Maritime Heritage

Florida has one of the longest continuous coastlines in the country with more than 1,260 miles, not to mention the more than 12,000 miles of fishable rivers, streams and canals. Florida’s water resources and transportation along them have influenced many aspects of our culture. In Florida, there are both prehistoric and historic sites located offshore and in rivers and sinkholes - from submerged Native American canoes and habitation sites to the remains of sunken steamboats and schooners.

Some of Florida’s most impressive maritime sites date from the Colonial Period, such as two ships from the first colonization attempt by Spaniard Tristán de Luna, today known as the Emanuel Point and the Emanuel Point located just off shore in Pensacola Bay.  The site is the oldest European shipwrecks known in Florida and the second oldest in the United States.

Lighthouses are another reminder that Florida’s history and development has been guided by the determination of seafarers and those brave enough to face the uncertainty of the sea.  Learn more about the vital importance of these beacons for Florida history by visiting one of Florida’s many preserved lighthouses and museums.

Find out more about one of Florida’s shipwreck trails today:  1733 Spanish Galleon Trail, Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail, Museums in the Sea, Maritime Heritage Trail.

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Citrus County Historical Society - Old Crystal River City Hall

The Old Courthouse Heritage Museum is a cultural center with exhibit galleries on pre-history, local history and rotating exhibits, which is housed in the Historic 1912 Courthouse,... Read More

Region: Central

County: Citrus

City: Crystal River

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DeLand Naval Air Station Museum

A F-14 Tomcat jet fighter is on static display on the East side of the Museum and a WWII TBF Avenger torpedo bomber is currently being restored behind the Museum.

Region: Central

County: Volusia

City: Deland

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Destin History and Fishing Museum

Destin History & Fishing Museum celebrates and documents the history of Destin. The history of the early settlers and the fishing industry come alive thru displays, exhibits, and... Read More

Region: Northwest

County: Okaloosa

City: Destin

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Imaginarium Science Center

Enjoy 60 interactive exhibits that include live animal encounters, hands-on shows and the new 3-D movie, SOS Planet! Discover the Hurricane Experience, forecast the weather, take part... Read More

Region: South

County: Lee

City: Fort Myers

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Mandarin Museum and Historical Society

The mission of the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society is to preserve buildings, artifacts and sites related to the history of Mandarin and its residents. A highlight of the collection... Read More

Region: Northeast

County: Duval

City: Jacksonville

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Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society and Museum

The Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society operates a two thousand square foot conservation laboratory that specializes in conserving underwater archaeological artifacts. This means all... Read More

Region: South

County: Monroe

City: Key West

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Marineland

The world’s first oceanarium and underwater motion picture studio, Marineland opened on June 23, 1938, on a narrow strip of land between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intercoastal Waterway. ... Read More

Region: Northeast

County: Flagler

City: Marineland

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Museum of the Islands

Museum exhibits present the history of the Ten Thousand Islands along the southwest coast of Florida. A mural and period artifacts provide an interpretation of the powerful Calusa culture... Read More

Region: South

County: Lee

City: Pine Island Center

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Marine Science Center

The Marine Science Center offers a wide variety of programs and activities for children and adults throughout the year. Students young and old can discover the many wonders of marine... Read More

Region: Central

County: Volusia

City: Ponce Inlet

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Cape Canaveral Lighthouse

The Cape Canaveral Lighthouse has stood on the cape for over 150 years, having been constructed and first lighted in 1848.  The lighthouse was designed to be 151 feet tall. Its... Read More

Region: Central

County: Brevard

City: Cape Canaveral

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