The Castillo de San Marcos is on Matanzas
Photo Credit: Handout, 2009

The Castillo de San Marcos is on Matanzas Bay in St. Augustine, Fla.

Carriage tours can be picked up along King
Photo Credit: Handout

Carriage tours can be picked up along King Street in St. Augustine, Fla.

A statue of Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon
Photo Credit: Handout

A statue of Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon stands at the foot of the Bridge of Lions in the Plaza de la Constitucion in St. Augustine, Fla.

Made from coquina stones, the City Gates and
Photo Credit: Handout, 2008

Made from coquina stones, the City Gates and Cubo Line have served as the main entrance to St. Augustine, Fla., since the 17th century.

The skyline of St. Augustine, Fla., is a
Photo Credit: Handout

The skyline of St. Augustine, Fla., is a combination of architectural styles from the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

Hotels that Florida developer Henry Flagler built in
Photo Credit: Handout

Hotels that Florida developer Henry Flagler built in the late 1800s started the state on its way to becoming a major tourist destination. In St. Augustine, his Spanish Renaissance Revival-style Ponce de Leon Hotel, which today is Flagler College, is a national landmark.

Visitors shop along St. George Street in St.
Photo Credit: Handout

Visitors shop along St. George Street in St. Augustine, Fla.

A leather works at the Colonial Quarters in
Photo Credit: Handout, 2013

A leather works at the Colonial Quarters in St. Augustine, Fla., is a two-acre living-history museum created by the University of Florida.

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