The South Florida Museum is a great resource to learn about our state's history. Located in Bradenton, the museum is the largest exhibition of natural and cultural history on Florida's Gulf Coast.

The museum takes attendees on a journey through Florida history, starting with Pleistocene times. You can see fossils from the earliest mammals and marine species in the state as well as other archaeological artifacts. 

There is also an environmental wing of the South Florida Museum featuring the ecology and biodiversity of Florida's Pine Uplands and Riverine Galleries. There are always a variety of rotating exhibits, making sure that any return trip feels like a new adventure. 

In addition, the museum features a digital planetarium and aquarium. The Bishop Planetarium has a Digistar 5 dual projection system that allows you to explore the Earth through 200 continually-updated satellite data sets of the planet. 

The Parker Manatee Aquarium holds 60,000 gallons of water and includes the medical pool. While there, the manatees are able to maintain natural feeding behaviors and will eventually be released back into the wild once they are properly rehabilitated. 

Overall, the aquarium has taken care of 36 manatees since 1998, and they currently have three under their supervision. There is also a full daily schedule of programs and films to view at the planetarium and the aquarium. 

The South Florida Museum originally opened in 1947 and primarily featured the Montague Tallant collection, which is still in their possession today. Tallant's extensive collection features aboriginal pottery and tools. 

The planetarium opened in 1988 and received a major renovation in 2005. The aquarium opened in 1993 and became known for housing Snooty, a manatee who was born in captivity and lived to be 69 until passing away in 2017. 

The museum is closed on Mondays, open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets for adults are $19, seniors 65+ are $17, and children four to 12 get in for $14. 

Whether you're taking your family, a group of students, or date, the South Florida Museum makes for a fun day of exploration and adventure, and you'll learn something new while you're there, too.

Find more fun things to do in Bradenton by registering on 941area, your free guide to everything in the Sarasota and Bradenton area.


Cover photo courtesy of PxHere