Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale , Florida
Tel: 954 564 4521
Concierge.com's insider take:
Birch, a Chicago lawyer, raked in money as the legal counsel for Rockefeller's Standard Oil and used it to buy vast chunks of $1-per-acre land down in newly settled Florida at the end of the 19th century. Birch deeded most of it to the state on his death, and it's now a glorious park, centered on a shady freshwater lagoon with forests of sea grape and hardwood treesan ideal break from sunning on the beach. And though Birch's estate may have been huge, his still-standing house at the center of it all was surprisingly modest.
Visitors center open only on weekends.