South Florida? Sure, we all know about South Beach. The beach in Fort Lauderdale. The shopping in Palm Beach.
But there are a hundred little surprises here as well. And you may not find them all in the guidebooks.
The ghost of Trapper Nelson
"Trapper" Nelson (born Vincent Nostokovich) lived in the swamps and mangroves of the Loxahatchee, in northern Palm Beach County, from the 1930s until 1968.
At 6-foot-4 and 240 well-sculpted pounds, he was called "The Wild Man of the Loxahatchee." He lived in a log cabin and ate only what he could kill.
And he became a local legend. He even built a small zoo with the animals he captured, entertaining his occasional visitors by wrestling alligators.
On July 24, 1968, an acquaintance found Trapper Nelson dead inside his cabin, with a shotgun hole in his belly. The circumstances of his death were never established.
Some people, though, swear that Trapper Nelson's still there. Rose Watson, who knew him as a little girl, claims to have seen his ghost at least six times.
"I saw him clearly," she says. "A big man, with the outline of the face I remembered from childhood. There's no doubt in my mind. It was as real as it could possibly be!"
Ranger-guided tours of Trapper Nelson's homestead are offered year-round at Jonathan Dickinson State Park.
A castle for lost love
In Latvia in the early 1900s, Edward Leedskalnin and Agnes Scuffs were engaged to be married. But Agnes called it off.
Heartbroken, Ed emigrated to Homestead, south of Miami, where he spent the rest of his life creating a monument to the woman he loved.
In 1923, Leedskalnin began carving a structure from the ubiquitous coral here. He didn't finish it until 1951. And when he was finished, Ed -- only 5 feet tall and 100 pounds -- had somehow transported and sculpted 1,100 tons of coral into an open-air "castle" for himself, Agnes and an imaginary child.
When asked how he managed to move tons of coral, all Ed would say was that he was a student of the ancient laws of physics. His workshop was filled with pulleys and mechanical lifts, but no one saw how he did it.
He once bought several tons of coral from a quarry. When the foreman asked how he intended to load the coral onto his truck, Ed requested privacy. A few minutes later, when the foreman came back, he was astonished to see Ed sitting in the truck with the coral fully loaded.
Ed never gave up hope that Agnes would join him. But she never came.
He died just weeks after finishing the castle.
The Coral Castle Museum opens daily at 8 a.m. Adult admission is $15; children 7-12 get in for $7; no charge for children 6 and younger.
A huge sports memorabilia collection
In 1943, 4-year-old Joel Platt tossed a lit match into a gas tank at his uncle's car lot. The car exploded. And so, more or less, did little Joel.
Joel spent the next year in a hospital bed. One night, he saw Babe Ruth in a dream. That was the start of his magnificent obsession.
Today, Platt owns more than a million pieces of sports memorabilia, with an estimated value of $50 million to $100 million. And his Sports Immortals Museum in Boca Raton can only hold a fraction of it.
Michael Heffner, president of Leland's Auction House, has called it "the largest and most valuable collection of diverse and important sports artifacts ever assembled."
"I cherish every piece," Platt says. "But I cherish the stories behind each one just as much."