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The Orange County Regional History Center allows visitors to explore 12,000 years worth of Central Florida history. The detailed exhibits go as far back as the Seminole Wars, and cover everything from natural disasters to the arraignment of Ted Bundy. You can even find out what Orlando was like before the establishment of Walt Disney World. Be sure to explore the gift shop for some excellent souvenirs.
This piece of 1950s architecture is believed to be one of the best art museums in the South. Founded in 1924, the museum now consists of three permanent exhibits - the American Collection, housing nearly 900 paintings, prints, photographs and sculptures from the 19th century onward; the Art of Ancient Americans Collection, boasting 500 artifacts of jade, gold and clay from Mexican, Costa Rican and Peruvian cultures; and an African collection of more than 70 artifacts, including masks, from various West African countries. OMA also hosts rotating exhibits. Residents of Orange, Seminole, Lake and Osceola counties receive free admission.
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is a large institution that houses the world's most comprehensive collections of works by both Charles Morse and Louis Comfort Tiffany. The museum also features collections of graphic and decorative art, and several painting galleries. Visit during Christmas time to experience the renowned Christmas in the Park, or stop by on a Friday night for free admission. The museum also has a shop that sells decorative items, books, glass works, and other gifts.
In addition to a permanent museum exhibit and a substantial library, the Holocaust Memorial Center offers an annual series of world-class visual arts exhibits, films, community events and educational programs. Examining the past and learning from it helps us understand the nature and consequences of prejudice, and encourages us to create a more tolerant and respectful community. Open to the general public. No admission charged.
Ripley's operates 35 oddity museums worldwide, and the experience of visiting one is a bit like devouring a pint of ice cream; you know it's not really good for you, but boy is it fun! The Orlando collection is housed in a Bavarian-style building, deliberately dis-proportioned to look like part of it has disappeared into one of Florida's infamous sinkholes. Inside, you'll find such oddities as a statue of a 1,069-pound man, torture devices from the Spanish Inquisition and a replica of a 1907 Rolls Royce built from more than a million matchsticks. Check website for further details.