If you are eclectic and love to look at unique artwork, take a trip to Solomon’s Castle. It is located off the beaten path in Ona, FL. It is the home of Howard Solomon an internationally known artist and sculptor. He built the castle himself with printing plates discarded by the local weekly newspaper.
There is a fee to take a guided tour of the castle. Inside the castle you will find room after room of magnificent, interesting artwork and displays. You will see the family’s living quarters, extensive exhibits, stained glass windows, and unbelievable artwork. The tour guide will describe each area as directed by Solomon himself. He is very witty with a sense of humor and the descriptions are full of puns. So get ready to laugh.
Outside of the castle you can explore the grounds designed by Peggy Solomon. You can walk the nature trail and see picturesque Horse Creek as well as sculptures and whimsical characters located among the foliage, tropical flowers, oaks and palmettos.
While you are there enjoy fine dining at The Boat in the Moat. Howard Solomon also built this replica of a 60 foot 16th century Spanish galleon. You can eat inside or outside. They have a small menu choice, but everything is delicious.
There are two gift shops located on site. One is inside the museum doors which contain many treasures and the other is located next to the restaurant which has crafts and typical gift shop items.
And lastly, if you are adventurous and would like to spend the night, they have The Blue Moon Room. It is a bed and breakfast room that is a fully equipped efficiency apartment located on the top floor of the castle. It is available for overnight or weekend stays.
I have never seen anything like it in my life. I went there last summer on a day trip with the Corvettes of Charlotte County Club. We took a tour of the castle and had lunch. We ate outside. I had the taco salad and I wish I lived closer so I could go there often just for lunch. We also got to meet Solomon himself. He is usually walking around somewhere or working in his workshop. Plan to make a day of it if you stay for lunch or at least plan for half a day.
Solomon’s Castle has been featured on CNN, Better Homes and Gardens and Extreme Homes. People come by the busload to see the castle. For more information and photos go to their web site at http://www.solomonscastle.com/default.htm.
This is one of my Walkabout Wednesday series. Check back each Wednesday for a new place to walkabout.
Tammy Hayes, Realtor, Green Lion Realty, Port Charlotte, FL