Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

Art, History & Archaeology Sites & Museums

Often called “the sunshine state,” Florida lies at the south-eastern tip of the United States. Its pre-Columbian populations included communities like the Apalachee, but these were almost entirely gone by the mid-18th century, in some cases being absorbed into new groups like the Seminole. Spanish explorers arrived in the 16th century, with Ponce de León naming the area “Florida,” the Spanish term for “flowers.” Britain gained ownership from the Spanish in 1763, but returned it to them in 1783, with the Spanish then ceding it to the U.S. in 1821. Florida became a state in 1845 and in 1861 was one of the founding states of the Confederacy. It possesses three national parks, including the Everglades, which is also recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Archaeology & History Sites in Florida

Castillo de San Marcos

The country’s oldest masonry fort, the Castillo de San Marcos stands as a testament to the many cultures that have inhabited this region. Construction began in 1672, when Florida was part of the Spanish Empire. The British later took control but in the 19th century the U.S. obtained Florida and used the fort as a military base until 1933. The site stretches over 20 acres and is staffed by costumed reenactors.

Museums & Art Galleries in Florida

The Ringling Museum of Art

The Ringling in Sarasota is as interesting for its architecture as for its collection of fine art. Amassed by the wealthy Mable Burton and John Ringling early in the 20th century, the museum was housed in a palatial structure modelled after styles of southern European architecture set within a large bayfront garden. An attraction in its own right. Over 10,000 objects are included in its collection, including archaeological items from ancient Cyprus and artworks by Velázquez, Rubens, and Gainsborough.