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.
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
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
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
Constructed in 1839 using materials taken from the former 1820 Cumberland Island Lighthouse in Georgia, the Amelia Island Lighthouse is the oldest existing lighthouse in Florida. In... Read More
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
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
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
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
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
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