Koreshan State Park

Koreshan State Park, Estero: Address, Phone Number, Koreshan State Park Reviews: 4.5/5

Koreshan State Park
4.5
About
Open daily 8am-sunset. This utopian community of 200 which believed the entire universe existed within a giant, hollow sphere relocated from New York to Florida in 1894. The Koreshans built and operated a printing facility, boat works, cement works, sawmill, bakery, store and hostelry. Education, science and art also helped shape their community. After their leader's death in 1908, membership declined. In 1961, the remaining members deeded 305 acres of their land to the state of Florida as a park and memorial. The Koreshan Unity Settlement Historic District is on the National Register of Historic Places. Guided tours available.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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4.5
576 reviews
Excellent
328
Very good
198
Average
44
Poor
6
Terrible
0

Stevencoles
Carrabelle, FL243 contributions
No dump station hr sewer hook ups but otherwise ok
Nov 2021 • Couples
Neat place and campsites but wonder why there is no dump station or dumpster? No sewer hook ups, but water and electricity worked fine.
Written November 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jenny C
Ancaster, Canada90 contributions
Self-guided tour of Koreshan State Park
Sep 2021 • Couples
Went to Koreshan State Park, it’s a pioneer village of sorts whose 350 members believed in celibate communal living and in a hollow spherical earth. They were Christian Mystics and believed Estero was the centre of the hallow earth/Universe.
Back in 1894 they brought Victorian life from Chicago to Estero Florida along with their strange religious beliefs. A modern cult of sorts. During the turn of the 19th Century, their leader Dr. Cyrus Teed convinced his flock he was a messiah and would take care of them for life if they trusted him. They gave him all their worldly possessions and everyone worked together to make a life successful in wild southern Florida. Think of alligators, mosquitos, snakes, no a/c, pure pioneer living, yet they created a utopian Victorian life in the wild bush.
They cleared 300 acres of palmetto bush, built several large communal homes on the property, planted tiered gardens, built a performing arts building for musical plays, had a huge dining hall, built a black smith & machine shop - powered their own electricity, had a bakery that baked 600-700 loaves bread daily for themselves and surrounding community, had a large power washer to launder everyone’s clothing/linens; they dressed impeccable for the times. They had the only dry goods store between FtMyers and Naples, a sort of 7/11 in its day.
Their buildings have survived countless tropical storms and hurricanes, a testament to Estero Bay protecting their lands.

What amazed us more was the bamboo forests they planted by the Estero River. These huge bamboos are not indigenous to Florida yet they thrived for over a century.
Written September 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

340cruiser
St. Petersburg, FL500 contributions
Koreshan Campground and Historic Site
Jun 2021 • Family
We really enjoyed the historic site a lot. If you go, spend the $10 per person on the website to get a guided tour. It takes a couple of hours and you get access to several buildings that are locked. Our guide, Chris, did a great job of telling us about the history of the Koreshans and the founder.
We stayed at the Koreshan campground, and it was good. Cons: really small sites and an enormous amount of invasive plants. One of these is the rosary pea, the seeds of which are more lethal than ricin. I was surprised there was no information regarding this when we checked in. Please be careful with kids and pets! Pros: good privacy between sites and proximity to Koreshan Historic Site, kayaking, and hiking.
Written June 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lynn K
Nashua, NH7 contributions
Estero History
Apr 2021 • Couples
This is such an interesting place!! Lots of historical buildings and information about this community. Volunteer Kathy was very helpful and helped us to understand what we were visiting!!
Written April 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sandy K
2 contributions
The place was very peaceful ,well kept up. Would have liked to go in some of the buildings
Apr 2021 • Friends
Kathy Gregory was really informative. Very interesting!
We went on a weekday so not all the builds are open
Written April 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

2thjockey
Lake Zurich, IL125 contributions
Historical site--religious sect's successful community
Apr 2021
We would likely have rated this higher (4+) but had limited time before leaving for a flight out of the Fort Myers airport and thus had no opportunity for a guided tour. This was an interesting walk through US social history about which we had no prior knowledge. We have all heard of cults, but this one was obscure---and historically very successful under strict religious management. The park had other amenities (kayaking, camping, etc.) for which we had no time. Great place to spend some time with older kids. All those volunteering at the park were very friendly.
Written April 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sparklefifty7
Queens, NY14 contributions
We'd come again
Mar 2021
We stayed just one night here but wish we had booked more. There were kayaking opportunities and bike riding possibilities that we would love to explore. The site was perfectly level which is always a plus. For the first time since we COVID camped, staff were at the booth when we checked in. They were friendly and helpful. The site was clean and had water and electric. There was a dump station at the campground. The grounds were beautiful and we explored the nearby historical site which was fun and interesting. We'd go again.
Written April 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

epaula
Bonita Springs, FL66 contributions
Interesting beliefs and way of life
Mar 2021 • Friends
Today, A friend and I took a guided your of Koreshan State Park. There was only one other person in the group, so it was like a private tour.

Our guide James Curtis, was very knowledgeable about the property and the people who lived here.

What I found most interesting is that the inhabitants believed earth was hollow and when we were looking at sky and stars, we were looking inside earth.

They have a globe to illustrate this belief and even did an experiment to prove it. Then they offered $10,000 to anyone who could prove them wrong. No one ever challenged that claim.

There are several historical buildings on the property. The residents led interesting lives and believed all people are equal.

There are also walking trails, a picnic area and camping. We'll definitely be back to explore the walking trails.

The tour takes about 90 minutes.
Written March 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

H8346SNfrankr
Estero, FL9 contributions
Wonderful guided tour
Mar 2021 • Couples
Recently went on a guided tour of the Koreshan settlement located in the park. The tour guide was fantastic. A fascinating history and historical site.
Written March 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

drbrds22
Orlando, FL214 contributions
$5 a Car Load
Mar 2021
We limited our visit to the Koreshan Village. If history perks your interest, this is a good choice for you. It is a story you have not heard before. Covid-19 restrictions have trimmed down the tours so you may find they are closed but you can peek in windows and see quite a bit. Plaques outside each building yield brief information. Roving voluntary docents are happy to answer question or share quirky tidbits--and there are many! Please check ahead for current availability and events. Philosophers and thinkers will also be a prime audience for Koreshan Village. Here intelligent, educated, wealthy people were duped. They had enormous faith. It was not their faith that failed them. It was the object of their faith. All the good intentions, good works, unity, and even equality cannot save our souls. Jesus is still the answer.
Written March 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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