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“Unique”
Review of Solomon's Castle

Solomon's Castle
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Ona
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Visit the home, galleries and workshop of internationally renowned artist Howard Solomon. Tour the Castle, walk our beautiful nature trails and enjoy a delightful lunch at the Boat in the Moat Restaurant. Spend the day!
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access
Lafayette, Indiana
Level Contributor
75 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Unique”
Reviewed November 15, 2012

What a wonderful off the beaten track fun place to visit
One of those places you would never expect unless someone else has been
The Artist never throws anything away and has made so many items that show how repuroposing can work

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank Cherpurr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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361 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
41 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Homeschool Field Trip”
Reviewed November 5, 2012 via mobile

We had such a great day at the Castle! Cindy was our tour guide and she's very funny!!!! Our kids were treated well and the castle was quite amazing. The jokes and puns weren't really understandable for the kids but they enjoyed looking at all the cool artwork. Thanks for having us!!

Helpful?
Thank Beccahill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Venice, Florida
Level Contributor
116 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“really cool place”
Reviewed October 4, 2012

we have visited the castle twice and both times were absolutely amazed at what this man has done. Not only is the castle truely unique, but all the little inventions inside will blow you away. Very rarely do you get a chance to see first hand how someones mind works.The ship in the moat around the castle just further demonstrates the genius of this man. The food in the restaurant is good and the gift shop is typical of a small mom&pop venue. I can't wait till they reopen for the winter so we can go again. The admisson price is nominal for what you get.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank gregory5220
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Level Contributor
74 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Don't pass this up!”
Reviewed August 21, 2012

I grew up about an hour away from here and have long since moved away, but I vividly remember this place and it is well worth stopping for. This man's creations are nothing short of awe inspiring.
I wish that I could visit again to discover what new fantastic creations have been added over the years. What a wonderful thing to see.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Kylie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
west palm beach fl.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Take the Middle Road”
Reviewed July 23, 2012

TAKE THE MIDDLE ROAD by Stanley Shotz

There is a line in the show "Hello Dolly" which goes....."there's a whole big world out there, Barnaby". It suggested that a sojourn outside of Yonkers to New York City, would be equal to the greatest exploration of the times.

Many tourists and motorists who travel through the State of Florida quite frequently, never waver from their previous traveled and set highway and routine. For many, the need to enter or leave the state is accomplished by following the eastern coastal interstate I-95 and for those traveling along the western corridor the favorite route is I-75. There is much to see on either of these freeways, especially near the major towns which have a great historical, military relationship to our nation as well as many entertaining theme parks.

An unusual experience, for a change of pace, would be to use an older established route which is designated as US 27. It can be traced from
the Homestead area, at the top of the Florida Keys and followed through the interior of Florida all the way to the state capitol in Tallahassee. The highway passes through the agricultural heartland and reflects the sugar and citrus oriented economy. Many fruit groves, candy factories and fruit juice processing plants welcome visitors and conduct tours of their property .

One of the most interesting experiences would have to be stopping to visit "Solomons Castle". Located about 15 minutes northwest of Arcadia is the 55 acre "kingdom" of the 53 year old inventor and artist Howard Solomon. At the age of 21 he took his bride and departed New York for the Bahamas and Florida. He spent many years in artist colonies in Miami and Nassau; sculpturing, painting and designing everything and anything that passed through his imagination and creative mind to produce.

Solomon, in his quest to be off in his "own world" of inspirational skills purchased the wooded property and immediately set out to build his four story castle complete with a moat. During the years he has collected from junkyards and flea markets across the state, tons and tons of discarded machinery,tools and hardware. He has used them to fashion many forms of animals and fish as well as reproductions of cars,trains and farm implements, many of which are working models and some are life size. The building is constructed of aluminum squares cut from printing plant plates and the structure shimmers like a huge reflector mirror in the bright sunlight.

Howard, his wife "Queen Peggy" along with son, " Prince Benjamin" as he refers to them, escort visitors from a huge shaded parking lot and picnic grove through the multi-floored museum and show place. The entrance to the main doorway is guarded on each side by a white and black suited knights - two huge actual suits of armor he reclaimed from a junk heap.

The entire building;the carpentry, electrical system, plumbing, tile,stained glass windows, masonry and all of the interior displays all reflect his multi talents A total of 22 trades and skills are all pointed out as his accomplishments in having single handedly built the structure and its appointments. One thing which required outside equipment beyond his budget and physical abilities, was the digging of the huge moat filled with water which surrounds the whole castle and affords a drawbridge to gain entrance to the main building. Although the setting has all the appearance of a medieval castle he has not overlooked the need for visitor's comfort and there are refreshments along with air-conditioning and a modern restroom which were all built by him.

The future for Solomons Castle include the construction of a Bell Tower, which is currently underway and the building of a ship which will be anchored in the moat and will serve as a restaurant. For those looking for a day outing from the Palm Beach or Sarasota area- the round trip and visit to the Castle can have you back home in time for dinner, the same day .This is a viable alternative to staying around the pool or visiting the malls, with the out of town guests every day. The telephone number for further information is 813-494-6077 and the property is closed on Mondays. You will find Solomons Castle in the town of Ona, located between Arcadia and Zolfo Springs just north of State Road 70 - two hours west of West Palm Beach and through Okeechobee City or just east of the Ft. Meyers and Tampa areas on State Road 70.

For those fortunate to be traveling in an RV-the opportunity to spend more than one day in Arcadia will open the door to even more enjoyment. Just two miles west of Arcadia on State Road 70 is the Peace River KOA. A shaded and quiet area with all of the amenities of a first class campground, they are located along a private stretch of more than a mile of the serene banks of the Peace River.

Just across the campground is a depot of the Canoe Outposts Company. This company has a number of locations on different federally protected Florida Rivers. They rent an aluminum canoe and furnish a map of the winding scenic waterway. Rental is by the day for only $8.00 a person, including paddles and cushions etc. The most preferred trip is 8 miles downstream where you will be picked up by their van and boat trailer for a half-hour ride back to the campground. With the help of the leisurely current, and time out for a picnic lunch and swim along the shore, the trip will not take more than 4 hours. Longer trips can be arranged and they will supply canoeists with a pickup schedule, days or even a week later. Their map will identify campsites and pick up points measured to suit your desire to paddle along for hours or several days.Sleeping gear and camping supplies are available from them at minimal expense. This is one of the rare opportunities of viewing the original Florida secluded waterways ; for in the entire trip you may not hear a car engine, train whistle or the voices of other people.

Wildlife visits the water edges at many location and the water which is generally less than 3 feet deep and no rapids or dams ,is home to many large sized fish. Those with a Florida fishing license can be assured of a fresh fish dinner.
Yes Barnaby, there is a whole big world out there and Florida has some great sights to explore - "Take The Middle Road."

Visited August 2011
Helpful?
4 Thank flamingo33417
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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