9 Best Museums in Florida

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Looking to visit a museum in Florida but not sure which one to choose? Florida is home to many great museums and attractions dedicated to everything from art to history to science so it can definitely be hard to pick one to visit. Fortunately, we have compiled a list of what are considered the best museums in the state.

The following is a list of the best museums in Florida:

1. St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum:

Address: 12 South Castillo Drive, St. Augustine, FL

Website: www.thepiratemuseum.com

Established in 1995, the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum is a history museum in St. Augustine that is dedicated to pirates.

The museum contains the most extensive collection of authentic pirate artifacts in the world. The collection features over 800 artifacts which includes an authentic jolly roger flag, Thomas Tew’s pirate chest, an old “wanted” poster from the 1696 search for Captain Henry Every and Blackbeard’s original blunderbuss among others.

St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum in Florida
St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum in Florida

The museum space spans 5,000 square feet with a 1,300 square foot court yard.

If you would like to visit the museum and want to save money on tickets, check out this article on St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum discount tickets.

2. The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg:

Address: 1 Dali Blvd, St. Petersburg, FL

Website: thedali.org

Established in 1982, the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg is an art museum dedicated to the works of Salvador Dali.

The collection is housed in a surrealism-inspired building that features a large glass entryway and skylight and a spiral staircase.

Interior of the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida
Interior of the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida

The collection includes 96 oil paintings, over 100 watercolors, 1,300 photographs, graphics and sculptures. The museum is home to more Dali works of art than any other museum in the world.

3. John and Marble Ringling Museum of Art:

Address: 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL

Website: www.ringling.org

Established in 1927, the John and Marble Ringling Museum of Art is an art museum is Sarasota, Florida.

The museum has 21 galleries of European paintings, Mediterranean antiquities and Asian and American contemporary art. The collection includes more than 10,000 pieces of art such as paintings, sculptures, prints, photos and drawings.

The museum is located on the Ringling Estate which is also home to the Ringling’s mansion, Marble Ringling’s rose garden, the Circus Museum and Tibbals Learning Center, the historic Asolo Theater, the Ringling Art Library, the Secret Garden, the grave site of John and Marble Ringling and the FSU Center for the Performing Arts.

4. WonderWorks in Orlando:

Address: 9067 International Dr, Orlando, FL

Website: www.wonderworksonline.com/orlando

The Wonderworks is an interactive science museum in Orlando. The museum is housed in a unique building that is constructed upside down and is designed to look as if it had been uprooted by a tornado and dropped upside down on its roof.

The museum features interactive exhibits on the themes of space, physics and math. These exhibits include the Natural Disasters exhibit, the Physical Challenge exhibit, the Light and Sound exhibit, the Space Discovery exhibit, the Imagination Lab exhibit and the Far Out Gallery exhibit.

The museum also offers a indoor ropes course, a 4D XD Motion Theater, laser tag and a magic comedy dinner show.

5. Florida Museum of Natural History:

Address: University of Florida Cultural Plaza, 3215 Hull Road, Gainesville, FL

Website: www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu

Established in 1891, the Florida Museum of Natural History is Florida’s official state-sponsored natural history museum.

The museum features exhibits on the flora, fauna, fossils and historic figures of the state of Florida. These exhibits include a butterfly rainforest, a Florida fossil exhibit, a South Florida people and environments, a Florida wildflower and butterfly garden and a Florida archeology collection.

6. Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum:

Address: 907 Whitehead Street, Key West, FL

Website: www.hemingwayhome.com

Established as a museum in 1964, the Ernest Hemingway Museum is a historic house in Key West where Ernest Hemingway lived from 1931 to 1939.

Built in 1851, the house is a French Colonial-style house originally built for marine architect Asa Tift and features a pool, veranda and a garden.

The house is also home to dozens of cats, known as Hemingway Cats, many of which are six-toed cats that are rumored to be descended from Hemingway’s own cats.

The house features some of Hemingway’s original furniture and many of his personal possessions, such as his typewriter.

7. The Tallahassee Museum:

Address: 3945 Museum Rd, Tallahassee, FL

Website: tallahasseemuseum.org

Established in 1957, the Tallahassee Museum is a museum about Tallahassee’s natural and cultural history.

The museum features the Big Bend Farm, a Wildlife Florida exhibit that features Florida wildlife and native habitats, an Old Florida exhibit that features historic buildings and the Florida and beyond exhibit which features the Fleischmann Natural Science Building. the Phipps Gallery and the Discovery Center.

8. Vizcaya Museum:

Address: 3251 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL

Website: vizcaya.org

Established in 1953, the Vizcaya Museum is a historic house museum in Miami that once belonged to businessman James Deering and features a villa, open-air courtyard and formal gardens.

Built between 1914 and 1922, the house is an Italian Renaissance-style house designed by architect F. Burrall Hoffman.

Vizcaya Museum in Miami, FL

The villa has around 70 rooms which are decorated with numerous antiques, art and furnishing dating from the 15th to the 19th century.

9. History Miami Museum:

Address: 101 W Flagler St, Miami, FL

Website: historymiami.org

Established in 1940, the History Miami Museum is a history museum about Miami.

The museum is a 70,000 square foot facility that features more than one million historic images and 30,000 artifacts including a 1920s trolley car and silver recovered from historic shipwrecks.

The museum is the largest history museum in Florida and houses four permanent galleries and up to three traveling exhibits, Archives and Research Center, the South Florida Folklife Center, the Education Center, and City Tours program.

Sources:
“The Museum.” The Dali Museum, thedali.org/about-the-museum/
“History of the Ringling.” The Ringling, ringling.org/history-ringling
“Explore the Wonder Zones.” WonderWorks, wonderworksonline.com/orlando/the-experience/the-wonderzones/
“Exhibits.” Florida Museum of Natural History, floridamuseum.ufl.edu/exhibits/
“Visit.” Tallahassee Museum, tallahasseemuseum.org/visit/
“The Main House.” Vizcaya Museum, vizcaya.org/collections/main-house/main-house/
“About the Museum.” History Miami Museum, historymiami.org/about-us/about-the-museum/
“Visit.” St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum, thepiratemuseum.com/visit
“Mission & History.” Salvador Dali Museum, thedali.org/about-the-museum/mission-history/