Florida Guide > Other Florida
The South Florida Museum
The South Florida Museum is situated in Bradenton on Floridas Gulf Coast. Alongside the more conventional museum is a planetarium and Manatee refuge.
The planetarium presentation is held in a domed building to the left of the museum. You fully recline your seats to watch this informative digital show which brings the heavens to life.
The indoor manatee exhibit is to the right of the museum and holds 3 manatees in mammal luxury. These are damaged manatees who are being nursed back to health to be eventually released. The facility holds an impressive 60000 gallons of water and up to this point 14 manatees have been helped back to health.
It is the motor boats that are the scourge of these gentle creatures and the scars you see are the evidence. There are regular presentations given by the keepers several times a day.
Now to the museum: it houses several themed exhibits. For instance, there is a good display that tracks life from the pleistocene to the present day.
Then a most interesting series of medical displays with medical equipment from many eras. There is also a re created doctors surgery, a basic operating theatre and a pharmacy. This exhibition makes you rather glad that you were not around and in ill health in those far off days!
In another area, 20000 objects are shown covering textiles, geology and decorative arts. These are nicely dispalyed in glass cabinets and sliding drawers that suddenly offer up more exciting objects.
Yet another area covers American politics and tracks every election. This is a fascinating trip through American governments.
Lots of talks and demonstrations are held here on a regular basis so you could well be lucky and visit on such a day.
Entrance is around $15; you can print a discount coupon from their website or of course they are in many of the tourist leaflets that are ubiquitous in these areas. Also, at the moment of writing, you receive free entry if you take the city seg way tour.
For those of you that like to shop, there is a good shop on your way out. Parking seems to be pretty easy (on a week day anyway)
This museum will hold your interest for at leat half a day and is a good rainy day choice. However, if it is fine, you could always visit one of the near by beaches after you are finished.
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