Everything you need to know to Visit Coral Castle, Florida

Coral Castle is a private residence and tourist attraction in Miami, Florida. 

Located in Southern Florida, it is one of the Sunshine State’s top attractions for those who love history and mysteries.

Coral Castle, also called Florida’s Stonehenge, is on the National Register of Historic Places since 1984.

Ed himself called the structure ‘Rock Gate Park’ because of the prominent coral rock gate located at the entrance.

Coral Castle has weathered several hurricanes and still stands in perfect condition. 

Thousands of visitors come to see Coral Castle Museum every year because of its unusual story and mysteries.

Dotted Globe contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read my full Disclosure here. Thank you!

Where is the Coral Castle Museum in Florida?

The mysterious megalithic structure of Coral Castle, built by one man, is located in Homestead, Florida.

It is about 40 miles away from South Beach, Miami Beach and can be reached in less than an hour.

Coral Castle is located close to US Highway 1 that connects Miami, Fl to Key West.

The Coral Castle Museum tourist attraction makes a perfect road trip stop on the Overseas Highway drive through the Florida Keys.

Edward Leedskalnin and Coral Castle’s Love Story

Coral Castle has a fascinating story behind its creation.

Coral Castle is the creation of Edward Leedskalnin (Ed), a Latvian immigrant to the US.

Ed lived in Riga, Latvia and was actually supposed to marry the love of his life, Agnes, whom he fondly called ‘Sweet Sixteen’.

But Agnes canceled the wedding a day prior to the ceremony.

Then a heartbroken Ed came to America after being jilted by his fiancé.

He settled in South Florida and started building the Coral Castle entirely by himself in memory of his lost love.

The Move from Florida City
Did you know that Ed first started building Coral Castle in Florida City?
Actually, Leedskalnin built the Castle in Florida City for three years but then decided to move it single handedly to its current site in Homestead, 10 miles away!

Edward Leedskalnin worked on the Coral Castle from 1923 to his death in 1951 for a total of 28 years.

Ed vowed to never marry, devoted his life to building the castle, and died at the age of 64 without ever fully explaining how he created the masterpiece. 

The castle is an ode to Ed’s patience and love.

Billy Idol’s famous single ‘Sweet Sixteen’ is inspired by Ed’s love story.

Coral Castle and the Mystery of its Construction

Coral Castle is constructed from over 1,100 tons of coral rocks, which are local to South Florida.

The mystery of Coral Castle is also closely linked to its creator, Edward Leedskalnin.

Ed was a 26 year old stone mason builder and weighed just about 100 pounds.

He quarried the heavy limestone coral rocks by hand from the nearby ocean bed.

Then, Ed first carved the intriguing rock sculptures from some of the stone.

After, he cut the corals into perfect square blocks weighing up to 14 tons with only simple hand tools like hammers and chisels.

Finally, he placed the heavy tons of coral rock on top of each other without using mortar or concrete to create the 8 feet tall walls.

Ed built the castle single handedly without any heavy-duty machinery or equipment.

He built the castle at night in complete secrecy; he gave 10 cents tours of the castle by day. 

In that entire time, nobody saw Edward Leedskalnin and his construction process.

No one knows how Ed perfectly carved the heavy stones and set them precisely on top of each other.

Demystifying Coral Castle

So exactly how did Ed build Coral Castle?

Several theories from supernatural powers and ‘the secret of the pyramids’ to engineering prowess and electrical currents surround Coral Castle.

Local legends say, Ed was a genius innovator who experimented with science and studied new theoretical forms of magnetism. 

He used this knowledge to design a unique system for moving the blocks – each weighing several tons of coral rock – that has never been duplicated anywhere else on earth.

Ed Leedskalnin himself claimed that he knew science, the laws of weight and leverage, and built a ‘perpetual motion machine’ to create Coral Castle.

Ed Leedskalnin, the man behind the castle, is as intriguing as the structure.

Today visitors can learn more about Edward Leedskalnin, his Castle, and his construction methods on a guided tour of the Coral Castle Museum site.

Visiting Coral Castle, Florida

Today the entire castle, built from over 1,100 tons of corals, functions as an open air museum site. 

What can you see on a visit to Coral Castle?

On a guided tour of the tourist attraction, you can admire Coral Castle’s unique features and search for its enchanting rock sculptures.

Spot the sign created by Ed himself at the entrance to the property.

Visitors can walk around inside this ancient wonderland and marvel at its unique architecture which includes the 9 ton gate, windows, cooking equipment, and furniture all made out of coral rocks.

The 9 ton gate, also located at the entrance, is fascinating.

Even a child can easily push it with a slight touch – a testament to Ed’s engineering.

Visitors can see the castle walls made of perfectly stacked pieces of coral rocks, curved corners without mortar or cement, and an open air observatory tower based on ancient Mayan architecture.

Visitors can also see Freemason symbols like crescent moon and carved objects like a sundial and a telescope.

On a visit, you can tour his living quarters and simple tools used to carve the structure. You can also visit the gift shop which contains a variety of souvenirs including pamphlets written by Ed himself.

The Castle looks even more beautiful when hundreds of lights illuminate its features at night.

Coral Castle and the property makes a great family friendly tourist activity in Florida.

Coral Castle Tours FAQs

The Coral Castle Museum is a one-of-a-kind attraction on the east coast of Florida. It is on the National register of Historic Places.

Here is information on guided tours of the castle.

The Castle is open everyday from 9 am to 7 pm for guided tours.

Admission is $18 per adult; find more details here.

The museum gift shop contains several books about Coral Castle, Edward Leedskalnin, and the mysteries about the property.

We definitely recommend visiting the gift shop to check out magnets and other souvenirs.

You can also rent Coral Castle for private events such as a wedding or proposing to your loved one.

Coral Castle is a unique fantasy built of age old rocks rising from the earth. 

Coral Castle and the man behind it remain shrouded in mystery, making this one of the top places to visit in Florida.

We recommend everyone visiting Miami, Homestead, or the Florida keys to add Coral Castle to their bucket list.

More Southern Florida Destination Guides

Here are additional resources to help you plan your Miami, Florida Keys, and South Florida trip:

3 Days in Miami Itinerary

22 Most Romantic Things to do in Miami for Couples

Miami to Key West Drive: 25 Best Itinerary Stops

Best things to do in Key West with kids

20 Best Tours in Key West, Florida

Best Museums in Key West, Florida

Dry Tortugas National Park Visitor Guide

Ultimate Florida Road Trip Itinerary