The best museums in Florida! Includes art, history, science, and quirky museums. These top Florida museums are listed by region and city.
Best Museums In Florida
We love going to all kinds of museums in Florida! It’s a big state, so there are plenty to choose from. There are traditional art, science, and history museums, but also fun and whimsical museums too.
With the help of some of our blogger friends, we’ve put together this pretty huge list of the best museums in Florida. We organized it by region, and then alphabetically by city. We hope it encourages you to get out, enjoy the day, and learn something new!
Make sure to also check out the rest of our Best in Florida articles:
– Best Breweries In Florida
– Best Seafood Restaurants In Florida
– Best Beaches In Florida
– Best Hiking In Florida
– Best Virtual Experiences In Florida
Best Museums In South Florida
We’re defining South Florida as being about from about Sarasota on the west coast to West Palm Beach on the east coast and everything below.
Silverball Pinball Museum
One of the most fun museums in South Florida is the Silverball Pinball Museum. Inside, guests will find classic pinball machines and arcade games. Some of them go as far back as the 1930s! It’s free to enter and walk around, but if you’d like to play you can get a one hour pass for $12 or an all-day pass for $15.
Besides games, Silverball also has offers snacks and drinks. There’s a seating area on the second floor where you can look down on all of the action.
Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum
Located just outside of the Fort Lauderdale Airport is the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum. This extraordinary museum is bigger than it looks from the outside and we think it’s one of the best military museums in Florida. The museum is in what used to be a training building on the former Naval Air Station. In December 1999, the building was relocated to its permanent home, 2 blocks west from its original location.
Inside, guests will find historic artifacts, photos, paintings, and exhibits. Have you heard of the infamous Flight 19 that disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle? Well, it flew out of NAS Fort Lauderdale and there’s an impressive exhibit about it. There’s also a section dedicated to US President George H. W. Bush, who trained to be a bomber pilot at the air station when he was 19.
The museum is only open on Saturdays from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm, so plan accordingly. The museum is free (although they appreciate donations) and tours are offered until 2:30 pm. The length of the tour really depends on you and how many questions you ask. We honestly could have spent the whole day there lol!
History Of Diving Museum
The History of Diving Museum on Islamorada is a really interesting South Florida museum. It has the world’s largest collection of diving gear, including helmets, air pumps, and armored suits. There are also exhibits that have photos, books, and videos that chronicle the history of diving. We found it all pretty fascinating.
Admission is $15 for adults, free for active-duty military, and $12 for veterans. The museum is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm.
Ernest Hemingway Home And Museum
Rhonda of Travel? Yes Please!
The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West was where the adventurous novelist lived and wrote many of his famous works. During a tour of his house turned museum, visitors can see some of the Hemingway family’s furniture, artwork, and Hemingway’s writing studio.
Most unique, and something you don’t expect to find in a museum, are the cats that live on the property and casually wander through the house, many who are descendants of Hemingway’s six-toed cat Snow White.
The Hemingway Home is open 365 days a year from 9 am to 5 pm. Admission is $16 for adults and includes a 30-minute guided tour.
Key West Shipwreck Museum
Thanks to actors, artifacts, and films, you’ll feel like you’ve actually gone back in time to 1856. This was the golden age of Key West, literally! Many ships carrying treasure sank when they hit the nearby reef. Early settlers of Key West made their living from salvaging shipwrecks, and at one point, Key West was the richest city in the country!
Tickets cost $16.11 for adults and the museum is open from 9:40 am to 5:00 pm, 365 days a year.
Mel Fisher Maritime Museum
One of the best museums in Florida is the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum. It holds a large collection of artifacts from sunken Spanish galleons Nuestra Senora de Atocha and Santa Margarita and the slave ship Henrietta Marie. The museum is also a nationally recognized research and archaeology institution.
Located in what used to be a US Navy storehouse, the museum has some really impressive treasures. Admission is $16 for adults. They are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm.
USCGC Ingham Maritime Museum
This popular South Florida museum is on the water! The USCGC Ingham Maritime Museum is one of only two preserved Treasury-class United States Coast Guard Cutters. It has also received two Presidential Unit Citations for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy.
We really enjoyed walking around and exploring the cutter. Do watch your head and your feet as you walk around inside; there are some tight spots to go through. The museum is open from Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm and admission is $10 for adults.
Marathon Air Museum
If you’re an aviation enthusiast, you’ll want to visit the Marathon Air Museum. Located next to the Marathon International Airport, this small (and free) museum packs a punch. There are all kinds of artifacts and memorabilia and outside there is a hanger with small aircraft on display. The museum is open 10 am to 4 pm, Tuesday thru Saturday, and 1 pm to 4 pm on Sunday.
Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
Claire of Stoked to Travel
Located in Museum Park (aka. Maurice A, Ferre park) in Downtown Miami is the ultra-modern Frost Science Museum, also known as the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. The museum is part of a magnificent new cultural and education district at the edge of the stunning Biscayne Bay.
The Frost Science Museum offers an abundance of learning opportunities for visitors, particularly in its exceptional three-level Aquarium and state-of-the-art Planetarium. Make sure to book tickets to the show – the incredible tilted dome makes you feel like you’re flying!
Entry tickets to the Frost Science museum start at USD$30 and the museum is open daily from 9:30 am to 6 pm.
Perez Art Museum Miami
One of the best art museums in Florida is the Perez Art Museum Miami, also known as PAMM. It’s a modern and contemporary art museum dedicated to collecting and exhibiting international art of the 20th and 21st centuries. PAMM is located in a 200,000-square-foot facility that overlooks Biscayne Bay.
Exhibits change often and many events are held throughout the year. Admission is $16 for adults. However, admission is free every First Thursday and Second Saturday of the month, making it one of the best free things to do in Miami. Additionally, all US active-duty military, all Florida K-12 educators, and all first responders and health care professionals (with ID) receive free admission to the museum.
Holocaust Museum & Cohen Education Center
Disha of Disha Discovers
Florida is brimming with unique museums. One such museum is the Holocaust Museum & Cohen Education Center in Naples. Whether you’re visiting Naples for the weekend or for longer, visiting this museum is a must. Their mission is to educate the public about the atrocities of the Holocaust and to inspire action and change.
This museum has over 1,000 original photographs and artifacts from the Holocaust and World War II. It’s open from 1 pm to 4 pm on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Tickets are $12 and children under the age of ten get in for free. My favorite part about the museum is that some of the survivors are volunteers which makes it a very touching experience.
Ashley of Jetset Jansen
The Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Florida is not only a beautiful property to explore, but also a great way to get some insight on Florida’s history. Henry Flagler built the house at the start of the 1900s and is most famous for partnering with Rockefeller to create the Standard Oil Company and building the Florida East Coast Railway.
The house itself is beautiful with ornate ceilings and a glass pavilion that holds one of the original railway cars. It’s a great place to walk around and has beautiful views of downtown West Palm Beach.
The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. Entrance fees are $18 for adults, $10 for Youth and $3 for Children.
Ringling Museum Of Art
Victoria of Florida Trippers
The Ringling Museum Of Art is truly one of the most amazing museums you should visit in Florida! One may think that it is just about the circus, and there are parts of the museum that are circus themed, but it is so much more!
You can visit the Ringling House that John and Mable used to live in and built and you can also see their personal art collection which will make you feel like you are in the Louvre, not in Florida! It is truly one of the best things to do in Sarasota and one of the most amazing museums in Florida!
The Ringling Museum is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $25 for adults and includes entry to the Museum of Art, Circus Museum, and Bayfront Gardens.
Best Museums In Central Florida
We’re defining Central Florida as being about from Tampa on the west coast to Daytona Beach on the east coast and everything in between.
Coastal Heritage Museum
Crystal River might be known as the best place to go swimming with manatees, but its downtown area should be explored as well. There, visitors will find the Coastal Heritage Museum which has artifacts, photos, and exhibits about the early history of the area. It was built in 1939 and was used until late 1970. Not only is the museum in what used to be the town’s City Hall, but it was also home to the Chief of Police and the town’s fire department!
We saw a lot of really interesting pieces, including mastodon bones, one of the old jail cells, and newspaper clippings describing when Elvis himself came to Crystal River to film a movie! The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11am to 3pm and admission is free.
Florida Museum Of Natural History
One of the best museums in Central Florida is the Florida Museum of Natural History. Its exhibits include Florida fossils, displays about the Native people in the area, and information on Florida’s wildlife and ecosystem. The museum also has a Butterfly Rainforest, with daily butterfly releases.
Admission to the museum is free but there is a cover charge of $14 for the Butterfly Rainforest. The museum is open 10 am to 5 pm, Monday through Saturday, and from 1 pm to 5 pm on Sunday.
Harn Museum Of Art
Another of the best art museums in Florida is the Harn Museum of Art. It’s located right next to the Florida Museum Of Natural History, so it would be easy to do both in one day. Inside, visitors will find over 10,000 pieces of art ranging from ancient to modern, and objects from all over the world. The museum also includes five garden areas that incorporate art.
The Harn Museum of Art is another free Florida museum! The museum is open 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday through Saturday, and from 1 pm to 5 pm on Sunday. It is closed Monday through Wednesday, so plan accordingly.
Museum of Military History
Ashley of Destination: WWII
One of the best museums in Florida for history is the Museum of Military History in Kissimmee. Just half an hour outside Orlando you’ll find this comprehensive museum covering every war the United States has participated in.
Though this museum showcases exhibits on everything from the Revolutionary War to modern day warfare, the majority of it focuses on the second World War, making it one of the best WWII sites to visit in Orlando.
This museum is largely based around private collections of artifacts that have been donated including uniforms, weaponry, tanks and jeeps, medals, and more. At just $12 for adult admission (with many discounts for active military and veterans), it’s a must-visit museum in Central Florida. It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm.
Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Memorial Park & Museum
Just north of Titusville, is the Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Memorial Park & Museum. The museum tells the story of Harry and Harriette Moore. They were teachers and civil rights activists that were killed on Christmas day of 1951 when a bomb went off under their house. The museum has exhibits and artifacts that tell the of Moore’s struggle for equality. Additionally, outside of the museum is a replica of their home that you can explore.
Appleton Museum Of Art
Possibly our favorite art museum in Florida, the Appleton Museum Of Art is a top attraction in Ocala. The museum has art and artifacts from all over the world, with over 18,000 pieces in its permanent collection. The Appleton museum also offers classes for all ages, special talks, and even concerts!
The museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from noon to 5 pm. Admission is $10 for adults. Active-duty military and veterans with ID get in for free.
Marion County Museum of History and Archaeology
If you want to learn more about Central Florida, we recommend visiting the Marion County Museum of History and Archaeology. The exhibits in the museum cover over 13,000 years and they are broken down nicely into different sections. The exhibits are also changed frequently and are created by staff that are obviously very passionate about the area.
The museum is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday through Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm and is closed Wednesday and Sunday. Admission is $3 for adults.
Official Florida Flamingo Museum
One of the coolest museums in Florida is the Official Florida Flamingo Museum. The collection was started by Cindy Dunlow and is showcased inside her custom frame shop, Cindy Dunlow Frames. Cindy has been collecting flamingo-related items since she was a child and has actually broken the Guinness World Record for most flamingo items!
As we mentioned, the small museum is inside the frame shop, but you’re free to step inside and take a look. The shop is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm and on Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm.
Amy of Amy Guides
Unquestionably, the best thing about Chihuly’s collection is its mass aesthetic appeal. However, pedestrian art lovers and fellow creatives alike linger while perusing Chihuly’s unique glass sculptures in the heart of St. Petersburg, Florida. The breadth and magnitude of Chihuly’s work is, in a word: impressive.
As a visionary within the glass blowing sphere, Dale Chihuly transforms a mundane bowl into a stunning work of art. Nature permeates many pieces within the collection. Lead your gaze overhead for my favorite piece, titled Persian Ceiling, 2008.
Visit the Chihuly Collection, Presented by Morean Arts Center at 720 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida 33701. Admission prices are as follows:
Adult: $20; Senior (Ages 65+) and Military: $18; Student (6 to 18 years old and anyone with a valid college ID): $13.
The Dalí (Salvador Dalí Museum)
Charles of McCool Travel
The Dali Museum features the largest collection of Salvador Dali art outside of Europe and is the most popular of the St. Petersburg FL Art Museums. Highlights at The Dali include the remarkable gift shop, Cafe Gala (really good food), the architecturally phenomenal building, photo opps in the garden and children’s playground, and (for me) his masterwork Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea (which includes three distinct images on one canvas).
The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm (Thu and Fri until 8 pm). Admission is $25 for adults and should be purchased online.
American Police Hall Of Fame & Museum
The American Police Hall of Fame & Museum is the country’s first law enforcement museum. With over 11,000 items in the museum’s collection, it’s quite impressive! There are all kinds of vehicles, weapons, and simulators. Additionally, there is also a memorial to American law enforcement officers that have been killed in the line of duty.
Admission is $13 for adults. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm.
American Space Museum
Titusville is in what is considered Florida’s Space Coast. Kennedy Space Center obviously gets a lot of visitors because of this. However, the American Space Museum should not be overlooked.
The museum costs $10 to enter and is open Monday through Saturday. Inside, visitors will find cool exhibits and artifacts. Our favorite item was a copy of an X-ray of Neil Armstrong’s overshoes ensuring there were no pins or needles left after they’d been sewn together. Any puncture to them would have been catastrophic while walking on the moon.
Pritchard House Museum
The Pritchard House Museum is another fantastic Florida museum. The house was built in 1891 by Captain James Pritchard in the Queen Anne architectural style. From then until 2005, when the county purchased the home for historic preservation, a member of the Pritchard family lived in the house. Pictures aren’t allowed inside the house, but we can tell you that it is beautiful inside, with many original pieces.
Tours are available by appointment. Admission is $10 for adults, cash only.
Best Museums In North Florida
We’re defining North Florida as being about from the whole panhandle to St. Augustine on the east coast.
Cummer Museum Of Art & Gardens
When planning a trip to Jacksonville, make sure to visit the Cummer Museum Of Art & Gardens. It’s one of the best art museums in Florida, plus it has beautiful gardens. The museum was established in 1958 and has over 5,000 works of art. The historic gardens sit along the St. Johns River, making it a perfect place to enjoy the day.
Admission to the museum is $10 for adults and should be purchased online. The museum is open daily except for Monday.
Museum of Science & History (MOSH)
Ruby of A Journey We Love
MOSH is the only science & natural history museum in North Florida. It’s a mix of nature and science combined, which makes it unique. Currently part of Bank of America’s Museums on Us, every first weekend of the month, you can get in for free if you have a BoA account, otherwise it costs $15 for adults.
Don’t miss the science and nature shows when they have it on their schedule. My personal favorite is touching and being up close to the animals the museum is caring for. It was my first time to touch an opossum and a gopher tortoise during this interaction. The extreme science show is very interactive and great for people with kids to have their children involved in the show.
MOSH is open 10 am to 5 pm Thursday through Friday, 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday, and noon to 5pm on Sunday.
Mission San Luis
Mission San Luis is one of our favorite living history museums. At the mission, visitors can go back in time to experience what it was like to live in this 17th-century community where native Apalachee and Spaniards lived together. On the mission’s 63 acres, visitors can explore an Apalachee council house, a typical Spanish residential area, a blacksmith shop, a military complex, and the mission church.
The living history interpreters all really know their history so feel free to ask any questions you have. The combination of having them tell their stories as well as seeing the reconstructed buildings is a great and unique way to learn more about the early history of Northern Florida.
Admission to Mission San Luis is $5 for adults. They are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm.
Museum Of Florida History
Another of the best history museums in Florida is the Museum Of Florida History. We love this museum because it’s so hands-on. Everyone is encouraged to pick things up, push buttons, and twist and turn things. The museum does an excellent job of telling the history and culture of Florida and its people in a fun way that everyone can enjoy.
MFH is also another of the free museums in Florida, although they do appreciate donations.
Florida’s Tallahassee Museum is a different kind of museum! The museum, also known by locals as the Junior Museum, was established in 1957. Since then, it has grown exponentially! Anyone looking for something fun to do in Tallahassee will have an awesome time zipping through the museum’s Tree to Tree Adventures courses, learning from its many exhibits, and exploring its natural trails.
The Tallahassee Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm and on Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. Admission is $12 for adults. There are three Tree-To-Tree options costing from $17 to $45 per person.
Final Thoughts On The Best Museums In Florida
There are so many cool museums in Florida! And there’s such a variety too; you can find a museum that will please anyone in your family! Something to keep in mind as well, is that even if you’ve been to a museum before, exhibits are constantly changing and evolving. This means that you’ll probably discover something new!