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Cultural Museums in Central Florida
After the amusement and theme parks wear off, spend some time visiting the best museums in central Florida. The Orlando Museum of Art houses local, regional, national and international works with a diverse range of pieces over a variety of artistic mediums. Tour the impressive collections of African Art, Art of Ancient Americas, American Art, and Contemporary American Graphics by artists like O'Keeffe, Rauschenberg, Warhol, and more. Also, in Orlando, The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art features collections of works including pottery, paintings, jewelry and glass art by Louis Comfort Tiffany and other 19th and 20th-century American artists.
Over in downtown Tampa, the Glazer Children's Museum offers over 170 hands-on exhibits through imaginary exploration through themed areas like Art Smart, Vet Clinic, Central Bank, and a firehouse for a fun destination for both parents and kids. The U.S. Space Walk Hall of Fame & Museum in Titusville honors NASA, its astronauts, and those who helped shape space exploration as we know it. Stroll through monuments dedicated to the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs and learn all about our past discoveries and where we are headed.
Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum
A Spanish Farmhouse designed to evoke 19th Century Spain, the Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum is one of Winter Park and the greater Orlando area's most popular venues.
The home, also known as the Robert Barbour House, is listed on the National Register of Historic Place.
It also serves an open public house museum on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Visiting hours are from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and 12 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Don't miss Music at the Casa during Sunday's open hours or the lectures and performances of the Casa Parlor Series.
Winter Park History Museum
Honoring Winter Park's history, the Winter Park History Museum features exhibitions on early history timelines, oral histories, and the importance of hotels to the Orlando area's historic growth. Explore collections and artifacts from various eras of history and be on the lookout for the museum's constantly rotating exhibits.
Guests can also go for a walking tour of landmarks surrounding the museum, which includes stops like Central Park, Winter Park Railway Station, Parkwood Building, and Knowles Cottage. The walking tour also stops at the Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum, Palm University, and other Winter Park attractions.
Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum
Located at the Space Coast Regional Airport in east central Florida, the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum features vintage aircraft housed in a 30,000 square foot hangar and a 15,000 square foot area of memorabilia displays. Check out displays of over 30 types of aircraft and helicopters and visit the aircraft restoration area.
In mid-March, the museum hosts Titusville's biggest air show, the TICO Warbird Airshow over a three-day extravaganza. If you're visiting on the second Saturday of each month, stop by for the fly-in breakfast, where you can meet pilots and members from the flying community.
Air Force Space & Missile Museum
Adjacent to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Air Force Space and Missile Museum is located east of Titusville along Highway 405 on the Space Coast. The museum preserves both the hardware and the spirit of United States' ventures into space.
The museum displays numerous missiles, rockets and related space equipment, with a primary mission to collect, restore, and exhibit items of historical significance which relate to the development and heritage of U.S. Air Force space launch activities.
This unique museum highlights the Air Force as a major participant in America's space program and emphasizes activities at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station beginning in early 1950 and continuing today. Tours and gift shop operations are provided by a group of dedicated volunteers.
American Police Hall of Fame & Museum
Founded in 1960, Titusville's American Police Hall of Fame and Museum acts as a memorial to all law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Visit the Law Enforcement Memorial and exhibits on crime prevention, police pursuit vehicles, and police dog training.
You can also take the kids to the Kids Discovery and Dress-Up section of the museum or visit the "North Pole," which sees volunteers wrap and send gifts to the family members of fallen police officers. This east central Florida museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Brevard Museum of History & Natural Science
As one of Florida's top natural science and history attractions, the Brevard Museum in Cocoa Beach features events, exhibitions, and educational programs covering all things natural history. Plan your next trip ro Cocoa or Cocoa Beach and spend an afternoon touring the Brevard Museum.
Don't miss fossils, mollusks, and archeological finds from Cocoa Beach's prehistoric past at the eastern Florida coast. The museum also features a children's imagination station, a butterfly garden, exhibitions of the Seminole Indians and peoples of Florida's past, and numerous tour and field trip options.
North Brevard Historical Museum
Established in 1989, the North Brevard Historical Museum chronicles the history of Titusville and the surrounding area. The museum features newspaper archives dating back to 1861 and the attack on Fort Sumter, on up through the “Space Age” and current times.
Admission to the museum is free – where visitors can gather information on the Historic Titusville Walking Tour, view the Guide to Historic Markers, and catch up on their local NASA and North Brevard history. The museum hosts a number of North Brevard Historical Society Events throughout the year as well.
U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame
Opened in 1990, the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame serves to honor American astronauts and showcase space travel memoralbilia. The hall is a part of the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex located on Merritt Island.
There are hands-on and interactive exhibits, as well as tapes of interviews with astronauts before, during, and after their missions. Admission to the museum can be included as part of a Kennedy Space Center admission package for Titusville and Space Coast visitors.
U.S. Space Walk Hall of Fame & Museum
Honoring astronauts, NASA, and those who made American manned space exploration possible, the U.S. Space Walk of Fame is an outdoor plaza on the Indian River in Titusville on the Space Coast. Its monuments are dedicated to the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs, with a Space Shuttle monument planned.
It describes itself as "The first and only Walk in the nation that honors America's astronauts as well as the men and women behind the scenes who helped America lead the world in space exploration and accomplishments." Admission is $5 per person, and children under 15 are free.
American Victory Mariners Memorial & Museum Ship
Located on the Ybor Channel in downtown Tampa, the American Victory Museum & Memorial Ship preserves the SS American Victory, which served as a cargo ship during and after World War II. Today, it now serves as a museum ship and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
One of west central Florida's top attractions, the SS American Victory offers visitors a glimpse into the workings of a historic Victory ship. Take a self-guided tour and see the life and times of a merchant marine vessel and life at sea.
Glazer Childrens Museum
Located alongside the Tampa Riverwalk in downtown Tampa, the Glazer Children's Museum is a unique west central Florida experience. With a focus on visitor experience and educational programming, the museum is a fun destination for both parents and their kids.
Explore over 170 hands-on exhibits and engage your kids through fascinating discovery processes. The museum is divided into multiple-themed areas, including the Engineers Workshop, KidsPort, Firehouse, Central Bank, Vet Clinic, Art Smart, and more.
Tampa Bay History Center
Located on the Garrison Channel in downtown Tampa, the Tampa Bay History Center is one of the largest museums on the west central Florida coast. With over 60,000 square feet of museum and exhibit space, the Tampa Bay History Center's exhibitions cover 12,000 years of Florida history.
Don't miss displays of Florida's first people, European exploration, stories of the Seminole and Miccosukee, and the story of Tampa's cigar industry. Hands-on and interactive displays include a recreation of Tampa's port, managing a cattle ranch, and pioneer games.
Tampa Firefighters Museum
Located in downtown Tampa, the Tampe Firefighters Museum preserves the history, culture, and heritage of the Tampa Fire Department. Located adjacent to Tampa Fire Rescue Station One, the museum covers over 18,000 square feet in a west central Florida historic landmark building.
Built in 1911, the museum was since named a local historic landmark by the City of Tampa Historic Designation Division. Today, visitors explore traveling exhibits and events, including art displays, memorial stands, informative displays, and memorabilia collections.
Tampa Police Museum
Located in downtown Tampa at the Tampa Police headquarters, the Tampa Police Museum seeks to educate the public on police science and processes. Guests can take on guided tours for a glimpse at the history of the Tampa Police Department and its role in the history of the Tampa Bay region.
Explore historically important records, books, and police equipment, all expertly preserved. Visitors can also pay tributes to fallen Tampa Police officers killed in the line of duty and browse the museum's gift shop.