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South Florida Museum, Bradenton

4.5
#3 of 38 in Museums in Southwest Gulf Coast
Specialty Museum Museum
Immerse yourself in the history of the state's Gulf Coast at South Florida Museum, where the story of the shoreline comes to life through artifacts, the stars, and the water. The planetarium reveals the story of the stars, and the aquarium tells the story of the waters with living displays. The latter houses a manatee habitat with viewing windows and a manatee rescue and rehabilitation center. The building and grounds combine three attractions, so consider a rest in the Spanish Plaza--an internal courtyard--in between sites to maintain your stamina. Plan to visit South Florida Museum and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Bradenton attractions using our Bradenton vacation planner.
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Where to stay in Bradenton

Resorts and hotels near the water offer quick access to the beach. Consider a stay near the Village of the Arts or in the downtown area to be near the town's cultural offerings and restaurants.
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668 reviews
Google
4.6
  • You're basically getting 3 attractions in 1: a museum, an aquarium, and a planetarium- and they're all included in the ticket price. There is such variety in the exhibits, too. History, nature, medici...  more »
  • What a great museum & planetarium. I was fascinated & took loads of photos. The history of the area & the displays were pretty lifelike(impressive) and of course Snooty the manatee & 3 rescue manatees...  more »
  • This place is great. The planetarium programs are amazing. See Snooty, the oldest manatee in captivity, eat lettuce. Florida is taken through all prehistoric eras.  more »
Google
  • Very up to date building. Very nice small town museum. Planetarium is state of the art. Well worth the money. My wife, myself and two teenagers spent 5 hours there and could have stayed longer. We all Love Snooty
  • Very nice place! Has a amazing variety of natural and historical pieces to view. I especially enjoyed the planetarium. Very knowledgeable speakers. They also support rescued manatees that are cared for and have a great home. You can observe them while they feed them. I would visit again?
  • The kids were more than entertained to explore the museum and hear all about the Manatees and their rehabilitation. The educator was extremely knowledgeable and so obviously passionate about her work. So very glad we were able to include this in our vacation!
  • It was so fun. Planetarium show was intriguing, fun and mind-blowing. The manatees were so cute, fun and had interesting facts and history behind them. The fossils and meteorites were impressive. The Native American things were incredible. My favorite was the gas mask from WWI. Overall amazing experience!!
  • Great place, lots of history and stuff to look at. Planetarium was fantastic. Loved seeing Snooty the manatee and other manatees they are helping rehabilitate to get back into the wild.