South Florida Museum
South Florida Museum is the largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The museum interprets the region from the Pleistocene to the present. Highlights include fossil evidence of Florida’s earliest mammals and marine species and the Montague Tallant collection of prehistoric and early post-contact archeological artifacts. Recently opened is the Environmental Wing focusing on Florida’s ecology and bio-diversity in the Pine Uplands and Riverine Galleries.
Other exhibits cover local maritime traditions, early 20th-century medical practices and Spanish exploration in the New World. Spanish Plaza has full-scale replicas of a 16th-century manor house, chapel and conquistador Hernando DeSoto’s birthplace.
Parker Manatee Aquarium
The Parker Manatee Aquarium is part of Florida’s Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership, having served as a temporary home to 33 rehabilitating manatees since 1998.