Top Orlando Museums
Planning a vacation to Orlando? Our insiders put together a list of top Orlando museums that you should consider adding to your itinerary.
Orlando is home to a thriving museum culture that offers a variety of specialties and topics worth exploring such as art, culture, architecture, history, and wildlife.
Make the most of your time in Orlando by visiting some of its unique and inspiring museums.
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Explore an expertly curated collection of works by Salvador Dalí, an eccentric, surrealist, Spanish artist. The museum is home to key works from each period and every medium Dalí explored during his career.
Art enthusiasts will get a thrill when they take in “The Disintigration of Persistence of Memory” which includes an example of his iconic melting watch challenging society’s dependence on clocks and concerns with time and “The Ecumenical Council”, which includes a self-portrait of Dalí inspired by Velázquez’s famous “Las Meninas”.
Visitors will enjoy strolling through the building itself, designed by Yann Weymouth of HOK. The structure channels surrealism in its design and pays homage to the dome that adorns Salvador Dalí’s museum in Spain.
The “mathematical garden” set on the serene waterfront, allows visitors to explore the relationship between math and nature that fascinated Salvador Dalí.
Insider tip: Grab a light breakfast or lunch at the museum’s Café Gala, named after Dali’s wife, for a taste of authentic Spanish cuisine.
A short distance from Orlando, the Kennedy Space Center takes you to new heights. The operating NASA launch headquarters is located on an impressive wildlife refuge 8 times the size of Manhattan.
The Kennedy Space Center hosts millions of visitors each year that come to tour the launch and landing facilities, experience interactive simulators, see live shows, and get up-close with massive rockets and NASA astronauts.
The Space Center features an IMAX theater, the Astronaut Hall of Fame, and several engaging attractions like Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted. You'll also find lots of space-themed on-site dining options.
The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) is a non-profit educational resource located in Tampa and dedicated to advancing public interest, knowledge, and understanding of science, industry, and technology.
MOSI is home to more than 450 interactive S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) based, hands-on exhibits and programs that people of all ages will enjoy.
Take your turn pedaling a bicycle on a one-inch cable suspended 30 feet in the air, lie on a bed of nail in the Kids in Charge exhibit, and more.
Walk through “the greatest Titanic room re-creations in existence” and learn about the most tragically famous shipwreck in history. Visitors will be able to tour various rooms, suites, boilers, and decks.
Trained actors in period costumes will help transport guests back in time with tales of the ship and crew.
This exhibition includes over 200 artifacts and historical pieces, including movie memorabilia from the James Cameron Titanic film.
You better believe this is the most bizarre museum you'll ever set foot in. From the minute you walk up to the Odditorium, which looks like it's falling into a Florida sinkhole, prepare for some wacky surprises.
Explore an unbelievable variety of artifacts, exhibits, and displays in 16 unique galleries devoted to the peculiar.
Among the tons of displays, you'll see an actual human shrunken head, an Egyptian mummy, a two-headed calf, and a Rolls Royce made from more than one million match sticks.
Harry P. Leu Gardens & Leu House Museum
Enjoy 50 acres of an exquisite botanical oasis just outside downtown Orlando. The Harry P. Leu Gardens and Leu House Museum serves as Orlando’s only historic home open to the public.
Named after its last owner, Mr. Leu and his wife were horticulture enthusiasts who travelled extensively collecting plants and seeds for their garden creating a legacy meant to inspire the public to understand plants and be inspired by nature.
Visitors will appreciate a tour of the plantation style estate that offers insight into its 19th cotton and sugar cane farming days. Highlights include the Butterfly Garden, permanent and temporary art exhibits, The Garden House (the entrance, meeting place, and art gallery), a gift shop, and the Leu House Museum, a the meticulously restored farmhouse.
The Gardens offer guided or self-guided tours, access to the reference library, and horticulture workshops for children and adults.
The Mennello Museum of American Art
Located just north of downtown Orlando on the shore of Lake Formosa is The Mennello Museum of American Art.
The Mennello Museum of American Art showcases changing exhibitions featuring American art of all styles and periods, including travelling shows. Housed in a building that was once the private home of Howard Phillips, this intimate museum is home to the largest collection of paintings by self-taught artist Earl Cunningham.
Visitors will also enjoy the lakeside sculpture garden which plays host to the annual Orlando Folk Festival.
Orange County Regional History Center
Situated in the masterfully restored 1927 Orange County Courthouse, the History Center is consistently ranked the top museum in Orlando.
The 5-floor attraction tells the story of 12,000 years of central Florida history and how this region made the transition from a small town of citrus groves and cattle ranches to the thriving metropolis it is today.
The museum is home to extensive collections of the Historical Society of Central Florida, Inc. and features fascinating permanent exhibits that explore the region’s natural environment, first people, aviation, and more.
Visitors will enjoy testing out household items such as a butter churn at the Pioneer Cracker Home exhibit and learning about the role Walt Disney World played in making Orlando a tourist-centric community.
This vibrant Center is full of hands-on history for all ages to enjoy.
Orlando Museum of Art
This top quality art museum is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. It features treasures in art and architecture spanning the globe from the 19th century to the present.
Upon entry, you'll be fascinated by Dale Chihuly's glass Cobalt & Citron Tower standing 20-feet high, drawing your eye toward the glass skylight above... and that's just the beginning.
The Orlando Museum of Art has the most comprehensive collection of African art and art of the ancient Americas in the entire Southeast.
Visitors will enjoy the museum’s display of 20th century contemporary print collections with works from iconic artists such as Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, Bryan Hunt, Lesley Dill, Katherine Bowling, Jane Frielicher and more.
Orlando Science Center
One of America’s top hands-on science centers, the Orlando Science Center inspires curiosity and exploration with fun, engaging exhibits for visitors of all ages. Become a meteorologist for the day at the Severe Weather Center or take to the air in the F1-11 and F-16 flight simulators.
This innovative museum features a giant screen domed theater for films and planetarium shows, 4 floors of exhibits, an observatory, and much more.
Insider tip: Visit the museum on a weekend to check out cool events, like Laser Light shows and The Science of Wine.
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
This art museum is famous for housing the most comprehensive collection of work by Louis Comfort Tiffany, including Tiffany jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, leaded glass windows, the iconic lamps, the chapel interior he designed for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and art and architectural objects from his Long Island country estate, Laurelton Hall.
The museum’s galleries also hold major collections of American art from the 19th and 20th centuries. Educational and entertaining films, lectures, family programs, music performances, and temporary exhibitions are all regular features as well.
Stop by the Museum Shop to pick up exclusive merchandise inspired by the works of Louis Comfort Tiffany.
The world's largest dinosaur attraction is the perfect place for children to roam representations of a pre-historic earth. This outdoor museum setting features over 150 life-size dinosaurs and provides endless opportunities for fun and learning. Sift through sand in search of authentic fossils at "Fossil Dig," ride a triceratops on the playground, or eat lunch picnic-style in the Caves.
After walking through the "Skeleton Garden," make sure you stop in the gift shop to pick-up some unique souvenirs, like fossils and dinosaur eggs.