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South Florida Museum and Bishop Planetarium
Ranked #3 of 75 things to do in Bradenton
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Home”
Reviewed August 26, 2014

Bradenton is very close to the beaches of Anna Maria and Sarasota. Many fine residents and a great place for Winter travel. The Bishop Planetarium there is one of my favorite places.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank lisa t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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661 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Bradenton, Florida
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“One of my favorite hometown places!”
Reviewed August 22, 2014 via mobile

I've been coming here since I was a little girl and it still never gets old. I know take my two little girls, 5 & 3, and they love it as much as I did. Snooty is a Bradenton landmark in his own right and worth the trip, alone. Granted, it's not the Smithsonian, so please don't expect that, but it's still a wonderful family activity, especially if it's a hot and steamy Florida summer day and you want to beat the heat!

Helpful?
Thank Amanda G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wanaque, New Jersey
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Small but diverse museum”
Reviewed August 21, 2014

The planetarium is awesome. It is a small jewel that contains exhibits about the history of Florida, a replica of an old Spanish house, a great, comfortable planetarium with different shows daily, and an aquarium which features Snooty, a 66 year old manatee!. The best part, for us, was seeing Snooty the manatee in his own aquarium.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank Nancy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
71 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Don't miss Snooty, the star attraction!”
Reviewed August 11, 2014

Very interesting small town museum. I learned a lot about the history of Florida. The best part of my visit was getting to see Snooty the manatee. He is 66 years old, the oldest known manatee in the world. The aquarium is also a rehabilitation center for injured manatees, there were two other manatees there at the time of my visit. The rest of the aquarium is not very impressive, fake fish in a glass enclosure. Overall I would recommend a visit, you will learn about Florida before the Disney invasion.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank Vtok4me
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Douglassville, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
109 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Great if you use a coupon”
Reviewed August 4, 2014

This was a very nice museum, if you use a coupon or better yet a groupon. We did the groupon and got half off so it was worth it for us. The museum is not large by any means, smaller children probably won't be too thrilled as there is alot of reading involved. I was expecting a bit more from the planetarium, it ended up just being a movie that they showed on the large curved ceiling. Snooty was neat to see, he certainly is a cutie. Glad we went, but we will not have to do it again.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Lisa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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