A Cultural Guide to Daytona Beach Museums
Two things come to mind when people hear about Daytona Beach – car racing and beaches. Although popular for these reasons, the Florida city has a refreshingly different side that is little known to tourists. Daytona has a plethora of museums where you can have your fill of culture and history. These museums appeal to a variety of interests, which make them excellent for day trips. Here’s a quick guide including a brief synopsis about each of them for your reference.
Halifax Historical Museum
For a crash course on local history, this museum has permanent displays highlighting Daytona’s rich past. From the time when Timucuans (a native American tribe) had inhabited the place, up until the rise of a race car driving culture, the Halifax Historical Museum has it covered.
Museum of Arts and Sciences
As the largest museum in Daytona Beach, you can expect a range of displays. Currently in collection are more than 30,000 items including Chinese, American, Cuban, and African art; restored railroad cars; vintage automobile; and the largest collection of Coca-Cola Memorabilia. The newly-built planetarium and its weekly shows are not to be missed.
Southeast Museum of Photography
Situated at the Daytona State College, it is the only museum in Florida dedicated to photography. It features changing and permanent displays but the best part is that admission is free.
Lilian Place Historic House
This beachside manor was built in 1884 and is the oldest home in Daytona. It features an Italian High Victorian architecture and a New England design called a widow’s walk. For a 130-year old home, Lilian Place is quite well-preserved.
Rose Room Gallery
If you’re dropping by the Peabody Auditorium for a show, you might as well visit Rose Room. The gallery showcases regional artists every few weeks, so there’s always something new to see!
Mary McLeod Bethude Home & Gravesite
Dr. Bethude was a civil rights leader and founder of the Bethune-Cookman University. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that her home is now a National Historic Landmark. Inside, you will find some intriguing artifacts such as photos of famous guests and U.S. presidents.
Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art
For the world’s largest collection of traditionally-themed oil and watercolor paintings, you need not look further than Brown Museum. Its pieces date back to as far as 1839 and depict the history of Florida in the form of art.
Veteran’s Museum and Education Center
The museum is dedicated to veterans of the United States Armed Forces. Displays commemorate the service of men and women who put their lives on the line for the sake of the country’s freedom and liberty. Each month, a new veteran is placed on the spotlight to inspire visitors.
The Ecological, Cultural, Heritage, and Outdoor Gallery is an eye-opening museum located at Daytona’s Ocean Park. Local and traveling exhibits are meant to create awareness on the country’s cultural attractions and natural resources.
Jackie Robinson Ballpark Museum
Baseball fans will love a trip to this minor league ballpark. Jackie Robinson, an African-American baseball player, had once played the first integrated Major League Baseball Spring Training Game in this ballpark in 1946. Aside from the statue of Robinson himself, the baseball park has a few historical landmarks and a museum dedicated to his life and ground-breaking career as a baseball player.
There are plenty of things to do for the entire family in the Daytona Beach area. Be sure to check our Local Attractions page for sightseeing and entertainment options along our 23 mile coast line! Take advantage of our Florida Residents Beach Days Offer and make it the perfect weekend getaway for less!
See you at The Shores!
*Photo Credit: ECHO Gallery.