Gainesville Area Museums & Historic Sites

There are several noteworthy museums to visit during your stay in the Gainesville area. Two of the largest are the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, both located in the UF Cultural Plaza.

The Florida Museum of Natural History is important to anyone who wants to learn more about the history of the land, people, plants, & animals of the region, and the Harn Museum of Art is one of the top ten university art museums, featuring over 6,000 exhibits.

There are also a couple of unique museums in the area, such as the Fred Bear Museum, which features big game trophies from around the world, and the Historic Haile Homestead at Kanapaha Plantation, which shows what life was like on a Florida cotton plantation in the 1800's during the slave era.

Gainesville museums and historic sites listed by distance from the hotel:

The Fred Bear Museum • 4.1 mi

I-75 and Archer Road Gainesville, FL

The Fred Bear Museum features displays of big game collected from around the world, including elephants, caribou, moose, bears, lions, buffalo, and wolves. Also featured are ancient weapons & tools, carvings, artwork, and other artifacts from the Indians, Eskimos, and tribal Africa. On-site gift shop.


Florida Museum of Natural History • 4.3 mi

34th St Gainesville, FL 352-846-2000

The Florida Museum of Natural History is one of this region's most outstanding facilities. Here you can find exhibits of plant and animal species native to this area, as well as exhibits showing the historical geography and geology of the area. Numerous fossils, artifacts and specimens help to illustrate the natural history of north central Florida and the relationship between the land, the people, and the plants & animals of the area. Of special note is the new butterfly rainforest, with dozens of colorful butterfly species on display in a 4-story, landscaped enclosure.


Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art • 4.3 mi

34th Street and Hull Road, UF Cultural Plaza, Gainesville, FL 352-392-9826

Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art is one of the top ten public university art museums in the US, and features world-famous collections of art from Africa & Asia, contemporary & modern art, and photography. An original by Claude Monet is one of 6,000 original pieces on display at the museum. The Harn is located in the UF Cultural Plaza near the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Butterfly Rainforest and the Phillips Center for Performing Arts. In addition to the artwork on display, the museum also features lectures, gallery talks, live performances, and video exhibitions.


Dudley Farm Historic State Park • 5.2 mi

18730 W. Newberry Rd., Newberry, Florida 32669 352-472-1142

The Dudley Farm Historic State Park is an authentic working farm that demonstrates the evolution of Florida farming from the 1850s to the mid-1940s-through three generations of the Dudley family. It features an 1880 farmstead with eighteen buildings, including the family farmhouse with original furnishings, an 1880s kitchen, outbuilding, a general store and post office, and a functional cane syrup complex, stables, smokehouses, and arbors along with staff dressed in period costumes performing farm and household chores.

The park has a visitor center, picnic area, and nature trail. Self-guided tours are available Wednesday through Sunday and group tours can be reserved one month in advance. Located seven miles west of I-75 on State Road 26.


Micanopy Historical Society Museum • 6.9 mi

607 Northeast 1st Street, Gainesville, FL 32601 (352) 466-3200


Matheson Museum 7.1 mi

513 East University Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601    (352) 378-2280


Historic Haile Homestead at Kanapaha Plantation • 7.5 mi

8500 SW Archer Rd, Gainesville, FL 32606 352-336-9096

The Historic Haile Homestead at Kanapaha Plantation is a homestead built on a cotton plantation in 1856 by slave-labor. Restored in 1996, it is now open to the public as a historic house museum, depicting Florida plantation life in an effort to educate visitors about the economic, cultural, and social issues of the era.


Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings State Historic Site • 19.6 mi

18700 S CR 325, Cross Creek, FL 32640 352-466-3672

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings State Historic Site is the home in which the author of "The Yearling" lived and wrote. It was a 1930's farm, and includes the homestead, grounds and nature trails that were part of the author's life. Also included are the furnishings and fixtures, which together with the homestead and farm accurately depict life on a 1930's farm and show what life was like in Florida in the 1930's.