Maritime Heritage

Florida has one of the longest continuous coastlines in the country with more than 1,260 miles, not to mention the more than 12,000 miles of fishable rivers, streams and canals. Florida’s water resources and transportation along them have influenced many aspects of our culture. In Florida, there are both prehistoric and historic sites located offshore and in rivers and sinkholes - from submerged Native American canoes and habitation sites to the remains of sunken steamboats and schooners.

Some of Florida’s most impressive maritime sites date from the Colonial Period, such as two ships from the first colonization attempt by Spaniard Tristán de Luna, today known as the Emanuel Point and the Emanuel Point located just off shore in Pensacola Bay.  The site is the oldest European shipwrecks known in Florida and the second oldest in the United States.

Lighthouses are another reminder that Florida’s history and development has been guided by the determination of seafarers and those brave enough to face the uncertainty of the sea.  Learn more about the vital importance of these beacons for Florida history by visiting one of Florida’s many preserved lighthouses and museums.

Find out more about one of Florida’s shipwreck trails today:  1733 Spanish Galleon Trail, Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail, Museums in the Sea, Maritime Heritage Trail.

1 - 10 of 48

Port Boca Grande Lighthouse & Museum

In 1888, the U.S. Congress allocated $35,000 for the U.S. Lighthouse Service to build a lighthouse on Boca Grande Pass, the deepest natural port in the state. The Port Boca Grande Lighthouse... Read More

Region: South

County: Lee

City: Boca Grande

View Website

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a Florida non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring and preserving our marine life and environment through leadership in education, research... Read More

Region: Central

County: Pinellas

City: Clearwater

View Website

Billie Swamp Safari

Billie Swamp Safari offers first-hand experience of the wildlife and environment of the everglades. Overnight guests sleep in a native-style chickee hut. There are also day and evening... Read More

Region: South

County: Hendry

City: Clewiston

View Website

Harbor Branch Ocean Discovery Center at FAU Harbor Branch

To provide informative exhibits , publications, and educational programs which communicate to a diverse public the exciting aspects of marine biology and technology, and the state-of-the-art... Read More

Region: Central

County: St. Lucie

City: Fort Pierce

View Website

National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum

The National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum was formally dedicated in November of 1985. Since that time a continuous stream of history and artifacts has returned home to Ft. Pierce. The exterior... Read More

Region: Central

County: St. Lucie

City: Fort Pierce

View Website

Urca de Lima Underwater Archaeological Preserve

The Urca de Lima Underwater Archaeological Preserve, at the site of one of the fabled Spanish plate flota (fleet) wrecks that sank during a hurricane in 1715 off present-day Fort Pierce,... Read More

Region: Central

County: St. Lucie

City: Fort Pierce

View Website

Florida Keys History of Diving Museum

The History of Diving Museum is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to telling the Story of Mankind’s Quest to Explore Under the Sea. The Museum itself contains more than... Read More

Region: South

County: Monroe

City: Islamorada

View Website

San Pedro Underwater Archaeological Preserve

The San Pedro Underwater Archaeological Preserve is at the site of one of the Spanish plate flota (fleet) wrecks that sank during a hurricane in 1733 south of Indian Key in the Florida... Read More

Region: South

County: Monroe

City: Islamorada

View Website

Jacksonville Maritime Heritage Center

The Jacksonville Maritime Heritage Center is a non-profit, educational association and collects books, documents, artifacts, and other historical objects significant to General Maritime... Read More

Region: Northeast

County: Duval

City: Jacksonville

View Website

Maritime & Classic Boat Museum

The Maritime & Classic Boating Museum of Florida was incorporated in 1993 and opened to the public in 1995, moving to its home in 2003. Easily accessed by land or sea, via the south... Read More

Region: South

County: Martin

City: Jensen Beach

View Website
1 - 10 of 48