Best Jacksonville Museums
front exterior of museum with palms and space mural at museum of science and history jacksonville

Are you as excited about discovering the history of Jacksonville, Florida’s most populous city and its many museums as we are? From art galleries to the Museum of Science and History, there is something for everyone to explore in this vibrant city. Just because it isn’t overflowing with tourist attractions like some cities doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of amazing things to do around here! So if you’re ready for an educational experience while having fun in sunny Jacksonville — look no further. In this blog post, we’ll tell you all about the best Jacksonville museums that will make your trip even more memorable!

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

As soon as you step onto the museum’s picturesque grounds, you’re transported to a tranquil oasis, perfect for escaping the stress of everyday life. The museum’s collections range from European masterpieces to contemporary art, and whether you’re an art lover or just appreciate beauty, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. And of course, the stunning gardens are not to be missed. With over 2.5 acres of formal gardens along the banks of the St. Johns River, you’ll be amazed by the peacefulness and beauty of the landscape. The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is truly a must-see destination for new visitors to Jacksonville, or for anyone who needs a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Fort Caroline National Memorial

Welcome to Fort Caroline National Memorial, where history comes to life! This national park and museum is a treasure trove of fascinating information and artifacts from the earliest days of European colonization in North America. As you explore the site, you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time to the 16th century, when French Huguenots founded a settlement here. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about America’s past, there’s something here for everyone to enjoy. So come and discover the rich history of Fort Caroline National Memorial for yourself!

Hands On Children’s Museum

Looking for an interactive experience that the whole family can enjoy? Look no further than the Hands On Children’s Museum! With over 150 exhibits designed for kids of all ages, this museum offers an unparalleled opportunity for discovery and exploration. Whether your child is fascinated by marine life, transportation, or outer space, they’ll find something to pique their interest here. And with so many hands-on activities and immersive experiences available, they’ll have a blast while learning about the world around them. So why wait? Bring your family down to the Hands On Children’s Museum today and discover the joys of experiential learning together!

two red rings sculpture at cummer museum of art gardens jacksonville

Kingsley Plantation

The Kingsley Plantation is one of the most well-preserved historic sites in Florida. This plantation was once home to numerous enslaved Africans, who worked to cultivate the land and produce crops. Today, the area has been transformed into an engaging museum that welcomes visitors from all over the world. Explore the grounds of the plantation, including the restored plantation house and other historic structures. While you’re here, you’ll get a glimpse into the lives of the people who lived and worked on this land, and you’ll discover the rich history that shaped this part of Florida.

MOSH (Museum of Science & History)

Welcome to the Museum of Science and History in Downtown Jacksonville, where science and history come together to provide an exciting and educational experience for visitors of all ages! Here, you’ll find plenty of things to do and explore. Start your journey by discovering the wonders of space in our planetarium. Then, get hands-on in our interactive exhibits, where you can check out fossils, learn about the human body, and even experience what life was like during the age of the dinosaur. Don’t forget to take a stroll through our Florida Naturalist’s Center and check out the marine life in our aquarium! With so much to see and do at the MOSH, you and your family are guaranteed to have an unforgettable visit.

Museum of Southern History

Welcome to the Museum of Southern History, where you can embark on a journey through the rich culture, history, and traditions of the American South. The exhibits feature artifacts, documents, and multimedia that bring to life the story of the region. From the Civil War and Reconstruction to the modern era, you’ll gain new insight into the struggles and successes of the South’s past. The friendly staff is always on hand to answer any questions and provide insightful commentary on exhibits. Stop by today to explore the sights and sounds of the South as you’ve never seen it before!

MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art)

At MOCA in Jacksonville, the contemporary art world comes to life in a place where art is all about imagination and creativity. Exhibits span a wide range of media and ideas, featuring work from both emerging and established artists. MOCA strives to inspire and connect its visitors with the world of contemporary art in a friendly and approachable way. With a rotating schedule of exhibitions, there is always something new and exciting to experience. So whether you’re a long-time art enthusiast or a curious first-time visitor, come explore the dynamic and ever-evolving world of contemporary art at MOCA in Jacksonville!

street front entrance with abstract colorful sculpture at museum of contemporary art jacksonville

Mandarin Museum & Historical Society

History comes to life at the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society! This quaint museum is rich in fascinating exhibits and archival collections that will take you on a fascinating journey through time. They aim to preserve and showcase the exciting history and culture of the Mandarin community, from its roots as a small citrus farming village to the vibrant suburban neighborhood it is today. With knowledgeable docents and volunteers, you’re sure to learn something new every time you visit. Their friendly staff looks forward to welcoming you and your family to experience the history of Mandarin in a truly engaging way.

Ritz Theatre & Museum

If you’re looking for a glimpse into the vibrant cultural scene of Jacksonville, then you simply must visit the Ritz Theatre & Museum. This iconic venue has been a cornerstone of local art and culture for over 100 years and offers visitors a chance to explore the rich history and diverse traditions that have shaped Jacksonville’s artistic landscape. The Ritz has been a cornerstone of the African-American community and arts for decades. It was one of the few places where African Americans could hold public events during segregation. Today, it’s a vibrant hub for music, dance, theater, and community gatherings. With its well-preserved architecture, interactive exhibits, and busy events calendar, the Ritz Theatre & Museum is a must-see destination for those interested in Jacksonville’s rich cultural heritage.

Beaches Museum

Nestled among the bustling beach towns of the Jacksonville area is a hidden treasure trove of history and culture at the Beaches Museum. This local gem is not your typical stuffy museum, it’s an immersive experience that brings the vibrant local community to life. The Beaches Museum showcases the rich heritage of the area, from its native tribes to the golden age of the Florida beach resorts, in a way that is both informative and approachable. Through engaging exhibits and interactive programs, visitors can learn about everything from local sea creature habitats to the colorful past of Atlantic Beach. Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for things to do near the beach, the Beaches Museum has something for everyone.


From downtown cultural centers to historic parks, Jacksonville is a city of many wonders and boasts an abundance of activities for any kind of traveler. Its museums, in particular, are filled with unique beauty and inspiring stories that every history-lover should experience. With so many fun things to do, you and your family will need more than one day to explore all that this vibrant North Florida city has to offer. Make sure you check out our Jacksonville Travel Guide for more information on all of these amazing museums and how you can make the most out of your time in this charming city.