Tourism is Florida's largest industry. Every year, millions of people from around the world flock to Florida on a quest to see the state's tropical beauty and experience its many theme parks. While many attribute the tourism boom in Florida to the opening of Disney World in the early 1970s, the state's popularity did not happen overnight. Starting in the late 19th century, tourists travelled to Florida to see lush gardens, to peer through glass bottom boats, to see mermaids, and to interact with the exotic environment. The roadside attractions in Florida that pre-date the coming of Disney and the other larger-scale theme parks provided a unique experience for both in-state residents and out-of-state tourists alike. While some are still surviving today, the majority of the homespun roadside attractions no longer exist.
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Printed on front: "Copyright 1907 by Luella Day."
This fountain, called the Ponce de Leon Spring, is located on John Whitney's estate, Ravenwood, and was popularized by him as the Fountain of Youth.
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"It is a weird sight to see the boats coming through the swamps with a wood fire on top to light the way, and bows crowded with tourists on their way to Silver Springs."
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"The Fountain of Youth, in Waterfront Park, is supplied by a flowing spring of mineral water. Historically, Ponce de Leon visited this area as early as 1313 in his search for The Fountain of Youth."
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She made a living telling the legend of the Bridal Chamber. The story was a romanticization of a spring by the legend of a lover's suicide pact.
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