Smithsonian Marine Station located at 420 Seaway Drive in Fort Pierce. Over twenty coral reefs on display at the Ecosystems Exhibit. Three species of Seahorses found in the Indian River Lagoon and an aquarium in the marine station for farming Seahorses. A female Seahorse deposits one thousand eggs at a time into the male pouch. The eggs incubated and delivered nine to forty-five days later.
Seagrass, Mangrove and Hardbottom Ecosystems make up the Indian River Lagoon Habitats. Over four thousand species found in the lagoon as well as thirty-eight endangered and rare species including the Manatee (Endangered), Green Sea Turtle (Endangered) and Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Threatened).
A Sand Dollar, Sea Biscuit not as flat as a Sea Urchin and a Sea Egg Urchin found in seagrass areas and an assortment of shells on display. Red lionfish a highly venomous invasive fish first introduced to the United States from the Indo-Pacific region in the 1980s possibly released in the wild from home aquariums.
Step outside to admire the “The Partnership” a sculpture by artists Patrick Cochran and Ginny Piech Street. Have a picnic underneath a pavilion or walk along the path by the Indian River Lagoon. Admission prices and hours of operation on the website.
The Cornell Fine Arts Museum located at 1000 Holt Avenue on the Rollins College campus in Winter Park. Wander through the galleries and admire the art of Francesco de Mura one of the greatest painters of the Golden Age of Naples during the Bourbon period from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Bronze statues by Elizabeth Catlett and Audrey Flack both American artists. A sculpture that depicts Greek mythology by Paul Jean Baptiste Gasq. A Ming-dynasty statue in the 16th century to the 18th century Ganesha a Hindu deity used in prayers. Paintings throughout the museum that used oil and canvas, oil on copper with silver, brush and gray wash and pen and black ink. Landscape paintings by American artist William Louis Sonntag to Alberto Pasini an Italian artist who painted “A Mosque in Cairo.”
Modern art that includes pencil on paper, oil on board by twentieth-century American and British artists. Decorative notebooks, postcards and an assortment of jewelry and books for sale in the gift shop. Free entrance to the museum donations accepted.
Museum of Geneva History located at 165 First Street in Geneva. A small community founded in the late 1830s, photographs of cattlemen and people who owned orange groves were some of the early settlers.
A sixth-generation resident of Geneva and a museum docent answered our questions as we walked around the museum. The residents of Geneva donated all the items. Every era of Geneva displayed. Steamships the mode of travel during the late 1800s. People boarded the steamship Astatula from Lake Monroe or Lake Harney and traveled the upper St. Johns River.
An early 1940s map of Orange County that included portions of Seminole and Osceola Counties. Newspaper clippings of the civil war and a handbook of civil war soldiers buried in the local cemetery. Put a special coin in the Violano Virtuoso a self-playing electric violin invented by Henry Konrad Sandell from Sweden.
A toy cradle from the 1850s and Children’s Christmas books from the early 20th century. A hardwood box that holds survey equipment belonging to surveyor Joel Allen Barber. The term blackballed came from the early voting box. Made from wood a voting box included a white marble for “Yes” and a black marble for “No.”
From Honor Our Veterans from WWI and WWII to Railroad History. Spikes from a railroad and a photograph of a Geneva Train Depot circa 1920. A 1912 plat map of Geneva, an early kitchen and photographs of Geneva Turpentine Farming from the late 19th century to the late 1920s.
Pen and Ink prints, books, t-shirts and Geneva license plates for sale. Free entrance to the museum, donations accepted. Hours of operation on the website.
Wekiwa Springs State Park a 7,000-acre park located at 1800 Wekiwa Circle in Apopka. Have a picnic on one of the tables or rent a pavilion. Walk along the wooden boardwalk to the concession store where canoes and kayaks are for rent. Bring a bathing suit and swim in the springs or sunbathe on the shore.
Stop at the interpretive exhibit and read about The Red-Eared Slider a semiaquatic turtle, Hydrilla an aquatic plant and The Sailfin Catfish all alien invaders. Pollution a serious threat to the springs at another interpretive exhibit. A 3-legged tortoise lost his leg in a fight with a dog explained by a volunteer at the nature center. View the mounted Florida Black Bear, Barred Owl, Sherman Fox Squirrel and Great Blue Heron encased in glass. All of these animals reside throughout the park.
Bring a bicycle and ride the 7.75-mile trail. Pick up a trail map and walk the Sand Lake and East-West trails both under 2 miles. Bring along a hat and bug spray. Admission and hours of operation located on the website.
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens situated on sixty-two acres located at 4700 SW 58th Drive in Gainesville. Stop and read a memory brick then look up at one of the tall bamboo trees along the walkway to the entrance garden. Bring your lunch and eat in the picnic area or on one of the tables on the wrap-around porch.
Stroll along the 1-mile East Garden loop or the Native Woodlands Trail. Walk through the labyrinth, stand alongside the different ponds and admire the many garden statues. Numerous gazebos surrounded by beauty.
Stand on a bridge and listen to the sound of a waterfall and the water that runs through the rocks underneath the bridge. Four waterfalls encompass the Water Feature Gardens a ½-mile area.
Twenty specialty gardens throughout Kanapaha, I can’t list them all. I recommend a return visit. Hours, fees and rental space for weddings and other events available on the website.
Tuscawilla Preserve and Sensory Garden a 90-acre preserve adjacent to The Museum of Arts and Sciences. Take a walk on one of the three trails throughout the preserve first stopping to admire the fountain and the bronze-sculpted Great Blue Heron by Florida artist Paul Baliker and the native plants that surround it.
Walk under the wooden trestle to the boardwalk and see if you can spot a Giant Swallowtail Butterfly. Sit on a bench in the Discovery Station enjoying the scenery on the pond or participate in one of the interactive learning stations. An abundance of Spanish moss and cabbage palm along the nature trail. I recommend the preserve; its free and included in the price of the museum.
Seven contemporary sculptures located on 2.5-acres of the Abraham and Dorothy Frischer Sculpture Garden on the grounds of The Museum of Arts and Sciences.
KIRIMAS – Tall, slender metallic column with curved fluid lines
by Ralph Komives
UNTITLED – Blue, geometric steel sculpture by Doris Leeper
RUINS XVIII – Painted gray beams intertwined in asymmetrical fashion by Ernest Shaw
STATUE OF LIMITATIONS – Charcoal gray painted by
RED TANGO – Red, geometric sculpture
by Alfredo Halegua
FOUR FIGURE COLUMNS – Ceramic figures embedded in concrete columns by Bob Fetty
BOX TOTEM #6 – Triangular shapes of steel held together by steel pipes by
The Museum of Arts and Sciences affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution located at 352 Nova Road in Daytona Beach. Drive along a winding road to the museum admiring the lush foliage along the way. Pick up a map at the visitor desk and take a self-guided tour inside each of the galleries.
Wood engravings drawn by Winslow Homer, lithographs, graphite on paper and silkscreen print inside the Karshan Center of Graphic Art. A cast bronze bust of Jose Julian Marti, a Cuban Patriot, author, poet and translator sculpted by Juan Jose Velez Sicré one of the greatest Cuban Sculptors. Black and white photographs, pottery and furniture all inside the Cuban gallery.
A replica of a Mastodon, Dinosaur skull, shells and mollusks inside the pre-history gallery. The lower jaw of the Saber Tooth Tiger and the lower jaw of the Fossil Horse exhibited.
An assortment of masks, African Art and Artifacts throughout the African Art Gallery. Vigango commemorative posts to honor the spirit of the deceased by the Giriama people of Kenya.
Oil on Canvas paintings by portrait artists Frederick Spencer and Eastman Johnson. A Windsor chair, a seventeenth century court cupboard and an eighteenth century campaign chest in the American Art and Furniture Gallery. Spend an afternoon in the museum; afterwards visit the Sculpture Garden and Tuscawilla Preserve. Prices and hours of operation available on the website.
Trout Lake Nature Center located at 520 East CR 44 in Eustis. Drive along a gravel road to the Nature Center stopping for a turtle along the way. Have a picnic in the enclosed pavilion and then take a hike on one of the many trails. Walk along the stepping-stones in the butterfly garden.
A Touch Table inside the Charles Newell Hall Museum named after Mr. Hall who was instrumental in developing the center. Mounted birds, turtles and snakes on display.
A kiosk lists the land and aquatic turtles native to Florida and the correct handling of turtles. Watch closely for a turtle in one of the cages to appear from underneath a log or a man-made turtle burrow.
A Diorama inside the nature center filled with different species. Ancient fossils, a rock and butterfly exhibit. Pick up a brochure about the birds of the nature center and a trail map. Free entrance to the museum. Hours of operation on the website.
A beautiful landscape cover the grounds of the Museum of the Apopkans located at 122 E Fifth Street in Apopka. Apopka named the foliage capital of the world. On the lawn, a plaque dedicated to the veterans and civilians of WWII. A millstone used for grinding grain and a bell from the locomotive donated by the Land Family who owned a logging railroad on display. Mayor Land the longest serving mayor of Apopka for over sixty-one years.
Our museum guide took us around the museum explaining everything in detail. The Andersons, Jacksons, Olsons, Larson and Thollander families from Sweden established the settlement of Piedmont. The settlement existed for a hundred years until the town annexed into Apopka in 1986.
A wine press exhibited. The Jackson and Larson families owned and operated a winery in the late 1890s. Florida Orange Wine made from a cross between a lemon and an orange. A Christening dress and a baby crib for Bertha Olson a child of the early settlers to Piedmont. An exhibit of a late nineteenth century living room and a mid-1930s kitchen.
Native American artifacts from Arrowheads to pot shards found around the Lake Apopka area. Photographs on the wall of the Armstrong family and African-Americans in Apopka. A photograph of Willie Lewis “First African-American” mail carrier for the U.S. Post Office in Apopka.
The library filled with books on early Apopka History, Black History and small towns. I recommend the museum a very knowledgeable guide. Free entrance to the museum, donations accepted. Museum hours located on the website.