One of the highlights of a trip to Gainesville is always a visit to the Florida Museum of Natural History. The museum is located on the western edge of the University of Florida campus, in the same complex as the Harn Museum of Art and the Phillips Performing Arts Center.
The museum is easy to reach, as it’s just a block off 34th Street, midway between University Avenue and Archer Road (both roads have access to I-75). The museum’s hours are 10AM-5PM, Monday to Saturday and 1PM to 5PM on Sunday. The museum closes only 3 days a year–Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, making it an excellent destination for families and children. Admission to the museum and the exhibits is free, but there’s an extra charge of $13 for the Butterfly Rainforest (It’s worth it!).
Florida Museum of Natural History
University of Florida Cultural Plaza
3215 Hull Road
Gainesville, FL 32611-2710
A full mastodon skeleton greets visitors to the Florida Museum of Natural History!
The history of Florida’s Native Americans is shown in many dioramas and exhibits.
Florida is home to many natural wonders, new and old. The museum features excellent exhibits featuring Florida’s past and present–from megalodon to mastodon to mangrove!
The Thompson Discovery Zone will keep the kids occupied for hours, learning about Florida history, nature, and the environment.
A trip to the Florida Museum of Natural History can be one of the highlights of a visit to Natural North Florida. Our advice is to allow a full day to see the museum, then head out into our 14-county region to see our natural wonders (springs, rivers, fishing villages) first-hand. Gainesville is also a good place to hang your hat while visiting the area. You’ll find a full range of lodging opportunities and excellent dining near the museum complex.
Finally….don’t forget to spend some time in the Butterfly Rainforest at the museum!