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in     by Glen F. 09.11.2014

Five museums in Fort Lauderdale that you should visit are within a few miles of each other. Along with the historic Stranahan House, the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale and the Museum of Discovery and Science are located downtown. Bonnet House and the International Hall of Fame are east of downtown near the Atlantic Ocean.

Stranahan House. Built in 1901, was the main trading post for the New River settlement that preceded Fort Lauderdale. Trading was conducted on the lower floor, while community activities were held on the second floor. Restored in 1984, the museum also included a gift shop that carries locally made handcrafts. Guided tours are available three times each day, except holidays. $12 for adults.

Other top-notch museums in Fort Lauderdale include:

Bonnet House. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, this private home near the Atlantic Ocean was built by city benefactor Hugh Taylor Birch in 1920. Ninety minute tours of the home and gardens are available every day except Monday. $20 for adults.

Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale. Part of NOVA Southeastern University since 2008, this museum boasts more 6,000 pieces in its permanent collection. With focuses on photography, Latin American artists and education, the museum is open every day except Monday. $10 for adults.

Museum of Discovery and Science. This children’s museum features exhibits covering the Everglades, space rockets, otters at play, pre-historic Florida, and more. The museum’s IMAX theater (closed for renovations until Oct. 31) is the largest in the state. The museum is open year round, except for one day each in the fall and spring. $14 for adults.

Swimming Hall of Fame. Opened in late 1965, this swimming complex features two 50-meter pools, diving wells and a teaching pool. The museum holds more than 40 exhibits, including items from world champions Johnny Weissmuller and Mark Spitz. Open every day of the year except holidays. $8 for adults.

The Fort Lauderdale Historical Society conducts walking tours of the downtown Riverwalk historic district on Sundays. The $10 tour includes stops at the New River Inn (built in 1905), the King-Cromartie House (built in 1907) and the Replica School House (circa 1899). Here’s a map of the area.