Maritime Museums in Florida

Florida has a rich maritime history so it’s not surprising that it is home to many great maritime museums. These museums have exhibits and collections dedicated to everything from local lighthouses to shipwrecks to the local fishing industry.

Have you been to any of these museums in Florida? Leave a comment below and let us know which one you think is the best!

The following is a list of maritime museums in Florida:

(Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I earn a commission from purchases made through some of these links.)

Apalachicola Maritime Museum:

Address: 103 Water Street, Apalachicola, Florida

Website: ammfl.org

Established in 1955, the Apalachicola Maritime Museum is a museum about the maritime history of Apalachicola.

The museum offers boat tours, eco tours, kayaking, cruises, sailing excursions and visits to the area’s barrier islands.

Destin History & Fishing Museum:

Address: 108 Stahlman Ave, Destin, FL

Website: destinhistoryandfishingmuseum.org

Established in 2005, the Destin History & Fishing Museum is a museum about the maritime history of Destin.

The museum explores the history of the early pioneers from the 1830s and the history of the fishing industry in Destin.

Florida Maritime Museum:

Address: 4415 119th St W, Cortez, FL

Website: www.floridamaritimemuseum.org

Established in 2007, the Florida Maritime Museum is a museum in Cortez dedicated to the maritime history of the state of Florida.

The museum is housed in a 1912 schoolhouse building and its collection features historic photographs, boat models, historic artifacts as well as a large collection of shells from the Gulf of Mexico.

The Florida Maritime Museum is a part of the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller’s Historical Resources Department.

History of Diving Museum:

Address: 82990 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL

Website: divingmuseum.org

Established in 2005, the History of Diving Museum is a history museum in Islamorado that features the world’s largest collections of diving artifacts and memorabilia.

The collection includes diving helmets, hand-operated pumps, armored suits as well as memorabilia such as photos, books and film.

The History of Diving Museum is owned by Joe and Sally Bauer.

House of Refuge:

Address: 301 Southeast MacArthur Boulevard, Stuart FL

Website: hsmc-fl.com/house-of-refuge

The House of Refuge is a historic house museum in Stuart housed in a 19th century lifesaving station.

The lifesaving station was built in 1876 as one of 10 emergency shelters for shipwrecked sailors on the east coast of Florida.

The building is the only surviving House of Refuge in Florida and the oldest structure in Martin County.

IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame:

Address: 300 Gulf Stream Way Dania Beach, FL

Website: igfa.org/fishing-hall-of-fame-1

Established in 1939, the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame is a hall of fame dedicated to achievements in recreational fishing around the world.

The achievements that these hall of fame inductees have achieved are made through angling achievements, literature, the arts, science, education, invention, communication, or administration of fishery resources.

Jupiter Inlet Light and Museum:

Address: 500 Captain Armours Wy, Jupiter, FL

Website: www.jupiterlighthouse.org

The Jupiter Inlet Light and Museum is a museum about the historic lighthouse in Jupiter which was built in 1860.

Jupiter Lighthouse in Jupiter, Florida circa 1880-1897

The museum is dedicated to the history of the lighthouse, the maritime history of Jupiter and over 5,000 years of the area’s regional history. The museum offers guided tours of the lighthouse and its grounds.

The museum is operated by the Loxahatchee River Historical Society.

Key West Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters:

Address: 938 Whitehead St, Key West, FL

Website: www.kwahs.org

The Key West Lighthouse and Museum is a museum about the historic lighthouse in Key West which was built in 1848.

Key West Lighthouse in Key West, Florida

The museum is dedicated to the history of the lighthouse and to the maritime history of Key West and features exhibits on local stories, legends and historical figures.

The museum is operated by the Key West Art & Historical Society.

Key West Shipwreck Museum:

Address: 1 Whitehead Street, Key West, FL

Website: www.keywestshipwreck.com

The Key West Shipwreck Museum is a museum about the history of shipwrecks in Key West.

The museum features actual artifacts from the 1856 shipwreck Isaac Allerton, stories about dangerous wrecks and daring rescues and a 65-foot replica of a lookout tower once used to spot shipwrecks so salvage crews could recover the cargo.

If you would like to visit the Key West Shipwreck Museum and want to save money on tickets, Trusted Tours and Attractions sells discount tickets to the museum.

Lyons Maritime Museum:

Website: www.helmetsofthedeep.com/leon-lyons-about.html

Established in 1990, the Lyons Maritime Museum is a museum in St. Augustine about diving history.

The museum features a large collection of deep sea diving equipment such as helmets, diving knives, underwater accessories such as lamps, flashlights, diving boots, sandals and chest weights.

The Lyons Museum, which is owned by author of Helmets of the Deep Leon Lyons, is housed at Lyon’s residence and is open by appointment only.

Man in the Sea Museum:

Address: 17314 Panama City Beach Parkway, Panama City Beach, FL

Wesbite: maninthesea.org

Established in 1982, the Man in the Sea Museum is a museum in Panama City about the history of diving.

The 5,000 square foot museum features treasure recovered from historic shipwrecks as well as more modern commercial and naval equipment and vehicles.

The Man in the Sea Museum is owned by the Institute of Diving.

McLarty Treasure Museum:

Address: 13180 North A1A, Sebastian Inlet State Park, Vero Beach, FL

Website: verobeach.com/vero-beach-community/mclarty-treasure-museum

Established in 1971, the McLarty Treasure Museum is a history museum about the 1715 fleet of Spanish treasure ships that sank off the coast of Vero Beach.

The museum features artifacts, replicas for sale and an observation deck of the ocean. In 2022, the museum was the 21st highest rated museum in Florida on Trip Advisor.

Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum:

Address: 200 Greene St, Key West, FL

Website: www.melfisher.org

Established in 1985, the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum is a museum about the maritime history of Key West.

The museum contains a collection of artifacts from 16th century and 17th century shipwrecks, such as the Henrietta Marie, Nuestra Señora de Atocha and Santa Margarita, the Santa Clara and a Conquistador-era galleon.

The museum was founded by Mel Fisher.

Mel Fisher’s Treasure Museum:

Address: 1322 US-1, Sebastian, FL

Website: www.melfisher.com/Sebastian/sebastian_museum.asp

Established in 1992, Mel Fisher’s Treasure Museum is a shipwreck museum in Sebastian.

The museum features a collection of artifacts and treasure that Mel Fisher, a longtime treasure hunter, has salvaged from local shipwrecks over the years, such as the 1715 fleet of Spanish treasure ships off the coast of Florida.

Military Sea Services Museum:

Address: 1402 Roseland Ave, Sebring, FL

Website: www.milseasvcmuseum.org

Established in 1998, the Military Sea Services Museum is a museum in Sebring about military sea services such as the Coast Guard, U.S. Marines and the U.S. Navy.

The museum features exhibits, artifacts and memorabilia about these military sea services and admission is free.

Ponce de Leon Inlet Light and Museum:

Address: 4931 S Peninsula Dr, Ponce Inlet, FL

Website: www.ponceinlet.org

The Ponce de Leon Inlet Light and Museum is a museum dedicated to the history of the Ponce de Leon lighthouse which was built at the Ponce de Leon Inlet in 1887.

Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse in Ponce Inlet, Florida

The museum offers self guided tours and group tours of its museum, lighthouse and grounds and is operated by the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association.

Sails To Rails Museum:

Address: 901 Caroline St, Key West, FL

Website: www.trolleytours.com/key-west/sails-to-rails-museum

The Sails to Rails Museum is a history museum in Key West dedicated to the history of tall ships that sailed the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Florida Keys from the 1500 to early 1900’s.

The museum features a silver bar from the sunken Spanish Galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha, video presentations on the Overseas Railroad, a diorama of Fort Jefferson National Park and hands-on immersive activities.

If you would like to visit the museum and want to save money on tickets, Trusted Tours and Attractions sells discount tickets to the museum.

St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum:

Address: 100 Red Cox Road, St. Augustine, FL

Website: www.staugustinelighthouse.org

The St. Augustine Light and Museum is a museum dedicated to the history of the St. Augustine Lighthouse.

The museum features exhibits on lighthouse keeping, sailing, wooden boat building and underwater archaeology.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse in St. Augustine, Florida.

The museum also offers ghost tours and sunset tours of the lighthouse and a Lighthouse Illumination experience during the winter season.

The lighthouse is owned by the St. Augustine Lighthouse Museum Inc.

St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum:

Address: 12 S Castillo Dr, St. Augustine, FL

Website: www.thepiratemuseum.com

Established in 1995, the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum is a museum in St. Augustine about the history of pirates.

The museum features 48 exhibit areas and over authentic 800 artifacts, which is said to be the largest and most authentic collection of pirate artifacts ever displayed under one roof.

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

Some of the items on display in the museum include the Thomas Tew treasure chest, which is believed to be the only authentic pirate treasure chest, as well as an authentic jolly roger flag and gold from the warship Queen Anne’s Revenge.

The museum is owned by retired team president of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and collector Pat Croce.

In 2022, the museum was the 16th highest rated museum in Florida on Trip Advisor.

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

Sebastian Fishing Museum:

Address: 9700 S Hwy A1A, Vero Beach, FL

Website: www.floridastateparks.org/Sebastian-Inlet

Established in 1998, the Sebastian Fishing Museum is a museum dedicated to the history of the fishing industry in the Sebastian Inlet.

The museum features equipment used in commercial fishing, a replica of a vintage fishing house and dock and exhibits on three local families involved in the fishing industry during its early years in Sebastian.

Spongeorama Sponge Factory:

Address: 510 Dodecanese Blvd, Tarpon Springs, FL

Website: spongedocks.net/listings/spongeorama-sponge-factory

Established in 1968, the Spongeorama Sponge Factory is a company that produces natural sea sponges harvested from the area.

The factory features a free museum that offers a free movie exploring the history of the sponge industry and the sponge docks in Tarpon Springs.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ingham Maritime Museum:

Address: Southard St, Key West, FL

Website: uscgcingham.org

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ingham Maritime Museum is a National Memorial to members of the military killed in action in World War II and Vietnam.

The museum features the historic U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ingham which served in the coast guard from 1936 to 1988.

In 2022, the museum was the 24th highest rated museum in Florida on Trip Advisor.

Sources:
Explore and Learn.” St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, salh.wpengine.com/explore-learn/
Tour the Museum” Ponce Inlet Lighthouse & Museum, ponceinlet.org/Tour-The-Museum–Ways-To-See-6-25.html
Highest Rated Museums in Florida.” WFLA, 29 March. 2022, wfla.com/news/florida/highest-rated-museums-in-florida/
Maritime & Yachting Museum.” American Heritage, americanheritage.com/content/maritime-yachting-museum
History of The International Game Fish Association.” IGFA, igfa.org/history/
Museum History.” History of Diving Museum, divingmuseum.org/about-the-museum/museum-history/
About Us.” Destin History and Fishing Museum, destinhistoryandfishingmuseum.org/about-us/
Mission & History.” Apalachicola Maritime Museum, ammfl.org/mission-history/

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