Gibsonton Travel GuideBrowse 4 travel reviews, 51 travel blogs and 1,387 travel photos from real travelers to Gibsonton.
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The quirky west Florida town of Gibsonton is run down, backwards and something of an American anomaly. Far from the land of laid back, middle class suburbia that seems to dominate much of Florida, this small town has developed into a resting place for America’s oddities; somewhere to stop off and hang out with some of the more wacky characters that bless the American cultural landscape.
Primarily, the town is known for being the last remaining permanent home of sideshows, carnivals and fairs. There are plenty of ‘permanent’ residents here who have far from permanent homes, with much of the population using the town as simply a place to stop while their circuses weren’t on the move. While many of those original locals have long since passed away, Gibsonton is still home to the relics that are testament to their existence: statues, brightly painted carts and even the odd vicious looking animal peeping round the side of a few garden fences.
The populace reflect the oddity too. An otherwise typically backwards estate is filled with the odder twists on humanity: men tattooed head to toe, women with palpable moustaches and conjoined twins are far from uncommon sights. Sometimes walking down a Gibsonton street can feel very much like arriving on an entirely strange and cartoonish planet.
The town mascot is a 3ft tall local who’s been part of the scene for eons, and while the atmosphere has died off, the sense of a place to fit in for being different is still paramount here. It’s a place to see before the chance has gone, a spot that’s dying with its residents on a day to day basis, but also the perfect aside from the typical Florida scene, and a worthy stop on every itinerary.
Delve into the rustic side of Florida, get your ‘carnie’ on, and indulge in perhaps one of the freakiest experiences America has to offer.