Lightner Museum in St. Augustine is among the free museums you can visit Sept. 26, 2015.
Lightner Museum in St. Augustine is among the free museums you can visit on Smithonian Museum Day. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 is the day for budget travelers and museum lovers in Florida.

Many top attractions are free, even some attractions that normally charge $25 admission. It’s part of the nationwide Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day. All you have to do is go online and download your free tickets. (Two per household.)

Dozens of museums across Florida are participating. We’ve visited the following museums and gardens and can recommend them, but be sure to check out the full list and see what catches your interest.

Participating museums include some bigger ticket spots around Florida, including the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West, the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine and the St. Augustine and Pensacola lighthouses.

Here are five personal favorites from the list of participants:

Bok Tower and Gardens on the Lake Wales Ridge is actually on hilltop.
Bok Tower Gardens on the Lake Wales Ridge.

Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, is the state art museum of Florida, with an impressive collection of European paintings, a circus museum and the spectacular bayfront house of John and Mabel Ringling. The ticket to tour all the facilities is usually $25 for adults.

Bok Tower Gardens, 1151 Tower Blvd, Lake Wales. These stunning hilltop gardens, designated a national historic landmark, are located in the beautiful Lake Wales Ridge area, where there are many places to hike, paddle and explore. Adult admission is normally $12.

Harry S Truman Little White House State Historic Landmark, 111 Front street, Key West. The modest cottage tells the story of a great president, and it’s fascinating. Adult admission is usually $16.

Lightner Museum75 King Street, St. Augustine. Eclectic with something for everyone, the Lightner is a fun spot. It’s full of collections of things: Some odd, some awesome. Adult admission is usually $10.

Florida Keys History and Discover Center, 82100 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada. This new museum tells so many interesting stories of the Florida Keys, from the historic and deadly 1935 hurricane to the story of pirate and wreckers. It’s a great stop in when exploring Islamorada, which this guide helps you. Admission is usually $12.


Here’s more about Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day including where to download tickets.