In a city as big as Miami, it can be easy to forget all else the Sunshine State has to offer, like its coastal towns. While there’s certainly no shortage of charming towns across Florida, there is one that truly stands out from the bunch, with a population of less than 20 people and a mere land area of .3 square miles. It’s hard to believe such a place exists!
Located on the Northeast coast of Florida, just 18 miles away from St. Augustine, is the town of Marineland. Lying within Flagler and St. Johns counties, it is considered the smallest town in Florida where the population consists of only 16 people, according to Hometown Locator.
The town was incorporated in 1940, following the creation of Marineland Dolphin Adventure (known as Marine Studios at the time) in 1938. Marine Studios would change its name to Marineland in 1961, after the town it resides in. Noted as the “world’s first oceanarium,” the park became a popular place for visitors to experience marine life up-close and Hollywood filmmakers to capture underwater footage (1954’s “Creature From the Black Lagoon” was famously filmed there).
Today, you can swim and paint with dolphins, become a trainer for the day, feed tortoises, see sand tiger sharks and more.
Aside from the beloved attraction, Marineland (the town) is also home to the University of Florida’s Whitney Lab, the Ragga Surf Cafe, several eco-tours and marine reserves, secluded beaches and the Fort Matanzas National Monument.
Whether or not the smallest town in the entire state is the next destination on your bucket list (we all need to get out of Miami for a bit) it is interesting to know that it’s just about a five hour drive (about 295 miles) from the city! If you’d like to learn more about Marineland, FL, visit their website here.