Cool Museums in Florida

by Dr. Jessie Voigts / Aug 22, 2013 /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Guess what? There are plenty of things to do in Florida that don’t involve theme parks and water sports! While most travelers head to Florida to take advantage of the great weather and the plethora of theme parks (Disney World, Wizarding World of Harry Potter, SeaWorld, etc.), there’s so much more to see and do.

Florida has a great arts community, and you can find all kinds of cultural events wherever you go. But let’s say it’s a rainy day, and you want to spend some time inside (or, it’s a very sunny day, and you want to spend some time inside). Luckily, Florida boasts some very COOL museums (as well as some classic old-school attractions). Besides the big ones (for Orlando, easy enough to find on our weekly arts calendar here on Wandering Educators, if you’re staying in Orlando and enjoying all the arts, culture, and cuising that the city has to offer – the Orlando Museum of Art, Menello Museum, Orlando Science Center, etc.), all around the state there are plenty of smaller or off-the-beaten-path museums worth visiting. Take a look…

Cool Museums in Florida

The Amelia Island Museum of History shares stories from the Timucua Native American Tribe to pirates to explorers – quite a diverse cultural history! This museum shows the best of local, interesting history, including the Civil War, Spanish Missions, a ship, and a Timucuan village. Location: Amelia Island

Silver Dollar, Amelia Island Museum of History

The silver dollar was minted the same year (1878) that the Nassau County Jail which became the Amelia Island Museum of History was erected. Photo: Amelia Island Museum of History

The Salvador Dali Museum focuses on, you guessed it, art from Salvador Dali. It includes 96 paintings, as well as drawings, bookworks, prints, sculpture, photos, and documents. Surrealism at its finest – especially nice for when YOU feel like your face is melting from the heat. Location: St. Petersburg

Salvador Dali Museum, Florida

Photo: gordontarpley

I’ll be honest. Clowns creep me out. But if you’re NOT creeped out by clowns, you’ll definitely want to head to the American Clown Museum and School. Here, you can see over 700 pieces of clown memorabilia. Location: Lake Placid. No photos needed.

The Challenger Learning Center is focused on, as you might ascertain, space and science. It has an IMAX 3D theatre, a digital dome theatre and planetarium, and a Space Mission Simulator. If you love space, head here. Location: Tallahassee.

The History of Diving Museum is a place after my own heart. Featuring the world’s largest international collection of diving helmets and artifacts, it’s a perfect place to visit before heading out on your own SCUBA adventure. The Florida Keys History of Diving Museum is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational institution focused on the Story of Man’s Quest to Explore Under the Sea. Location: Florida Keys

History of Diving Museum

photo: amanderson2

Ripley’s Believe it or Not has not one, but two museums in Florida. If you want to see “Amazing Exhibits, Unusual Art, Unbelievable & Genuine Artifacts from Around the Globe,” this is the place to go. Expect a touch of the weird. Locations: Orlando, St. Augustine

Ripley's Believe it or Not, Florida

photo: Bernt Rostad

Solomon’s Castle is a quirky adventure into a world created by artist Howard Solomon, who never throws anything out. Location: Ona

Solomon's Castle

Photo: Nathaniel Nims

 

 

Want to find more cool museums in Florida? Here’s an extensive listing: http://www.floridamuseums.com/