Serving as an attorney for Standard Oil made Hugh Taylor Birch an extremely wealthy man. His dying gift of land to the state of Florida guaranteed that everyone could share in his riches.
Nestled between the Atlantic and the Intracoastal Waterway and right next to the very popular Fort Lauderdale Beach, Birch's eponymous state park is a haven for birdwatchers, fishermen and campers alike. More than 200 species of birds visit the coastal forest that includes native plants and some planted by Birch.
While it cost Birch a fortune, admission to his house — now the Terramar Visitor Center — is free with paid park admission, canoe rentals are just $5.30 with tax and a 75-person shelter can be rented out for less than $85 per day.