Collier Museum at Government Center
Nestled on five acres of native Florida landscaping, the Collier Museum at Government Center offers exhibits and galleries that capture the full panorama of local history.
Stalk prehistoric mastodons with Florida’s first big-game hunters, or travel even further back in time, when colossal sharks cruised the warm tropical seas that once covered Southwest Florida. See ancient tools and ceremonial masks and dig up the facts about the Calusa Indian civilization that flourished here. Trace America’s little-known wars in South Florida, the heroic journey of the Seminole people, and the origins behind traditional crafts like patchwork, once laboriously stitched together on hand-cranked sewing machines.
Exhibits also explore the daily lives – and utter isolation – of the first settlers and their families as they arrived on this watery frontier a hundred years ago and the vision of a self-made multi-millionaire who dreamed of taming a wilderness swampland the size of Delaware. Along the way, meet the hardy and colorful folk – the cattlemen, clam diggers, trail blazers, plume hunters, hermits, loggers, railroaders, rum runners, Crackers and Indian traders – who wrote the pioneer history of Collier County.
Pack a picnic and linger a while in the museum’s shady backyard. Then do a little exploring on your own around our native gardens, The Deuce steam engine, historic Kokomis boat, rugged swamp buggy, restored Naples cottages, reconstructed Seminole War Fort, World War II Sherman tank, and more.