Some of these gorgeous historic houses can give you a good idea of what your dream home might look like, some will give you an idea of what it’s like to step back in time, and some will do both. You simply must visit these homes if you’re in Florida.
1. Villa Vizcaya, Miami, FL
This European-inspired estate was the winter property of agricultural industrialist John Deering. Today it is a museum full of art and antiques and a National Historic Landmark. It also has 10 acres of beautiful gardens on the Biscayne Bay.
2. Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, Palm Beach, FL
This 55-room mansion, also known as Whitehall, was built at the dawn of the 20th century by Henry Flagler, one of the founders of Standard Oil. This extravagant home is built around an open courtyard and features murals, gilding, and marble everywhere.
3. The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL
The entire museum, and especially the circus entrepreneur's winter home seen here, the Ca d'Zan, is bold and breathtaking. This Venetian Gothic-style mansion overlooks Sarasota Bay and was the city's cultural center for many years.
4. Audubon House and Tropical Gardens, Key West, FL
From orchids to antiques, the grounds for this museum of famous ornithologist John James Audubon is rich in Key West history and has something for everyone.
5. Florida Pioneer Museum, Homestead, FL
The railway station agent's home on these grounds was turned into a museum of pioneer life, including an antique train car and 100-year old train station.
6. The Oldest House Museum Complex, St. Augustine, FL
The owners of the González-Alvarez House claim it was built in the 16th century and the oldest house in America, which is contended by other sites. Nonetheless, it is fascinating in that evidence of Spanish, British and American occupation can be seen here.
7. Bonnett House Museum and Gardens, Fort Lauderdale, FL
The charming estate of painter and art collector Frederic Clay Bartlett is remarkable for how authentic it has remained, true to the artist's life and vision. The wild and beautiful coastal gardens are not to be missed.
8. Deering Estate at Cutler, Miami, FL
The Florida home of Charles Deering. It features a three-story wooden home and a three-story stone mansion, each impressive in their own right.
9. Eustis Historical Museum and Preservation Society (Clifford House), Eustis, FL
Each room in this charming home full of antiques and local history has a different theme, including an "Indiana Jones" room dedicated to the real man who inspired the character.
10. Dow Museum of Historic Houses, St. Augustine, FL
This outdoor museum features eight restored homes built between 1790 and 1910, with over a century of history to be told.
There are lots of historic homes in Florida, so let us know if we missed any of your favorites.