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Bongoland: Another Authentic Florida Gem


In case you didn’t know, according to Craig Pittman, the author of Oh FloridaHow America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country, Florida has more fake dinosaurs than anywhere else in the world.

While many Floridians or visitors may think of Dinosaur World in Plant City (the largest dinosaur park in the USA),  the Jurassic Park section at Islands of Adventure in Orlando, the Museum of Discovery & Science in Ft. Lauderdale, and several other science museums, what they may not know is there are still dinosaurs “roaming” in Port Orange that were once a part of Bongoland, a short-lived theme park (1947-1952).

We traveled back in time to Bongoland on one of our nature “walks”. We love to pick places we’ve never visited before and Dunlawton Sugar Mill Gardens was on our bucket list during one of our beach breaks to New Smyrna Beach in Volusia County (when you live in Central Florida and have a teenager who is a true Floridian, New Smyrna Beach is THE go to place. It’s been that way since the 1980s).

AuthenticFlorida, excerpt posted on SouthFloridaReporter.com, Aug. 10, 2018

A Florida resident since 1974, Melanie Lentz-Janney is the owner/CXO of AuthenticFlorida.com, a travel and lifestyle blog devoted to the Sunshine State's most unique and quirkiest treasures. Authentic Florida is intended to inspire discovery of the accessible, yet under-appreciated areas of the state as well as celebrating good old-fashioned Florida kitsch. Lentz-Janney’s lifelong passion has been discovering Florida’s genuine side – some old, some new – with a focus on “fun and affordable.” Authentic Florida has been recognized as the BEST Blog of the Year, the BEST Travel Blog (twice), and BEST Food Blog at the Florida Sunshine Awards. Lentz-Janney is a member of Florida Outdoor Writers Association and the Society of American Travel Writers. She is also a well-respected marketing expert and an award-winning filmmaker.


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