Nothing beats a Florida vacation with miles of beautiful beaches, crystal clear water, plenty of outdoor activities, beautiful vacation rental homes, and the best theme parks in the world to enjoy. But what do you do when your vacation gets rained out? There are so many ways to experience Florida even if the weather is not on your side. So, get out your umbrella and learn about all that the Sunshine State has to offer.
North Florida Stretching from the Panhandle to Jacksonville, North Florida offers many historical sites and museums for visitors and residents to enjoy. If stuck on Jax Beach, Amelia Island, or Ponte Vedra in a rainstorm, check out the Museum of Science and History, more familiarly known as MOSH, in downtown Jacksonville. The museum offers a wide variety of attractions for all ages including Atlantic Tails: Whales, Dolphins & Manatees of North East Florida, Kidspace, the Prehistoric Park, and the Universe of Science. When your tee time is rained out on the golf course, head to the World Golf Village, home to the World Golf Hall of Fame. Inductee Exhibits are on display and the WGV is home to an IMAX Theatre, a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. St.
Augustine, the first permanent European settlement in the continental United States, has been "guarded" since the late 1600s by The Castillo de San Marcos. Although control of the fortress has been in the hands of the British, the Spanish, and the United States, it has never been taken by military force. Tour this outpost, made a National Monument in 1924, to get a glimpse of the very beginning of the history of Florida. Visitors to Pensacola and its surrounding areas can tour the National Museum of Naval Aviation and its notable Aircraft Collection.
The Museum also houses a memorial to Naval Aviation Pilots from 1916 to 1947, a life-sized Hangar Bay to tour, and the NC-4 flying boat, the first aircraft to take on and conquer the Atlantic Ocean. Check out local Visitor Centers for more information and other indoor activities. Central Florida Central Florida, home to many fabulous beaches and world-class theme parks, also offers plenty of indoor attractions when inclement weather arises. One great way to spend the day is to tour the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.
Although part of their attraction is outdoors, there is an IMAX theatre showing exciting films, exhibits on space history, a full size walk through Space Shuttle exhibit, restaurants, bus tours, and the Astronaut Hall of Fame. Learn about Florida's citrus roots at The Citrus Museum in Eustis, once known as the "Orange Capital of the World." The only independently housed citrus museum in the state, the museum exhibits a large collection of labels, posters, equipment, tools, and other memorabilia, relating to the citrus industry as well as a "Grove Chemical Fire Engine." Gainesville is not only home to the University of Florida, but also the Florida Museum of Natural History. Open 7 days a week all year long, families will enjoy their exhibits including Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life & Land, Northwest Florida: Waterways & Wildlife, and South Florida People & Environments.
The Tampa area is home to many exciting museums and exhibits that visitors will enjoy. The Florida International Museums is one of the most visited museums in the southeast. The rotating exhibits are always fresh and exciting.
Past and current exhibits include Ink and Blood: Sacred Treasures of the Bible, Hubble Space Telescope: New Views of the Universe, Diana: A celebration, and Barbie: Celebrating 45 Years. The Salvador Dali Museum is as unique as the works by the late Spanish surrealist. The museum is home to the world's most comprehensive collection of his works including 2,000 original oils, watercolors, drawings, graphics, sculptures, and photographs. A great afternoon for the kids will be spent at Great Explorations, the Hands On Museum. What makes this museum different from other is the touch, exploration, and moving of exhibits that is so encouraged. Adults and children will be both educated and entertained.
Central Florida has so much to offer, even on the rainiest of days. South Florida Some of the most well known beaches in the world can be found in South Florida. But even the most beautiful white sand beaches and crystal clear water can be disappointing if the weather heads south. Luckily, there are plenty of activities to enjoy indoors if your vacation gets rained out. The Everglades are a great outdoor excursion and families can enjoy it on a rainy day, too.
Visit the Museum of the Everglades that has exhibits on the 2,000-year history of the Everglades. View artifacts and period photographs while attending education programs, lectures, and events. One of the most amazing structures ever built, the Coral Castle, is located in Homestead. Built by huge blocks of coral rock without the assistance of modern machinery, the castle has been compared to Stonehenge and the great pyramids of Egypt. Visit this work of art to see the 1,000 tons of coral rock that were carved into wall, furniture, and art objects and to learn the love story behind it.
Kids will be thrilled to visit the Miami Children's Museum. Children will learn about banking, rock climbing, the sea, and different cultures through fun and interactive exhibits. For those stranded on the beach in the Keys, visit the Ernest Hemmingway Home and Museum in the heart of Old Town Key West. This most honored and respected author lived and wrote in the home on Whitehead Street for more than ten years.
Tour the rooms and lush grounds with tour guides who are eager to answer questions and give discerning background information on the Nobel Prize winner. A vacation to Florida can be an exciting way for a family or group to learn more about the culture, the history, and the people of Florida. If you are stranded without a beach to sunbathe on or the ocean to swim in, consider visiting one of the states many museums.
Even the rainiest of Florida days can add to a great beach vacation. .
By: Caroline Brame