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“Gem of Manatee County”

South Florida Museum and Bishop Planetarium
Ranked #2 of 74 things to do in Bradenton
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: As the largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida's Gulf Coast, the South Florida Museum offers engaging exhibits as well as educational programs that interpret the scientific and cultural knowledge of Florida, the world and our universe. In addition to permanent exhibits, the Museum features a constantly changing lineup of temporary exhibitions -- offering something new to discover with each visit. The Museum includes the all-digital Bishop Planetarium Theater and the Parker Manatee Aquarium. Celebrating its 50th anniversary year, the Bishop Planetarium is the Gulf Coast's premier astronomy education facility, outfitted with a state-of-the-art Planetarium and projection system with stunning multimedia capabilities. The Parker Manatee Aquarium is home to Snooty™, Manatee County's official mascot and the oldest known manatee in the world, as certified by Guinness World Records. Snooty shares his Aquarium pool with other manatees that have been injured or orphaned and are being rehabilitated for return to the wild as part of the Manatee Rehabilitation and Release Partnership.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
“Gem of Manatee County”
Reviewed December 26, 2012

Examining cultural history is one of my favourite past-times. The South Florida Museum did not disappoint. It had everything for someone young and old. Thematic past of Manatee County to the present day happenings of the Manatee (lamantin). Being out of country tourists, it was an added bonus that the guy handling the manatees spoke enough French to allow my parents to learn so much about the animals. The planetarium was beautifully equipped and comfortable, but could use some work on the programming.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank Loic L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MuseumFriends, Public Relations Manager at South Florida Museum and Bishop Planetarium, responded to this review, December 28, 2012
We are happy that you enjoyed your time at the Museum, along with seeing our manatees in the Parker Manatee Aquarium. We encourage you to check out website often as we always have changing programs, events and exhibitions.

We look forward to seeing you again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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672 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hungarian first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Guernsey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
57 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Bradenton south Florida Muesum.”
Reviewed December 25, 2012

Loved it, wonderful incite into Florida's early beginnings. This is not just a museum, it has a super aquarium showing the Manatee and how they live in the waters of Florida. Well worth a visit especially if you come across the Sky Bridge.




Helpful?
Thank Ganger1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MuseumFriends, Public Relations Manager at South Florida Museum and Bishop Planetarium, responded to this review, December 28, 2012
We are thrilled that you enjoyed your time at the South Florida Museum. Be sure to check our website frequently as we always have changing events, exhibitions and programs.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barrie, Canada
Level Contributor
214 reviews
183 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
“Don’t let the relatively small size of the building fool you, there is a lot to take in and enjoy here.”
Reviewed December 1, 2012

The South Florida Museum has a wonderfully diverse collection of artifacts and displays covering the natural and anthropological history of Florida. “Varied” is the key word here, everything seems to have been carefully and meticulously chosen and no space felt wasted to me. I think just about everyone will find something that grabs their attention. Kids and adults will love the the mounted skeletons of prehistoric animals, the excellent planetarium shows, sea shell collection, and of course Snooty the manatee and his tank mates. Another highlight for me was the Tallant gallery of native artifacts. I particularly enjoyed this having visited St. Marie Among the Hurons in Midland Ontario earlier this year and being able to compare and contrast the different designs of pottery, jewelry, weapons, etc between the two. There is also an excellent collection of artifacts from the 18th and early 19th century showcasing the history and development of the area and Florida as a whole that are not to be missed.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Zeusthecockapoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fair Lawn NJ
Level Contributor
50 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“A Little Disappointing”
Reviewed November 26, 2012

We had a time period to fill so we decided to try this one day toward the end of the week. Although the planetarium show was longer than usual, the ceiling appeared to be fuzzy and made us dizzy. The building is beautiful, but we were disappointed in the experience overall. The best part was watching the manatee's enjoy their lunch!

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank janyFairLawnNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MuseumFriends, Public Relations Manager at South Florida Museum and Bishop Planetarium, responded to this review, November 27, 2012
We apologize for your experience, but want to relay to you that we strive every day to educate the community about topics of history, archeology, anthropology and more! As a non-profit organization we work everyday to serve our community and to make our guests experience fantastic.

We hope to see you back soon as we have changing exhibitions every season.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Level Contributor
89 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“TERRIFIC DAY TRIP”
Reviewed November 25, 2012

This is not your typical aquarium, but lots of rare ocean life and research. Manatees and seahorses are a specialty. Great for the adults and kids alike. Reasonable rates, plentiful parking, easy access.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Terry A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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