Culture
11:29 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Florida Attractions in Running for 'Eighth Wonder of the World' Title

Bok Tower Gardens, with its 205-foot carillon tower, could soon be in the company of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Great Pyramid at Giza.
Bok Tower Gardens, with its 205-foot carillon tower, could soon be in the company of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Great Pyramid at Giza.
Credit Dalia Colón / WUSF

A lot of voting will take place this summer, from St. Petersburg's mayoral primary to names for the new lion cubs at Busch Gardens.

Here's one more ballot you can cast: A handful of Florida attractions are up for the honor of being declared the Eighth Wonder of the World. The contest is being held by VirtualTourist.com, an offshoot of the popular TripAdvisor.com. Dozens of attractions from around the world are in the running, including eight in the Sunshine State. Here's what Virtual Tourist says about them:

  • Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales: "Dutch immigrant Edward W. Bok built Bok Tower in 1929 as his 'Thank you to the American People'. This 205-foot neo-Gothic & art deco 'Singing Tower' carillon is now also a National Historic Landmark."
  • DeSoto National Memorial Park in Bradenton: "Conquistador Hernando de Soto's army made landfall here in the Tampa Bay area in 1539 - today, the site is a Floridian coastal mangrove setting perfect for exploring with ranger-led kayak tours."
  • Warm Mineral Springs of North Port: "An archeological wonder, Warm Mineral Springs maintains 87 degrees and contains one of the highest mineral contents in the U.S. Discoveries made beneath the surface date back 10,000 years."
  • Hotel Ponce de León, St. Augustine: "The Spanish Renaissance Revival-style Hotel has 79 stained glass windows by Tiffany, murals by George Maynard & steam power & electricity by Thomas Edison. It's now a National Historical Landmark."
  • Design District, Miami: "Creative neighborhood dedicated to innovative fashion, design, & dining, it is home to over 130 galleries & showrooms, and plays a large role in Art Basel by hosting the Design Miami fair."
  • Everglades National Park: "The vast wilderness of the Everglades covers much of southern Florida and is home to hundreds of species of birds, fish, bobcats & Florida panthers, as well as its most famous residents, alligators."
  • Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve, Jacksonville: "Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve is 46,000 acres of wild adventures in the heart of Jacksonville. Visitors can boat, hike, fish, swim, kayak, get active and enjoy nature."

These Florida contenders are up against heavyweights like the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge and the entire island of Bora-Bora.

Voting takes place through Sept. 30 at VirtualTourist.com/8thwonder.