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“Fantastic - a beautiful place”

South Florida Museum and Bishop Planetarium
Ranked #3 of 75 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.
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
86 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Fantastic - a beautiful place”
Reviewed February 13, 2010

Was very surprised at the high quality of all the exhibits of the museum. The Planetarium lecture and film were awesome. Last but not least it was great to see the rescued manatee and Snooty - the oldest manatee in captivity. The lady who gave the presentation about Snooty and the other manatees gave a very informative talk. It was crowded and now I understand why.

2 Thank Kathy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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661 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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English first
Orlando, FL
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“What A Great Relaxing Day !!!”
Reviewed June 22, 2009

What a nice relaxing day. This small museum has everything you need to relax ,enjoy and still be entertained. The planetarium is top notch with a great guide and many differant shows to view. The people friendly and helpful and the price, where can you go for $15.95 a person and have a 6 hour experience and not have to pay for parking. This is a museum and although highly recommended I would not recommend it for smaller children, they became uninterested after a while and very unhappy.

1 Thank Wonder21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Daytona Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
104 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 335 helpful votes
“Exceeded all of my expectations!”
Reviewed May 17, 2009

Even though the actual museum exhibits are just average, you MUST go to see the planetarium and the manatee aquarium. The planetarium burned down several years ago, and the new one is state of the art. The guy that runs the shows and lectures is awesome, and if there are no crowds, will give you a very personalized show. Seeing Snooty and the rehabilitation manatees was an awesome experience...everyone I saw seemed enchanted with the manatees. I also enjoyed that it wasn't overly crowded on the weekend. This is a very worthwhile place to visit!

1 Thank theconstantwanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Linton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
83 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“Great place for a young family”
Reviewed July 8, 2008

I took my wife and two kids (10 & 8) to this museum and we were delighted with it. The museum offers so much to see - from exhibits about the prehistoric life in Florida to modern day animals, industry, cowboys and the planetarium. The highlight for us was the briefing on Snooty the manitee. The young ladies who gave the briefing were happy to chat for 30 minutes and took all sorts of daft questions about the manitees from our two boys. Snooty's life story is very interesting and he seems quite content. Overall, we were very impressed by this facility and we easily spent 3 hours there without any fuss from the boys.

1 Thank slowman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“South Florida Museum and Bishop Planetarium”
Reviewed April 27, 2008

Small in scale but Great local attraction. We discovered this gem a few years ago. Family fun at very reasonable prices. The Bishop planetarium is "State of the Art" and boasts a digital projection system that rocks the universe!! Forget your parents planetarium with the clunky robot with lights in the middle of the room thingy. Museum has exibits on geologic/anthropological ancient Florida and a Manatee tank with the famous "Snooty" (40 yrs old!) Location is right on downtown riverfront marina.

1 Thank kccricket
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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