Top 7 Auto Museums In Florida That Are A Must Visit

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Last Updated on January 20, 2024 by Allison Lancaster

Florida, home of Muscle Car City, is a haven for every car lover and has some of the best car museums in the world. Who doesn’t enjoy seeing a Rolls Royce or a Bugatti? Maybe you would love to see a Ferrari in person. Perhaps you are taking a stroll down memory lane of your own first vehicle.

1965 red ford mustang in classic car museum in florida

If you have a passion for classic cars that are in pristine condition and old cars that are more exotic or simply enjoy exploring automotive history, auto museums in Florida are the perfect place to visit. 

Auto Museums in Florida

Are you a car enthusiast, a history buff, or simply curious about the captivating world of automobiles? Look no further than the sunny state of Florida, home to a wide variety of specialty museums for antique automobiles and modern cars. Your museum experience will offer an immersive journey through automotive history.

variety of classic cars inside of classic car museum of st augustine.

Whether you’re drawn to classic cars, vintage pedal cars, or modern marvels of engineering, Florida’s automobile museums have something to satisfy every automotive passion. We will guide you through the fascinating world of automobile museums in Florida, showcasing their unique collections, interactive exhibits, and cultural significance.

Why Visit An Automobile Speciality Museum?

Florida’s rich automotive heritage and thriving car culture make it an ideal destination for all auto enthusiasts. From the early 1900s to the present day, automobiles have played a significant role in shaping Florida’s tourism, transportation infrastructure, and popular culture.

By visiting automobile museums in Florida, you can gain a deeper understanding of this automotive legacy while appreciating the timeless beauty and innovation of classic cars and the cutting-edge technology of modern vehicles.

Automotive History and Culture in Florida 

Before delving into the specific car museums, let’s understand the significance of automobiles in Florida’s history and culture. Florida’s automotive heritage dates back to the early 20th century when car manufacturing plants and racetracks started emerging across the state.

Automobiles played a pivotal role in shaping Florida’s tourism industry, transportation infrastructure, and even its pop culture.

The auto museums in Florida display the important part of the evolution of the automobile and its role in society. 

Family-Friendly Things to Do In Florida

Each year we visit St. Augustine for a few weeks. One of our favorite things to do is go to the local Classic Car Museum (more on that below!). I have always had a passion for cars and being able to see a variety of them with my children is so fun. Getting to see the different cars in the museum each year is a great indoor activity that helps to beat the heat. If you are looking for a fun family activity in Florida, I suggest looking up the nearest auto museum and heading there with your kids!

collage of boy looking at automobiles in car museum in florida.

7 Must-See Automotive Museums in Florida

  1. The Classic Car Museum, St. Augustine: Located in the historic city of St. Augustine, the Classic Car Museum is a must-visit attraction for car enthusiasts and history buffs alike. It is also a great place to take the kids on a rainy day. This impressive museum showcases a stunning collection of classic cars, spanning several decades. From iconic unique cars to elegant European automobiles, the Classic Car Museum offers an immersive experience that takes visitors on a journey through automotive history. The museum boasts meticulously restored vehicles, informative exhibits, and knowledgeable staff that make every visit truly memorable. We love visiting this museum each year when we are in St. Augustine and the kids enjoy it as much as the adults! 
  2. Orlando Auto Museum: The Orlando Automotive Museum in Orlando, Florida, is a hidden gem that offers a diverse collection of automobiles representing various eras and genres. From classic American muscle cars to European sports cars, visitors can admire iconic vehicles like Chevrolet Camaros, Ford Mustangs, and Porsche 911s. The museum provides an immersive experience, allowing guests to interact with the cars and learn about their inner workings. In addition to the automobile collection, the museum features exhibits showcasing vintage gas pumps, antique signage, and other automotive memorabilia. 
  3. The Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota: While not exclusively dedicated to automobiles, the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota houses an exceptional collection of art and also features a unique exhibit showcasing vintage automobiles. This exhibit, known as the “The John and Mable Ringling Circus Museum,” pays tribute to the history of the circus and its role in popularizing the use of automobiles. Visitors can marvel at vintage circus wagons, parade cars, and even a collection of intricately designed miniature circuses.
  4. The Revs Institute, Naples: Situated in Naples, the Revs Institute is a world-renowned institution that focuses on the preservation and study of automotive history. It boasts an extensive collection of significant automobiles, ranging from pre-war classics to contemporary sports cars. The Revs Institute’s primary objective is to promote research and education about automobiles and their impact on society. Visitors can explore the collection through guided tours, witnessing rare and unique vehicles in a beautifully curated setting.
  5. The Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach: While not a traditional car museum, the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach holds a special place in automotive history. Known as the “World Center of Racing,” this iconic racetrack has been the site of legendary NASCAR races, including the prestigious Daytona 500. The Speedway offers guided tours that provide a behind-the-scenes look at the track, its history, and the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of racing legends.
  6. The Tallahassee Automobile Museum, Tallahassee: In the capital city of Florida, Tallahassee, lies the Tallahassee Automobile Museum, a hidden gem that showcases an impressive variety of automobiles and other collectibles. The museum features over 160 automobiles, including rare classics, muscle cars, and even replicas of famous movie cars. Beyond automobiles, visitors can explore exhibits on vintage bicycles, motorcycles, and memorabilia from American pop culture. With such a diverse collection, the Tallahassee Automobile Museum offers a comprehensive experience that appeals to car enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
  7. The Sarasota Classic Car Museum: Located in Sarasota, Florida it is the second oldest continuously operating classic car museum in the United States. With over 75 vintage vehicles on display, it offers a captivating journey through the evolution of automobiles. From Duesenberg to Rolls-Royce, the collection showcases rare and iconic cars meticulously restored to their original glory. The knowledgeable staff provides insights into each vehicle’s history and significance. The museum also features unique microcars and exhibits on vintage bicycles, motorcycles, and even a replica of the Batmobile. Beyond the automotive experience, the museum hosts events and charity fundraisers, fostering community engagement. A visit to the gift shop offers automotive-themed merchandise. Overall, the Sarasota Classic Car Museum is a testament to the timeless allure of classic automobiles, preserving automotive history, and providing an unforgettable journey for car enthusiasts of all ages.

Florida’s car museums offer a captivating blend of history, culture, and automotive artistry, along with a deep appreciation of these engineering achievements.  

classic blue and white 1965 mustang in auto museums in Florida.

From the Classic Car Museum in St. Augustine to the Revs Institute in Naples and the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you are a seasoned car enthusiast or simply curious about the evolution of automobiles, these museums provide an immersive experience that brings the rich heritage that some would say is the greatest invention of our century to life.

So, plan your visit and embark on an unforgettable journey through time and automotive excellence in the Sunshine State.

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