Saturday, March 22, 2014

7 Wonders of Old Florida, Sunshine bracket

The first round of the competition co-created by the Old Florida and Visit Florida Off the Beaten Path Insider Facebook pages is finally completed. The March Madness/NCAA tournament-inspired bracket was based entirely on submissions from both pages. Here are the results from the first round of the Sunshine bracket and the match-ups in the 2nd round. The results of the other two brackets will be posted soon...

9th seeded Stiltsville in Biscayne Bay pulled a mild upset in earning more votes than the 8th seeded Gatorland of Orlando. 

Orlando favorite, 4th seeded Ronnie's Restaurant, was knocked off by the wooden vernacular houses known as Florida Cracker cabins, a 13 seed.

No surprise here, the grandfather of Florida tourism, 1 seeded Cypress Gardens defeated South Florida's Deering Estate.

Henry Plant's Belleview Biltmore of Bellaire, coming in at a 3 seed survived a strong challenge from Tom Gaskin's Cypress Knee Museum, formerly of Palmdale.

A favorite for tubing in North Florida, the Ichetucknee River received more votes that the Panhandle's Ft. George Island.

Henry Flagler's Hotel Ormond, a 5 seed knocked off the popular Daytona Speedway showing that the Victorian inn lives on in many people's memories. 

7th seeded Sarasota Jungle Gardens knocked off another of Henry Flagler's properties in this match up, in this case Palm Beach's famed Breakers Hotel.

In this hotly contested match-up, the higher seeded St. Augustine withstood a strong challenge from the beloved Suwannee River.

Voting in the next round will start on Monday on Facebook.

Winners in this bracket include two vintage attractions, one still going strong the other now part of Legoland Florida, two hotels built by Florida railroad barons, one hanging on by a thread, the other long gone, a beloved Florida city, a beautiful river, and two groups of houses unique to the sunshine state. It will be fascinating to see which of these wonders survives the next round...

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