Museums & Historic Sites
(Note: expanded listings are COCA member organizations.)
On the rolling hills overlooking picturesque Lake Hall, Alfred B. Maclay created a masterpiece of floral architecture. The gardens, which bloom between January and April, are known for their breathtaking array of camellias and azaleas. The Maclay House, complete with museum exhibits and antique furniture, is open to the public during this blooming season. The Recreation Area features a boat launch, swimming beach, picnic shelters and playground. Lake Overstreet property, with its hardwood forest and spectacular ravines, offers more than eight miles of trails for hikers, bikers, and horseback riders.
219 Apalachee Pkwy. (map)
Carnegie Library Building, Florida A&M University
Since 1845, the Historic Capitol has symbolized Florida state government. Restored to its 1902 appearance, the Historic Capitol stands as an icon at the center of Florida’s Capitol complex; the modern-day nerve center of Sunshine State government. Under the stained-glass dome, political history and tradition come alive in the exhibits. Through photographs, recordings, and audiovisual displays, visitors experience the people and events that have shaped today’s Florida.
Hours: Daily 9 am - 4 pm
Enjoy guided historic walking tours in Florida's capital city and historic districts. Ask about our ghost walking tour, held annually in October and for large groups-year round. Guided Driving Tours to plantations, antique shops, art galleries, new and old hot spots, the universities, and to the Forgotten Coast. All guided tours are great as an activity for visitors, clubs, your VIPS, family guests, students on educational field trips, and large and small groups, family reunions, and meeting attendees. Tours offered daily, Monday to Sunday, with reservations.
Goodwood Museum and Gardens, which is now open to the public as a museum, was built circa 1840. One of the finest antebellum plantation houses ever built in this region, it features some of the earliest fresco ceilings in Florida. The collections and furnishings are all original to the house. As guests tour the Main House the rooms are displayed just as they were in the years surrounding World War I. It’s as if you’ve just arrived on the property as a privileged guest of Mrs. Tiers or Mrs. Hodges, and they are awaiting you just through the next door!
Nestled under beautiful shade trees at the bottom of the hill in east Tallahassee, two blocks from the Leon County Courthouse and three from the state capitol of Florida is the only historic African American house in Tallahassee that is open to the public for viewing. Constructed in 1890, it was the home of John Gilmore Riley, a distinguished educator, astute businessman, and highly respected civic and religious leader. Born into slavery in 1857 in Leon County, Riley’s phenomenal rise is a lesson in resilience, perseverance and sheer determination. John Riley lived in the house with his family until his death in 1954. The house is now the location of a museum with ongoing arts and cultural programs including exhibitions and a collection of original historical publications.
Enter this historic house and step back in time. Preserved in its 1928 décor, the uniquely furnished home is a portrait in time reflecting the lives of state official William Knott and his wife Luella, a poet and temperance activist. Built in 1843, the Knott House holds many memories, from the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865 to the whimsical poetry Mrs. Knott wrote for her furniture in the 1930s. Annual events include Romantic Readings in February, Emancipation Celebration in May, and a variety of other programs throughout the year. Guided tours on the hour Wednesday through Friday, starting at 1 pm with the last tour at 3 pm. Free admission.
350 South Duval Street (map)
Although The Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science has paused in its daily operations to the general public, it continues to host many Museum-specific programs. The Brogan Museum remains available and dedicated to educating the community with every possible opportunity during this time of transition. Among other things, these programs include hosting Summer Camp All That! as well as the social calendar event of the year, The Florida Wine Festival. The Board of Directors is dedicated in using this time to reorganize and invest in an organization that is being rebuilt upon a more sustainable and secure model. Please call or visit The Brogan Museum's website for information on limited hours of operation.
See history come alive at the only reconstructed 17th century Spanish mission in Florida. Visitors can explore Florida's Hispanic and Native American roots through costumed living history, hands-on exhibits, re-creations of period buildings and archaeological excavations. Guided group tours are available by reservation. The site was the capital of the western missions in La Florida from 1656 to 1704.
Since opening in 1977, the Museum has become a professionally accredited, nationally recognized cultural resource that collects, preserves, and exhibits the artifactual culture of Florida’s heritage. The Museum presents permanent exhibits depicting Florida’s illustrious history from the prehistoric period through the 20th century. Temporary exhibits highlight significant periods and individuals that have helped to shape the Sunshine State.
Set amidst 52 acres of breathtaking Florida flora and fauna, the Tallahassee Museum has served as an iconic Tallahassee landmark for more than 50 years. Ranked as one of Florida’s top museums, the Museum encourages guests to discover and learn about North Florida’s natural environment, rich history and diverse communities. The Museum’s living exhibits of native Florida wildlife in their natural environment, nature trails and historic buildings are renowned by visitors of all ages.
The Taylor House, a large two-story white structure was built in 1894, by Lewis W. Taylor, an educator and leader in the Tallahassee community and Lucretia M. Taylor, a master cook and seamstress. Museum exhibitions include the Frenchtown Room, which celebrates former Frenchtown businesses, places and faces including a collection of historic memorabilia, magazine articles and newspaper clippings, as well as a Civil Rights Room, which contains exhibits that focus on the life of Rev. C.K. Steele, Mayor James R. Ford, R.N. Gooden, Aquilina Howell, Carrie Meek, Anita F. Thompson and numerous others.
204 Forest Park Drive, Perry (map)