Best Day Trip Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2000 - Koreshan State Historic Site
Working late in his lab one night in 1869, Dr. Cyrus Teed of upstate New York saw God. And she was a hottie. Better yet, she showed him that the Earth is a hollow ball with the universe crammed inside, how to interpret the Bible, and how to turn lead into gold. So maybe the good doctor was inhaling the ether. But give the man credit for having the courage of his convictions. Based on these "illuminations," Teed gathered a band of followers and, like all good kooks before and since, headed straight for Florida. Once here he set about building a "New Jerusalem" that was to be home to ten million people. His plans didn't quite turn out, but Teed did manage to build a commune on the banks of the Estero River that supplied its own food, generated its own power, and operated a printing press. When Teed died in 1908, his followers came to their senses and drifted away. The last believer in "Koreshanity" (Koresh is Hebrew for "Cyrus") died in 1981. What's left of the utopian commune is now nestled in a lush state park where you can camp, canoe, hike, and ponder Teed's hallucinogenic view of creation. The park is located just south of Fort Myers, a two-hour drive from Fort Lauderdale.