Jacksonville Museums

There are lots of fun things to do in Jacksonville, Florida, and visiting the area museums is among the most popular. This is especially true on rainy days, when some of the other top activities might not be so ideal. Finding a museum in Jacksonville that interests you shouldn't be hard, especially when you look both inside and outside the city boundaries. Many of the best Jacksonville museums focus on history, while others are devoted to art, and you can also learn about science when making the rounds. Visiting at least one museum in Jacksonville is recommended during your trip, especially if you have some time to work with.

One of the more popular museums in Jacksonville is the Jacksonville Maritime Museum, which can be found on the city's south bank Riverwalk, just across from the Landing. As the name implies, this museum offers insight into Jacksonville's maritime history, and since it is relatively small, it should fit nicely on the itinerary. Not far from the Jacksonville Maritime Museum, you can find both the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens (pictured) and the Museum of Science and History, which is commonly referred to as MOSH. The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens is arguably the best art museum in Jacksonville, though some might argue that point, as the Museum of Contemporary Art, or MOCA, is also of considerable quality. You'll find the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, which was formerly known as the Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art, in Hemming Plaza, which is the city's main square. This square is often the site for live music performances, especially when the Jacksonville Jazz Festival is in full swing.

As for the Museum of Science and History, it is the most highly visited of the Jacksonville museums. Part of the reason for this is the fact that it caters to both adults and kids. The interactive exhibits here are bound to please, especially "Currents of Time" and "Atlantic Trails." The former is an exhibit that offers insight into 12,000 years of northeastern Florida history, while the latter covers the various mammals that inhabit the regional waterways. MOSH offers educational programs, camps, and workshops, which you might be tempted to sign up for during your Jacksonville vacation. You can always look to take advantage of the museum's birthday party packages as well.

The Jacksonville museums listed thus far are among the top ones in the city, but they aren't the only ones that you should consider adding to your Jacksonville vacation agenda. Some of the Jacksonville Parks, such as the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, essentially double as museums, thanks to their historical attractions. For those who want to learn more about Jacksonville history, and Florida history on the whole, the Kingsley Plantation is not to be missed. Should you be heading up to Amelia Island while in the Jacksonville area, dropping by the Amelia Island Museum of History is sure to please if you consider yourself a history buff. Amelia Island boasts a fascinating past, and you can learn all about it at the island's history museum, which can be found in the historic seaport village of Fernandina Beach.

Whether you visit a museum in Jacksonville or one outside of the city boundaries, the experience is likely to be among the highlights of your Jacksonville area escape. If nothing else, it can at least add some extra depth to your itinerary. Most of the area museums are well priced, so they should fit into the budget, and you'll do well to check the schedules for days when admission might be free. At the Museum of Contemporary Art, for example, families get in free on Sundays.

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