If you want to learn about Florida’s Native Americans, come to the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Seminole Indian Museum, 17 miles north of I-75. All of the excellent educational exhibits on Seminole life, history and the tribe today were founded on gaming proceeds, which provide most of the tribe’s multimillion-dollar operating budget.
The museum is located within a cypress dome cut through with an interpretive boardwalk, so from the start it strikes a balance between environmentalism and education. The permanent exhibit has several dioramas with life-sized figures depicting various scenes out of traditional Seminole life, while temporary exhibits have a bit more academic polish (past ones have included lengthy forays into the economic structure of the Everglades). There’s an old-school ‘living village’ and re-created ceremonial grounds as well. The museum is making an effort to not be a cheesy Native American theme park, and the Seminole tribe has gone to impressive lengths to achieve this.