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Courtesy Visit Jacksonville

Key Info

1025 Museum Circle

Details

Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 3.5Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Located across the St. Johns River from downtown Jacksonville, the Museum of Science & History is worth a visit if you've got kids in tow. Although some recent visitors noted that the museum itself is a bit small, many say that it was a big hit with members of the whole family. Displays include information on everything from the ocean to the history of Jacksonville to the human body, and interactive exhibits help keep younger visitors engaged. If your little ones need to get rid of some pent-up energy, you can take them to the museum's KidSpace, a spacious playground designed with kids ages 5 and younger in mind.

If you can, you should catch a show in the planetarium, according to recent travelers. A few past visitors also said the museum's exhibits could benefit from updates, but most agreed this is a good stop for rainy days.

The museum is open every day of the week. From Monday through Thursday, visitors are welcome from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; on Friday, the museum stays open until 8 p.m.; on Saturday, the museum closes at 6 p.m.; and on Sunday, you can visit from noon to 5 p.m. Admission costs $15 for adults and $12 for students, seniors and children ages 3 to 12. Parking is free in lots adjacent to the museum. To learn more, visit the Museum of Science & History's website.

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#1 Amelia Island

About 30 miles northeast of downtown Jacksonville, the relaxed community of Amelia Island draws families in droves with its 13 miles of beaches, historic attractions and laid-back atmosphere. In the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, Amelia Island also provided a safe vacation haven for Jacksonville's Black residents. Florida's first Black millionaire, Abraham Lincoln Lewis, purchased 200 acres of beachfront on Amelia Island and called it American Beach. Here, Black vacationers could enjoy the island without the threat of racial discrimination or violence. In 2002, the beach was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. To learn more about the beach's culture, stories and heritage, consider a visit to the American Beach Museum.

While on the island, you can also learn about pirate lore at the Amelia Island Museum of History, look for alligators and wild horses while on a waterway cruise, hike through Fort George Island Cultural State Park or simply lounge on the sand. Recent visitors particularly recommended laying your towel along the shores of Fernandina Beach, a small community that stretches along the northern part of the barrier island.

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