Bishop Museum of Science and Nature

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature in Bradenton, Florida, is one of the most breathtaking sights on your trip to Lido Key.

Opened in 1960 and lying just minutes from the center of tourist hub Lido Key, this museum is a can’t-miss attraction if you like exploring both pre-historic and modern Florida history all under the same roof.

This museum is the pride and joy of many learners in the area, a top spot that elementary, middle school, high school, and even some university students visit annually as part of their curriculum. While searching for Lido Key rentals, jot down this destination as an attraction you won’t want to miss! 


This museum prides itself as the biggest of its kind across the Gulf Coast. It specializes in covering numerous eras of natural history, showing fossil evidence remains, artifact preservations, and much more. The museum envelopes ecology, biodiversity, and similar topics, using none other than the latest technology. It showcases “modern science practice” advancements for better global change.  

They’re open to the public from 10-5 daily (12-5 on Sundays, closed Mondays) except for weather or holidays. Showtimes for certain indoor showings rotate daily, weekly, or monthly, so it’s best to call in advance to confirm times.     

Ticket Prices

Tickets are free for Florida teachers, active-duty military members, and children 4 and under. For anyone 5-17, it’s $16 per person. College-age students 18 and older pay $19 per person upon showing their college ID. Adults who book online can pay just $25 per adult (or $23 if they’re 65 and older). 

How to Get Here from Lido Key

From Lido Key, Florida, the museum is about 15 miles or 35 minutes away by car. The most common and quickest approach to getting there is quite simple. Take S Washington Dr, John Ringling Blvd, and John Ringling Causeway to Bayfront Dr. Take US-41 N to 29th Ave W in South Bradenton. Then, take 9th St W to 10th St W in Bradenton, and it’ll be on your first right. 

boy playing with ball of "lightning"
Photo from Shutterstock

Signature Galleries 

Of all the things to do in Lido Key, the signature galleries here at the Bishop Museum top the list. People even buy a ticket just to come in and see these specific galleries! They include many elegantly laid-out halls encompassing a wide range of Hawaiian history, with information on everything from the first bread fruits brought to the area by Polynesian visitors. They’ve also got a large selection of interior botanicals native to the Hawaiian islands and their settlers. They aim to upkeep and preserve (as several are rapidly entering extinction due to modern pollution and worsening eco-conditions).


The Bishop Museum and Planetarium is all about continuous development in the form of ongoing, modern training offered to all. Especially to its navigators, this planetarium seeks to instill a breath of awe in all. Look through its many GOTO Chronos II systems and 4K video drones. You can see over 8,000 stars and countless planets as you gaze through the many classic and modern kaleidoscopes! Read the reports of past and present astronomers and astrologers to uncover new insights. The sky’s the limit, literally!

The planetarium also features its own hosted events from time to time, in which modern Astro-experts come out to speak and present their newest work. It gives all visitors, including rising astronauts or those training in the NASA field, a further chance to learn about the incredible discoveries made in space each day. There’s a good reason why this planetarium is considered among the top astronomy facilities in Florida! The best part is that admission to the planetarium is included in your regular ticket price.


When you visit the Bishop Museum, you’ll likely begin by viewing the exhibitions on the first floor. Here, you can see fossils from some of the oldest animals to ever live in Florida and tons of archaeological material dating back to the Archaic and Paleo-Indian peoples. Explore the Land of Change or the Great Hall, and be sure to check out the outdoor viewing window, where you can see the manatees that are currently being held in the rehabilitation center (more on that in a moment!).  

Then, you’ll want to head up to the second floor for even more exhibitions to discover. Here, you can find the Visible Storage Gallery, which is constantly changing based on what the museum wants to display at any given time. You’ll also find the River Heritage Hall, which offers a special focus on local history in terms of government, economics, and culture. Additionally, the Environmental Hall is ideal for those who want to learn more about the nature of Florida and its unique biodiversity and how visitors and residents alike can do their part to protect the Sunshine State.

Plan Your Visit

For places to stay in Lido Key, Florida, we’re right there in the heart of it all. Our Lido Key condos are near downtown yet still offer all the privacy you crave. Find out more by calling today! 

Manatee Habitat 

Thankfully, admission to the Manatee Habitat is automatically included with your museum admission. So there are no extra costs or fees to get inside and check it out. They feature a holistic blending of numerous manatees in second-stage rehab. The staff here makes sure to care for them in every way possible, quickly noting any adverse effects that cold stress and red tide exposure have had on these poor creatures in the last few decades. At the Manatee Habitat, you will learn how you can do your very best to help preserve the local ecosystem besides simply avoiding pollution or offering a donation. You will also know what you can do to advocate and petition, even from wherever you live in another state; these animals need your help! 

You’ll get to meet some of these manatees by name as you peer through the secured glass. You will be introduced to Aria, Janus, Iclyn, and others. While you’re here, the staff of the Bishop Museum can teach you all about manatees and their environments. Be sure to ask about Snooty, who lived here until he passed away in 2017. At the time, he was the world’s oldest known manatee at 69 years old!

Your Lido Key Vacation Rental   

Lido Key vacation rentals are waiting for you. It’s time to get your booking! If you’d like to learn about the Lido Key area and further history and plans to make the area even more welcoming, reach out to us today to discuss anything on Lido Key. We can point out all the best things to do in the area, and of course, we can help you discover the perfect Lido Key rental to put you right in the middle of the action.