A look at some of the top museums in Jacksonville

Those seeking a new adventure in the Sunshine State might want to visit Jacksonville museums. Take a walk on the wild side at venues that provide a glimpse into the metro's arts and culture, many of which are located conveniently near many of the homes for sale in Jacksonville.

Beaches Museum & History Park
Located at 381 Beach Boulevard in Jacksonville Beach, the Beaches Museum & History Park is roughly 17 miles from downtown Jacksonville. It was founded in 2006 by the Beaches Area Historical Society, a group of local residents committed to the historic preservation of the community's beaches.

This museum educates, entertains and informs visitors about the distinct culture and history of beach areas including Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach and Ponte Vedra Beach. Unique exhibits always keep things fresh for visitors of all ages.

In fact, a new exhibition titled "Mermaids of the First Coast" will take place from June 16 to August 25, 2012. Champion women surfers will display their boards and trophies as part of this exhibit. The event will kick off with a special opening night party and fashion show, and visitors can see photographs, surfboards, videos and more that provide a look at the marine world of these wave-riding ladies.

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens delivers an engaging experience for adults, children and seniors. It is stationed along a waterfront campus at 829 Riverside Avenue, and features a permanent collection of 5,000 art masterpieces and historic gardens.

Art Connections, the museum's nationally recognized education center, enhances the cultural learning experience for visitors. Classes, programs and tours are available to help create a unique educational environment. Additionally, the museums multidisciplinary focus emphasizes art, literature, poetry and more, and helps deliver extra insight into the museum's displays.

Ritz Theatre and Museum
Check out the Ritz Theatre and Museum at 829 North Davis Street to enjoy concerts, films and lectures about the La Villa community. From the 1920s to the 1960s, this neighborhood was often referred to as the "Harlem of the South" due to the African American culture present throughout the area.

This venue was designed to enthrall and entertain, so casual explorers and history buffs alike can have a fun experience. Whether it's a self- or docent-guided tour, take a trip to this theater and museum to learn about the rich history behind northeast Florida's African American community.