Set in a 60-acre cypress dome on the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation, the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki museum of Seminole culture provides an introduction to the tropical outdoors of natural South Florida’s swamps in which the Seminole Tribe has lived for more than a century.
Museums in Florida
Museums throughout Florida in outdoor settings that showcase local history and botanical beauty, often surrounded by parks with trails.
In late winter, azaleas create ribbons of bright color beneath the live oak canopy across the grounds of Maclay Gardens, a series of formal gardens along the hillsides sweeping down to Lake Hall.
One of the largest palm collections in the United States is the backdrop for the oversized works of sculptor Ann Norton on this 1.7 acre estate adjoining her former home and studio in West Palm Beach.
Atop one of the highest hills in the Florida Peninsula, Bok Tower Gardens is one of Florida’s most spectacular landscaped gardens, “something to appeal to both man and animal, a meditative place,” as envisioned by Edward William Bok in the 1920s.
Named for the water lilies that once flourished in the freshwater marsh in front of this grand home, the 35 acres of tropical forest on which the Bonnet House was built was a gift from industrialist Hugh Taylor Birch to his daughter Helen and son-in-law Fredric Clay Bartlett, a noted artist.
A museum started by seashell collector St. Clair Whitman also honors the legacy of John Muir’s travels through Florida on foot at Cedar Key Museum Historic State Park. In 1867, naturalist John Muir followed the path of the Florida Railroad on his Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf of Mexico, ending at the Cedar Keys.
Chapman Botanical Garden honors the memory of Dr. Alvan Wentworth Chapman, a noted botanist who in 1860 published Flora of the United States. Adjoins the Orman House
At the Constitution Convention Museum State Park, interpretive exhibits and artifacts put a face on Florida’s frontier days, with a special focus on the historic city of St. Joseph (now Port St. Joe).
Part native, part cultivated, Crane Point Hammock is 63 acres of tropical hardwood hammock in the heart of Marathon. Preserved from development in 1989 by the Florida Keys Land Trust, it is the largest tropical hammock in the Middle Keys.
At Crystal River Archaeological State Park, a paved interpretive trail winds through a ceremonial mound complex built more than 2,500 years ago. The park is the home of Florida’s only petroglyph.