Five of Florida's Most Beautiful Museums & Gardens

Laurens Travels
Inside Ca' d'ZanPhoto byLauren's Travels

Listen, I get it: when you think of Florida, the first things that might come to mind are gorgeous beaches, natural springs, and theme parks. However, I'm here to tell you about some amazing sights in Florida that you may be missing out on: our stunning museums and gardens. Take a look at the following list of Florida museums and find one that fits your style.

The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Ca' d'Zan - Sarasota, FL

No matter how many times I visit the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota , there is always something new to discover. While you might expect to see historical circus costumes at the Ringling, first timers may be unaware of the stunning art museum and mansion on these grounds. Let's start at the iconic Renaissance-style art gallery, which opened in 1930.
Inside the GalleryPhoto byLauren's Travels

From the beginning of their relationship, John and Mable Ringling appreciated art. Their wealth allowed them access to auction houses where they started to grow their collection of fine art and furniture. At the Ringling museum, you can browse the 21 galleries which are home to Late Medieval, Greek, Roman and Early Renaissance artworks. You can also step outside to browse reproductions of famous sculptures.
Standing in front of a David of Michelangelo replicaPhoto byLauren's Travels

Behind the art museum is Ca' d'Zan, the Ringling mansion, which overlooks the Sarasota Bay. While the building itself is 36,000 feet and five stories high, you can only explore the first floor (which is impressive in its own right). As you make your way through the mansion, you are met with colorful stained glass doors, intricate mosaic ceilings and furniture fit for royalty. (Imagine the parties they must have had here!) Outside of the Ringling mansion is a rose garden, which was started by Mable herself.
Mable Ringling Rose GardenPhoto byLauren's Travels

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art - Winter Park, FL

Although the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is the smallest museum on this list, there’s still a lot to see!

This museum was founded in 1942 by Jeanette Genius McQueen who dedicated the museum to her grandfather, Charles Hosmer Morse (philanthropist and Chicago industrialist). While there are several different galleries to visit here, you'll mostly find works from Louis Comfort Tiffany.
Transom, c. 1905. found inside Morse MuseumPhoto byLauren's Travels

Laurelton Hall was Tiffany's Long Island home, which was built in the early 1900's but succumbed to a fire in 1957. There are restored pieces from the home here, including The Daffodil Terrace. The Tiffany Chapel is breathtaking, with "six ornately carved plaster arches, 16 mosaic columns, a 1,000-pound, 10-by-8-foot electrified chandelier, or ‘electrolier,’ in the shape of a cross, a marble and white glass mosaic altar, a dome-shaped baptismal font, and several windows." One of my favorite areas is where all the Tiffany lamps are on display, showcasing their intricacy, delicacy, and rare beauty.
Tiffany LampsPhoto byLauren's Travels

Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens - Delray Beach, FL
Part of Roji-en: The Garden of the Drops DewPhoto byLauren's Travels

It's hard to believe that, in the early 1900's, Japanese settlers came to the Delray Beach area to start a farming colony called Yamato (ancient term for Japan). While the colony never went past 35 people, the importance of sharing Japanese culture never went away.

The Morikami gardens were built in 1977 and, over the years, grew to include an art museum, the Cornell Cafe and, of course, a gift shop. To truly enjoy the beauty of this spot, you must stroll through all six of the unique gardens. It’s easy to feel complete zen while you admire the Bonsai Collection on the many strolling paths. (Tip: Don't forget your camera!)
Bridge through the trees.Photo byLauren's Travels

Henry Morrison Flagler Museum - Palm Beach, FL
Entrance of Flagler MuseumPhoto byLauren's Travels

Henry Flagler has an impressive biography (which you can read here) and an even more impressive museum. Located near the beach, this railroad pioneer's home honors the Greek God Apollo with its design and architecture. Tour wands are given upon arrival to give you an audio-led tour or guests can download the museum's app for additional narration. While visiting the Flagler Museum, guests can browse the many bedrooms and take in the magnificent ballroom, all in a Gilded Age style.
Inside the Flagler MansionPhoto byLauren's Travels

Next door to the Whitehall mansion is the Flagler Kenan Pavilion, which has an enormous glass ceiling. There is a cafe connected to the establishment, but it is a bit costly for a prix-fixe menu. (Hint: The full-size train inside the Pavillion makes for a fun photo!)
Flagler Kenan PavilionPhoto byLauren's Travels

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens - Miami, FL

Built between 1914 and 1922, this sprawling Mediterranean-style home is tucked away from the city overlooking Biscayne Bay. During each of my visits to the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, I've seen photoshoots of every celebration, proving just how captivating and lovely the grounds are. The charm and beauty of this stunning site welcomes you upon arrival.
Coral GardensPhoto byLauren's Travels

The main house of the museum has 54 rooms (20 of which aren't available to the public) and measures just over 45,000 square feet. There are 9 guest bedrooms, all of which are named after individuals or different design styles. But one of my favorite parts of the grounds is the barge right outside, helping to shield the grounds from rough waters. (Hint: Online tickets are required ahead of your visit.)
By the bargePhoto byLauren's Travels

These unique and beautiful destinations are just waiting for you to visit them. If you are a fan of museums and gardens, then Florida has many to show you. Have you visited any of these locations? Feel free to share your thoughts!

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I've been creating travel content for over three years but have loved travel all my life. Excited to share my journeys with you! Expect to see: +Budget Travel Options +Theme Parks +Day Trip Ideas in Florida And much more!

Orlando, FL

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