Hats off to Stetson’s Florida mansion, an ‘underrated tourist attraction’

The Sunshine State’s first luxury estate was built in 1886 for the maker of the famous cowboy hat

Wingie, a travel booking site compiled a list of underrated U.S. tourist attractions based on TripAdvisor reviews.

According to the data, the Stetson Mansion — Florida’s first luxury estate— is America’s most underrated tourist spot and the sixth most underrated in the world.

“Hundreds of reviewers called the Victorian mansion ‘spectacular’ (880) and a ‘must-see’ (867). Almost 800 commenters said they ‘loved it’ (797), and the experience was described as ‘interesting’ over 500 times,” Wingie told Travel and Leisure.

When the Gilded Age mansion was built in 1886, it was the “largest, grandest, most innovative home ever built in Florida,” the Stetson’s website states.

The mansion was built for John B. Stetson, best known as maker of the Stetson cowboy hat. The estate was the first of its kind in the Sunshine State to feature Edison electricity, steam heat, indoor plumbing and a call bell system.

The 10,000-square-foot, three story mansion sits on more than 2 acres of land, with gardens, gazebos, fountains, patios and a pool. In the 1800s it had an 800-square-foot schoolhouse adjacent to the main building. Now, the school has been converted into a one bedroom guesthouse with a spa bath and gourmet kitchen.

The private estate is currently occupied and has shut down tours for the remainder of 2024.

The Stetson does allow weddings and events to be held on the property, however, and has plans for booked tours in 2025.

You can find the estate just a few blocks south of Highway 44 in DeLand.