20 Museums in Orlando

- This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure.

Orlando may be known for its incredible theme parks, but it also has an immense amount of culture displayed in its fantastic museums. Many museums in Orlando are not just the best in the city but the best in the state. Orlando is the 23rd-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. Some of the Orlando museums listed here are in these suburbs, but most are about 15 to 30 minutes away, with the furthest being about 40 minutes away, but well worth the trip.

Museums in Orlando

Top Tickets

20 Best Orlando Museums To Visit

orlando museum
Looking for museums in Orlando to explore? Check out these 20.

1- Orlando Museum of Art

While the Orlando Museum of Art’s permanent collections features fantastic displays of art throughout history, its constantly rotating temporary exhibitions from a wide range of artists and art movements make it one of Florida’s best art museums.

Georgia O’Keeffe, Thomas Hart Benton, and William Merritt Chase are some of the highlights from the permanent collections.

Check out its schedule ahead of time to best plan your trip.

In addition to these rotating temporary exhibits, the Orlando Museum of Art features American Art and Contemporary Art.

The American Art collection from colonial times to the 1960s influences the bulk of their educational programs.

The Art of the Ancient Americas collection is one of the most comprehensive collections in the U.S., featuring over 900 creations by the peoples who inhabited North, Central and South America thousands of years before Europeans arrived.

The Orlando Museum of Art is open Tuesday through Sunday, with general admission for adults at $20 and for children at $8.

The Orlando Museum of Art is at 2416 North Mills Avenue, Orlando, 32803.

2- Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

Explore decorative art, especially glass, about 20 minutes from Orlando proper in Winter Park, which features several museums that made it onto this list.

It’s one of Florida’s best art and culture museums and more significant than its unassuming entry may suggest.

With over 19,000 square feet (1,765 square meters) of gallery space, the museum is filled with works from various creators but is most famous for being the permanent home to hundreds of pieces by renowned glassmaker Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Experience a kaleidoscope of colours in the hallway of Tiffany signature lamps, a room solely devoted to works inspired by daffodils, and the famous Tiffany Chapel designed for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Housed in the historic winter home of industrialist Charles Hosmer Morse and his family, the Morse Museum focuses primarily on American art and decorative objects from the late 19th century to the present day.

Open Tuesday through Sundays, general admission is $6 per person older than 12.
Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is at 445 North Park Avenue, Winter Park, 32789.

3- Orlando Science Center

This must-see stop in Orlando will whisk you off on a journey through time and space.

Step into a living reconstruction of the Florida Everglades upon entry with marine life, such as fish and a snapping turtle.

Explore the Florida wilderness, including sinkholes, the water table, and native wildlife, but thankfully all air-conditioned.

Then, explore all things science, including dinosaurs, flight simulators, kinetic sand, and hands-on physics and earth science exhibits.

Explore the night sky, astronomy in their planetarium, and an electrifying Tesla coil show in a separate theatre.

After dark, on clear nights, explore the night sky on the top floor with an astronomer and the Center’s telescope.

The Orlando Science Center general admission is $24 for adults and $18 for youth at 777 E. Princeton Street, Orlando, 32803.

4- Harry P. Leu Gardens

orlando museums
Harry P. Leu Gardens is one of the lovely museums in Orlando to spend time at.

Take a rest from the hustle and bustle of Orlando in a 50-acre (20 ha) botanical oasis just minutes from downtown Orlando.

Explore different plant collections, including camellias, roses, and tropical fruits.

Take a stroll back in time in the Leu House Museum featuring exhibits on how the house looked and was utilized by the four different families that lived there.

In addition, the Garden House Welcome Center features permanent and rotating art exhibits by wildlife artists to complement the various outdoor sculptures throughout the gardens.

Look into their educational programs and events, including guided tours, workshops, and horticulture classes.

Open daily, admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children or seniors. You can get tickets online ahead of time, and good for any day during opening hours and expire once used.

You can also purchase tickets when you arrive.

The Harry P. Leu Gardens are at 1920 North Forest Avenue, Orlando, 32803.

5- The Orange County Regional History Center

While exploring downtown, check out the Orange County Regional History Center showcasing a variety of exhibits and artifacts about the region’s rich cultural heritage.

Walk through the history of Orlando and surrounds from prehistoric times to the present day.

In addition to numerous historical exhibits, explore aviation and how Orlando became a hub for theme parks.

Housed in a beautiful historic building that was once a courthouse and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the OCRHC also features a number of interactive, hands-on exhibits and programming to blend history with modern times and engage visitors of all ages.

Open daily, general admission for adults is $8 but they feature several discounts and reciprocal admission.

Orange County Regional History Center is at 65 East Central Boulevard, Orlando, 32801.

6- Rollins Museum of Art

Peruse a diverse collection of art from around the world, focusing primarily on European and American art featuring over 700 paintings from the 14th to the 21st centuries.

There are over 2000 works on paper including prints, drawings, and photographs, and numerous sculptures and artifacts.

Formerly known as the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, the museum strives to make art accessible to everyone, regularly offering a variety of programs for all ages, including those in Spanish.

Open Tuesday through Sunday, admission is free.

Rollins Museum of Art is on the Rollins College campus at 1000 Holt Avenue-2765, Winter Park, 32789.

7- Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens

Celebrate the life and work of Czech-American sculptor Albin Polasek through exhibitions and educational programs, including tours, lectures, and art classes, designed to promote an appreciation for the arts.

The museum is in the beautiful historic home of the Polasek family, featuring a variety of indoor exhibitions in addition to outdoor exhibits in the famous sculpture garden.

If the weather is nice, plan to bring a picnic lunch to eat in the Sculpture Garden.

A variety of tours are offered during their opening hours and be sure to check their calendar for events like concerts.

Open Tuesday through Sunday, admission is $12 for adults and $7 for children through high school.

The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Garden is at 633 Osceola Avenue, Winter Park, 32789.

8- Mennello Museum of American Art

Celebrate the work of artists who have contributed to the development of American art, including paintings, sculptures, and folk art, at the Mennelo Museum of American Art.

Folk art, in particular, is given a spotlight with works by self-taught artists such as Earl Cunningham and Mose Tolliver as well as others.

The Mennello Museum of American Art offers a variety of exhibitions and educational programs that are designed to promote an appreciation for American art and culture.

Be sure to check its schedule for fun programs such as storytime in the galleries for children, yoga in the sculpture garden, movie screenings, and more.

While the museum itself offers exhibits and programming dedicated to promoting an appreciation for American art and culture, the museum also highlights natural beauty as it is on the beautiful Lake Formosa.

Open Tuesday through Sunday, general admission is $5 for adults and only $1 for children and students.

The Mennello Museum is at 900 East Princeton Street, Orlando, 32803.

9- Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition

Image of the Titanic crashing against a large iceberg during the day
Another of the fascinating museums in Orlando to visit describes the sinking of the Titanic.

Explore the famous wreckage of the Titanic through artifacts recovered from its 1912 expedition, which ultimately failed to come home due to hitting an iceberg.

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition has three locations across the U.S. (one of which we talked about previously in our 20 Best Museums in Las Vegas article).

The museum features full-scale recreations of the ship’s grand staircase, cabins, and other areas of the ship as well as real personal items recovered from the wreckage, such as jewellery, clothing, and luggage.

Interactive exhibits allow visitors to experience the sights and sounds of the Titanic’s ill-fated voyage.

Open daily, general admission is $23.95 for adults. However, compared to the Las Vegas location, Orlando features guided tours for an additional $5 per person.

In addition, they offer the Titanic First Class Dinner Gala featuring a Captain’s cocktail party, an exhibit tour, a first-class dinner, and reenactments of the fateful night in 1912 over three hours.

Tickets are $69 for adults and $42 for children.

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition is at 7324 International Drive, Orlando, 32819.

10- Museum of Military History

caterpillar tank
One of the museums in Orlando to visit is the one on military history.

Take a day trip to Kissimmee, only about half an hour away from Orlando proper, to visit the Museum of Military History, which showcases a variety of military artifacts and exhibits.

Get a firsthand look at the tools and technology used by soldiers throughout history through exhibits on World War II, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War featuring a variety of artifacts, including weapons, uniforms, and equipment.

The museum is dedicated to honouring the sacrifices of American soldiers and their families, so it is a popular destination for veterans and military families.

Open Tuesday through Sunday, admission is $12 for adults with discounts for veterans, students, and children.

Active military members receive free admission.

The Museum of Military History is at 5210 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Kissimmee, 34746.

11- Fort Christmas Historical Park

Fort Christmas Historical Park is a historical park with a replica of the original Fort Christmas, built in 1837 during the Second Seminole War.

The Park is in Christmas, just east of Orlando, and showcases a variety of exhibits on Florida history, including displays on pioneer life, Native American culture, and the Second Seminole War.

Explore the pioneer and military life in the mid-1800s in the replica fort, as well as a traditional Florida “Cracker” house and eight pioneer homes, a schoolhouse and lunchroom, and a sugar cane mill and other historical farming equipment.

Open daily, admission is free.

Fort Christmas Historical Park is at 1300 North Fort Christmas Road, Christmas, 32709.

12- Orlando Fire Museum

In downtown Orlando, the Orlando Fire Museum showcases the history of the Orlando Fire Department with exhibits and artifacts related to firefighting.

Check out vintage fire engines, equipment, and uniforms up close to get a firsthand look at the tools, technology, and lives of firefighters throughout history.

Station 3, the two-story, red brick firehouse, was in operation from 1926 to the 1970s when the new Station 3 was built and the Orlando Science Center, Central Florida Fire Chief’s Association, and Historical Society worked together to have it relocated and restored.

The Orlando Fire Museum opened to the public in 1990 and has continued to celebrate and share the history of Orlando firefighters.

The museum is currently open Fridays and Saturdays, but they recommend calling ahead to make sure.

Admission is free.

The Orlando Fire Museum is at 814 East Rollins Street, Orlando, 32803.

13- Madame Tussauds Orlando

While checking out all the other attractions on International Drive, tour the halls of lifelike wax figures of celebrities, historical figures, and pop culture icons.

From classic icons like Elvis to modern pop idols like Ariana Grande and Beyonce, snag photos with the world’s best wax figurines of your favourite music stars, the biggest names in Hollywood, and more.

While the Las Vegas location (read more in our article on the 20 Best Museums in Las Vegas) features Marvel superheroes, “meet” the DC’s Justice League here in Orlando.

Tickets work a little differently at the Orlando location, with the basic ticket at $34.99 getting you admission and digital photos, while the upgraded combo tickets give you access to other Icon Park locations including SEA LIFE, the Wheel, and LEGOLAND.

Madame Tussauds is at 8387 International Drive, Orlando, 32819.

14- Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts

Immerse yourself in fine arts in historic Eatonville, just outside of Orlando.

The museum preserves and promotes the legacy of African-American author and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, born in Eatonville.

Peruse exhibits showcasing the life and work of Zora Neale Hurston, including displays on her books, articles, and research.

Then, explore showcases of contemporary African-American artists’ work in various media, including paintings, sculptures, and photography.

Open Monday-Friday, there is no set admission, but donations are appreciated. Group tours require a reservation and a small fee.

Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts is at 344 East Kennedy Boulevard, Eatonville, 32751.

15- Wells’ Built Museum of African American History and Culture

Explore African American history and culture in Central Florida through various exhibits and artifacts, including displays on the Civil Rights Movement and the contributions of African Americans to the local community.

In downtown Orlando, the museum is housed in a historic building that once served as a hotel for African-American travellers during segregation.

Check out the original features of the building, like the segregated entrances and a “juke joint” that once operated in the basement.

Open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but check ahead of time. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students, and $2 for children.

The Wells’ Built Museum of African American History and Culture is at 511 West South Street, Orlando, 32805.

16- Art and History Museum Maitland

Take a short trip to Maitland, a suburb of Orlando, to explore this fantastic museum of local and regional history and art.

The building is also a historic landmark with original features such as a 19th-century carriage house and an early 20th-century telephone switchboard.

In addition to the exhibits, check their calendar for related events, including special National Historic Landmark tours (including occasional ones in Spanish), creative sessions for young children, art classes, lectures, and festivals.

The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, but the Garden is open on Tuesday in addition to regular museum hours.

General admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and children over 5, and $4 for military personnel and younger children.

The Art and History Museum Maitland is at 231 West Packwood Avenue, Maitland, 32751.

17- Orlando Auto Museum

Check out a fantastic collection of over 200 rare and exotic cars from around the world.

Peruse everything from vintage American muscle cars to European sports cars and Japanese imports.

You will even see cars once owned by celebrities like Elvis Presley and John Lennon and several Batmobiles.

In addition to just checking out some cool cars, there are a variety of exhibits showcasing automobile history and the evolution of automotive technology.

The museum is relocating to 5232 International Dr, Orlando FL, 32819, but will be re-opening soon.

18- Chocolate Museum and Cafe

Celebrate all things chocolate with exhibits and interactive displays that showcase the history of chocolate from its origins in ancient Mesoamerica to the present day.

Sign up for a guided tour to immerse yourself in the world of chocolate, including its history and how it is made, as well as see some fantastic chocolate sculptures and even sample chocolates from around the world.

Be sure to visit their cafe to enjoy chocolate-themed drinks and treats, including hot chocolate, chocolate truffles, and chocolate-covered strawberries.

Or sign up for chocolate-making classes and workshops to learn about the process of making chocolate and create your own chocolate creations to take home.

Both the museum and the cafe are open daily.

Admission to the museum costs $17, but they offer several packages, including family and group discounts, fondue for two, a senior tour and pastry combo, a wine and chocolate pairing, and a sparkling wine pairing.

The Chocolate Museum and Cafe is at 11701 International Drive Suite 400, Orlando, 32821.

19- Central Florida Railroad Museum

Climb aboard at the Central Florida Railroad Museum, yet another gem in Winter Park.

Dedicated to preserving and showcasing railroad history in Central Florida, the museum is housed in a historic railroad depot built in 1913.

It features exhibits that shine a light on the industry’s role in shaping the region’s history.

Explore the collection of vintage train cars, including a caboose, dining car, and sleeper car to get a sense of train travel from the past.

hen, go miniature by exploring the popular hobby of model train sets with the museum’s extensive collection of model trains and railroad memorabilia that show the evolution of trains over time and give a sense of the scale and complexity of the railroad industry.

Be sure to check their calendar for educational programs for all ages, including tours, lectures, and hands-on activities to explore the history of railroads in Central Florida and their unique impact on the region.

Open Tuesday through Saturday, admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

The Central Florida Railroad Museum is at 101 South Boyd Street, Winter Garden, 34787.

20- Modernism Museum Mount Dora

While a little further away at about a 40-minute drive, this fantastic museum is entirely dedicated to furniture from the Memphis art movement of the 1980s but also features unique, eclectic, and unconventional items such as pieces from David Bowie’s private estate.

Functioning bookshelves, chairs, vanities, serving carts, and more, but in unexpected designs, are explained in detail by the dedicated museum attendants to bring each piece to life.

The Modernism Museum is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (excluding major holidays) with reasonable admission rates of $8 for adults and $5 for children.

The Modernism Museum is at 145 East 4th Avenue, Mount Dora, 32757.

We hope that you enjoy this list of the best museums in Orlando.

If you are visiting Florida, check out our other article on the 20 Best Museums in Florida for even more suggestions.

Previous article20 Things To Do In Memphis
Next articleWhere To Stay In New York City
cropped sarah hoffschwelle.jpg
Sarah Hoffschwelle is an author and freelance writer with a Bachelor’s in English and a Master’s in Museum Studies focusing on science communication and education. Originally from Texas, she moved to South Korea as a child for a couple of years, travelling to China, Thailand, Japan, and Australia during her time there. She has travelled to Germany, England, and Ireland and studied abroad for a summer in Italy. She currently lives in New Hampshire and continues to travel domestically as much as possible and is planning several international trips for the next few years