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January Field Trip - Coral Castle

  • Coral Castle 28655 South Dixie Highway Homestead, FL, 33033 United States (map)

UPDATE 1/19/18 - I've been warned that although we are allowed to take photos, we're not allowed to sell them. And we get no discounts. Which I already figured. Oh, and they close at 7pm now instead of 8pm. That's ok, we can get to the Coyote Mexican restaurant quicker then. :)

Prepare to be amazed

We invite you to tour our sculpture garden in stone, built by one man, Edward Leedskalnin. From 1923 to 1951, Ed single-handedly and secretly carved over 1,100 tons of coral rock, and his unknown process has created one of the world's most mysterious accomplishments. Open every day, the Coral Castle Museum welcomes visitors from around the world to explore this enchanting South Florida destination.

You will be seeing…

…an unusual accomplishment. This sign, carved into stone, was Ed's greeting at the entrance of his beloved Coral Castle -- and after more than 60 years, this sign still welcomes visitors today.

How did he do it?

To this day, no one knows how Ed created the Coral Castle. Built under the cover of night and in secret, at a time when there were no modern construction conveniences, Ed would only say that he knew "the secret of the pyramids." When he died, his secrets died with him, and to this day scientists and thinkers still debate Ed's methods.

If you had visited Coral Castle in the 1940’s you would have been greeted enthusiastically by a man weighing a mere 100 pounds and standing just over 5 feet tall. He would have asked you for ten cents admission and introduced you to his fantasy world.

As you moved around his sculpture garden in stone, and the significance of each piece was explained, you would have been witness to the great pride Ed Leedskalnin took in his work.

Since it is documented that no one ever witnessed Ed’s labor in building his beloved Coral Castle, some have said he had supernatural powers. Ed would only say that he knew the secrets used to build the ancient pyramids and if he could learn them, you could too.

Today, you can tour the Coral Castle using our audio stands, with narration available in English, Spanish, French or German. We also have knowledgeable guides available to conduct tours. Features of the Coral Castle Museum include a 9-ton gate that moves with just a touch of the finger, a Polaris telescope and functioning rocking chairs – all made entirely of stone.

We wonder what was the inspiration that could cause a man to spend 28 years to carve a Coral Castle from the ground up using nothing but home-made tools? An homage to unrequited love? Perhaps to illustrate ancient sciences that defy gravity? Or maybe just sheer, raw human determination?

The Coral Castle is an everlasting mystery to those who explore it.  To learn more about the Coral Castle, click this link to their website.

SFNPCC Trip Info

We’ll meet at 4:30pm at the Coral Castle, take a guided tour of the grounds for about an hour, then grab our equipment and prepare for the sunset, which is at approx. 6pm. We can shoot what’s left of the golden hour and into the blue hour and twilight all around. And then, between 7 and 7:30 the crescent moon will be visible in the west-southwest sky at about 25 degrees (approx. the same as the North Star/Polaris). Knowing this we can scope out the grounds for the best possible location to shoot the moon from beforehand.

Then when we feel we have enough shots, we’ll adjourn to the El Santo Coyote Mexican restaurant for some nourishment for the body and soul! 

Please be sure to RSVP at to let us know you’re coming. I have to fill out a form for a group tour, and they’d like as accurate a count as possible.

Also, entrance to the event grounds is $18 and $15 for seniors (65+) plus tax of course. Hopefully we can secure a group discount, but I wouldn’t count on much more than 10% off, if any. SFNPCC also charges a $10 fee for non-member guests. To purchase a non-member guest field trip fee online click here.


Camera Gear

Bring it all! I suggest all lenses as you never know what you’ll find. Macro, definitely wide angle, and as long of a zoom as you’ve got if you want to get up close and personal with the moon.

Definitely a tripod and shutter release cable. Or you can certainly set your camera’s timer if you don’t have one. But really, the release cables are not expensive and makes things SO much easier. Do yourself a favor and buy one.

Prepare for the weather we have. January is typically cooler and much less buggy – and we’re in the city so highly unlikely we’ll encounter mosquitoes. But, if you’re one that is UBER sensitive to mosquitoes or a mosquito magnet, bring what you need and leave it in your car, just in case. Also, be sure to bring a jacket in case it gets cold once the sun sets. And in case of bad weather, bring rain gear, for you and your camera. You never know.

As far as snacks and water, bring what you need to be comfortable. We’re NOT out in the Everglades in mid-summer, but if you need to keep refreshed, bring what you need. They also have a gift shop and snacks available for purchase. But save room for dinner afterward!

That’s about all. Be sure to RSVP and hope you all can join us! Looks like a fun way to spend a Saturday evening.