Updated March 19, 2021

The Florida Museum of Natural History is on the campus of the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.

Florida Museum of Natural History MammothMammoth Skeleton at Florida Museum of Natural History

It has one of the largest collections of natural history items in the United States.  Kids love it as well as adults. They are fascinated by the 14 foot tall skeleton of a mammoth, a prehistoric Jumbo.

The museum has become one of the most popular Florida tourist attractions even though Gainesville is away from the most populated areas of the state.

Florida Museum of Natural History Bat Cave

Visitors also love the Florida cave that has been constructed in the museum. You'll love the bats in there.  Don't worry about them getting in your hair - they are not alive.

Or as Count Dracula might say, they are not undead.

Florida Museum of Natural History Butterfly Rainforest

A Florida Butterfly, Photo by Judy GallagherA Florida Butterfly
Flickr/Judy Gallagher

The Butterfly Rainforest in the museum charges an admission fee, but it is well worth it.  It is amazing having these beautiful little gentle creatures flying all around you.

The museum has the world's second largest lepidoptera collection.  Only the Natural History Museum in London has more of the pretty little creatures.

Other large collections of interest include birds, fish, plants and thousands of images.

The  museum can occupy your time for days or weeks and you'll still find something new every time.

It definitely belongs on any list of major Florida tourist attractions.

Florida Museum of Natural History, photo by EbyabeFlorida Museum of Natural History, photo by Ebyabe


Admission to the museum is free!

There is a cover charge for special exhibits and the ButterflyRainforest, and a small fee for reserved parking for museum visitors.  The reserved parking area is immediately east and north of the Harn Museum of Art in the UF Cultural Plaza. Please see attendant in the gated booth.

Parking is free on weekends and State holidays. Designated parking spaces are available for visitors with disabilities.


Monday-Saturday:  10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Sunday:  1 p.m - 5 p.m.

The museum is open all year, seven days a week except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Last tickets for the day are sold no less than 30 minutes prior to closing.

More information about special exhibits, displays and tours is available at the website of The Florida Museum of Natural History.


From Interstate 75: Take exit 384 and travel 1 mile east on State Road 24 (Archer Road). Turn north (left) on State Road 121 (SW 34th Street). Travel 3/4 mile to the third traffic signal. Turn east (right) on Hull Road. The entrance to the University of Florida Cultural Plaza is on the south (right) side of Hull Road.

Our Facebook page has more than 111,287 followers who love off the beaten path Florida: towns, tourist attractions, maps, lodging, food, festivals, scenic road trips, day trips, history, culture, nostalgia, and more. 

Take a look. If you enjoy what you see, please give us a like.


Subscribe to our Free Florida Backroads Travel Ezine

Mike Miller of FloridaBackroadsTravel.com has written 25 books on Florida.  

Click on the cover display to see his Amazon author page.