12 Southwest Florida Museums to Visit

Are you heading to Florida? Chances that you are going for the sunshine, beaches and other things, especially if you have kids. But if you are looking for something a bit more educational to do, there are a lot of great museums that you can go to, especially in the southwest of Florida. Below are 12 museums that you can visit.

12. Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium

This museum sits in Fort Myers on 105 acres and it’s home to a planetarium, 3 nature trails, picnic areas and bird and butterfly aviaries. This features educational and environmental programs such as live animal shows, a children’s laser show, planetarium shows and a nature laboratory.

11. Edison-Ford Winter Estates

Here you will find botanical gardens on 21 acres and 9 historic buildings. You’ll find the historic Edison Ford Museum as well as the Botanic Research Laboratory, where many inventions and artifacts are held. The estates offer various tours for people of all ages and special exhibits.

10. Imag History and Science Center

This used to be two different things – Southwest Florida Museum of History and Imaginarium Science Center, but the two have merged to create one center. It’s a complex which has a museum which is hands-on along with an aquarium, featuring a lot of animals such as iguanas, pythons and alligators. They also have a touch tank, dinosaur exhibit, kid zone and weather station.

9. Lee County Black Historical Society

There’s a museum that is operated by this historical society in the central part of Fort Myers, and it offers visitors a look at the life of African-Americans in the area. The museum’s found inside a building that is itself a part of history – the William Academy’s 1942 addition. It was the first school that was government-funded in Fort Myers for students who are black.

8. Mound House

The Mound House has been named as the most ancient standing structure in Estero Island. Its name comes from the fact that it’s sitting on a Calusa Indian Mound. It’s an environmental and cultural learning center, offering a lot of programs such as boat tours of Mound Key, demonstrations of Caloosa Carvers and kayak tours.

7. Baker Museum at Artis—Naples

This is where you’ll find the very well-known Baker Museum where 15 galleries hold a diverse art collection. The focus of the museum is contemporary and modern fine arts, however they also host a lot of travel exhibitions which complement their permanent collections. It provides educational opportunities by way of their series of lectures for the diversified community in Southwest Florida.

6. Collier County Museum

Here you will go back in time and learn about the civilization of Calusa Indians that came here long before the explorers. Here you’re going to experience the way that first settlers lived their daily lives when they came here centuries ago. The displays cover 10,000 square feet and there’s an exhibit room that travels.

5. Holocaust Museum of Southwest Florida

This museum teaches the lessons and history of the terrible time known as the Holocaust. It provides educational activities and programs to students regarding the Holocaust. The programs include artifacts, a library, traveling exhibits, pictures, and a memorial to Anne Frank.

4. Immokalee Pioneer Museum

The Immokalee Pioneer Museum was the original home of Robert Roberts, who was a cattleman and it’s found in Immokalee. It’s South Florida’s cattle ranch that’s run the longest and it gives its visitors the chance to see what life on pioneer homestead was like back in the early 18th century. There are twenty original buildings and they tell the story of ranchers, cow hunters and pioneer families.

3. Marco Island Historical Museum

This museum has informative displays that show the life of the Calusa Indians. The thing that it’s best known for is the Key Marco Cat, and the museum offers traveling exhibits which teach the visitors about the early pioneers of the island. It also created an incredible village scene which recreated the Calusa Indians’ vanished life.

2. Naples Depot Museum

This museum’s in the restored passenger station of the Seaboard Air Line Railway. It was used during the famous Roaring Twenties, demonstrating the changing transportation and technology generations in the southwestern part of Florida. There are a lot of interactive exhibits here and they explain travel advancement in southwestern Florida. You will also find the well-known Naples Train Museum here.

1. The Revs Institute

Here is where you’ll find one of the biggest automotive history archives. Here car aficionados will find some of the rarest and oldest innovations automotive history has to offer. There’s 3 floors housing over 100 automobiles which have been restored and they all were built in between 1896 – 1995. There are many people who come to visit this museum, so you want to make sure that you are purchasing your tickets prior to visiting.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for something interesting and educational to do when you’re in southwest Florida, there are plenty of museums for you to visit. Whether you like nature, history, or cars, there is something for everyone. Come to southwest Florida and learn something interesting about the area.

Planning a Trip to Florida?

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