There are 26 aviation museums in the state of Florida, so if aviation is a passion of yours and you love looking at old airplanes and other artifacts, these museums are where you need to be. Each museum is different, but they are all devoted to everything related to the space industry and airplanes in general, which means visiting one needs to be on your to-do list.
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The museums found throughout North America are not just there for you to enjoy looking at old airplanes, because they provide dozens of opportunities to learn about air and space and to view some very interesting artifacts, some of which include old space suits, replicas of planes that no longer exist, and tons of old photographs for you to view and enjoy.
Through the items found in these museums, you can have a close-up look at everything from old military uniforms to documents used by both military and civilian pilots from different eras. In fact, many of the museums specialize in artifacts from a specific war or a certain branch of the military, which makes them especially interesting to veterans and those interested in the military.
Like all other states, Florida has numerous museums dedicated to the air and space industry, so regardless of where you live in the state, you should be able to find a museum to learn from and enjoy. Below is a list of these museums.
1. Air Force Space and Missile Museum (Cape Canaveral AFS)
You can tour this museum via a bus tour that runs from Thursday through Sunday. Each tour takes roughly 2.5 hours and lets you see not only the museum, but also several parts of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station that are of interest to the public. The museum also houses rockets, missiles, and other types of space equipment.
2. DeLand NAS Museum (DeLand)
Dedicated to the DeLand NAS and its activities during World War II, the museum is open Wednesday through Sunday and is free to enter, although donations are encouraged. It also houses planes such as the Bell OH-13E Sioux, Lockheed RT-33A, and the Sikorsky HO5S-1.
3. Air Force Armament Museum (Eglin AFB)
Open every day except Monday, the museum is free to visit and includes a gift shop. There are dozens of airplanes and drones to see, some of which include the North American F-100C Super Sabre, McDonnell Douglas RF-4C Phantom II, Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, and the Republic-Ford JB-2 Loon drone, among others.
4. Museum of Discovery and Science (Fort Lauderdale)
Open daily throughout most of the year, this museum contains not only a great way to get educated about space, but also numerous artifacts to enjoy, which include airplane simulators, rockets, and runways, to name a few. There is also a great gift shop to enjoy.
5. Southwest Florida Museum of Discovery (Fort Myers)
The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday and contains a gift shop for getting that perfect souvenir at the end of your visit. There are numerous artifacts to see, one of which is the Bell P-39N Airacobra, which was recovered from a website and is currently on display.
6. National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum (Fort Pierce)
The Navy UDT-SEAL museum is open every day except for Monday and is the only museum in the world exclusively dedicated to the Naval Special Warfare’s elite warriors. It is also home to the Bell UH-1B Iroquois and the Sikorsky MH-60K Black Hawk.
7. US Military Airpower Museum (Jacksonville)
This museum opened in 2018, and it contains many interesting artifacts and items of interest to aviation and military buffs, including the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk cockpit and the Northrop Grumman OV-1B Mohawk. It can be reached at www.usmapmuseum.org.
8. Memorial Air Park/Air Command Museum (Hurlburt Field)
Open daily throughout most of the year and offering free admission, this museum is home to a few dozen aircraft, including the Fairchild C-123K Provider, Sikorsky H-3E Jolly Green Giant, Cessna O-1E Bird Dog, and the Lockheed MC-130H Spectre, to name a few.
9. Warbird Adventures/Kissimmee Air Station (Kissimmee)
Open every day except Sunday most days of the year, this museum contains an impressive collection of aircraft that includes the Hiller UH-21D, Cessna L-19 Birddog, Vans RV-6A, and the North American P-51 XR Mustang, among others.
10. Florida Air Museum SUN’n’FUN Air Museum (Lakeland)
This museum is open every day except for Sunday and has a very large collection of airplanes to view and study, including the DGA1-A Sportfire, Bowers Fly Baby 1A, Jeffair Barracuda, Palmer Sunshine Clipper, and the Smyth Sidewinder, among others.
11. EAA Air Museum (Marathon)
Located at Marathon General Aviation, the museum houses aircraft that includes the Cessna 172, Waco UPF-7, Beech C-45G Expeditor, and the Douglas DC-3A Skytrain.
12. Brevard Veterans Memorial Center and Museum (Merritt Island)
This museum is free to enter and open daily throughout most of the year. Its main goal is to honor US veterans, and it includes a variety of both permanent and temporary exhibits. It is home to the Bell AH-1F Cobra, Chance Vought A-7E Corsair II, and the Bell UH-1H Iroquois. It also offers rental space to various veterans and other groups, and sponsors regular and ongoing activities designed just for veterans.
13. Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex (Merritt Island)
This museum is open daily most days of the year and includes a great gift shop for you to enjoy. Its attractions include airplane simulators you can get up close and personal with, a piece of the moon brought back by the Apollo mission, and aircraft such as Saturn V, the Space Shuttle, and the Northrop T-38N Talon.
14. Wings Over Miami Air Museum (Miami)
The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday and is home to numerous aircraft, some of which include the Douglas C-117D, Aero L-39C Albatros, Ryan PT-22 Recruit, Seahawk Industries Condor II, and the Nanchang CJ-6A, among others.
15. Aircraft Heritage Park (NAS Jacksonville)
Open only to those who have received prior permission to enter, the museum houses numerous airplanes, including the Lockheed P-3A Orion, Grumman TBM-3E Avenger, Vought DF-8F Crusader, and the Sikorsky SH-60F Ocean Hawk, among others.
16. National Navy Aviation Museum (NAS Pensacola)
This museum is open daily most days of the year, admission is free and open to the public, and it is home to planes such as the Curtiss F7C-1 Seahawk, Douglas A-4E Skyhawk, Eastern FM-2 Wildcat, Lockheed P-3A Orion, and the Gyrodyne YRON-1 Rotorcycle, among many others.
17. Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing (Ocala)
This museum is open daily most of the year, and it even has a gift shop to enjoy after your visit there. Among other artifacts and interesting items, it is home to the Vought A-7A Corsair II. You can get additional information by visiting them at http://garlits.com.
18. Larry E. Smedley National Vietnam War Museum (Orlando)
This museum is free to enter and open only on the weekends. Its collection of aircraft includes the Bell UH-1V Iroquois and the Douglas A4D-2 Skyhawk. Their website address is http://originalbunker.org.
19. Air Force Space and Missile Museum (Patrick AFB)
Located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the museum houses quite a few rockets for you to view and study, including the Athena, Bullpup missile, Falcon, Explore I satellite exhibit, Hound Dog A, and the Sparrow I, among others. They can be contacted at http://afspacemuseum.org.
20. Fantasy of Flight (Polk City)
If you love airplanes, this is the museum you should see. It is home to dozens of planes of all types, including the Fokker D-VIII, Martin 404, Sikorsky S-43, Convair 440, and a replica of the Wright flyer, among others.
21. St. Petersburg Museum of History (St. Petersburg)
Open every day except Monday, this museum houses a replica of the Benoist 14 and offers group tours, community outreach, various educational opportunities, and much more. You can stay up-to-date with them by visiting them at http://spmoh.com.
22. Camp Blanding Museum and Memorial Park (Starke)
Although you can enter this museum free-of-charge, they do encourage and greatly appreciate donations. They are open daily most days of the year, and they are home to planes such as the Grumman A-6E Intruder, Bell UH-1H Iroquois, and the Convair F-106A Delta Dart, among others.
23. Wings of Dreams Aviation Museum (Starke)
Open Friday through Sunday, one of this museum’s main displays is a simulator for the Rockwell Space Shuttle, as well as planes that include the Cessna planes 140, 310B, and O-2B Super Skymaster.
24. Hillsborough County Veterans Memorial Park and Museum (Tampa)
On site is both a park and a museum, and they are both open daily throughout most of the year. Admission is free and there are numerous events planned regularly. You can also view planes such as the Hughes OH-6B Cayuse, Bell AH-1F Cobra, and the Bell GOH-58A Kiowa.
25. Valiant Air Command Warbirds Museum (Titusville)
This museum is open daily on most days of the year, and there are dozens of airplanes to see, including the Douglas TA-4F Skyhawk, McDonnell F-4J Phantom, Northrop F-5E Tiger, and the Beech T-34C Mentor, among others.
26. Tyndall Air Park (Tyndall AFB)
Located in Panama City, this park and museum houses airplanes that include the Convair F-106A Delta Dart, McDonnell Douglas F-15A Eagle, McDonnell NF-4C Phantom II, and the North American F-86L Sabre.