6 Vibrant Places In Florida To See Stunning Visual Art

Whether your interest is antiquities or modern pieces, paintings or sculptures, glass or clay, there are places in Florida that feature exquisite visual art. The following spots range from yearly festivals to options open seven days a week, including places perfect to bring kids who are as excited as you are to get lost in halls of great works of art. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

6 Superb Art Venues In Florida

Attraction Location Features
Morean Arts Center St. Petersburg Four locations including centers for clay, glass, and the Chihuly Collection
Tampa Museum of Art Tampa Cutting-edge space with an emphasis on photography and new media, along with the Riverwalk Cafe and an outdoor LED installation
St. Augustine Art Association St. Augustine Monthly themed exhibitions for local and emerging artists, annual festival, and special offerings for the visually impaired
Lightner Museum St. Augustine Extensive collection of historic decorative items, demonstrations of antique instruments, and indoor & outdoor spaces for events at the former Alcazar Hotel built in 1888
Museum of Arts & Sciences Daytona Beach Children's museum, planetarium, Tuscawilla Preserve coastal habitat, Root Family Museum of cultural heritage, and the largest collection of Florida art in the world
Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival Pensacola Juried art show, demonstrations, live music and dance, and activities for children during the first weekend in November

Fun for Children and Adults at the Museum of Arts & Sciences in Daytona Beach

Timeline of Florida Historical Facts

  • 1513: Juan Ponce de Leon lands north of Cape Canaveral and gives the area the name Florida
  • 1565: St. Augustine is the first permanent European settlement in North America
  • 1570: First citrus groves planted
  • 1763: Treaty of Paris ends French and Indian War, and Spain cedes Florida to Britain
  • 1776–1781: Florida colonies remain loyal to Britain during the American Revolution
  • 1783: Florida returned to Spain in exchange for the Bahamas and Gibraltar
  • 1810: British occupy Pensacola, but are driven out by Andrew Jackson in 1813
  • 1817–1818: First Seminole War
  • 1821: U.S. acquires Florida from Spain
  • 1824: Tallahassee established as territorial capital
  • 1845: Florida becomes a state
  • 1851: Dr. John Gorrie invents mechanical refrigeration
  • 1861–1865: Florida part of Confederacy in Civil War
  • 1885: Rollins College, the oldest college in Florida, founded in Winter Park
  • 1914: World's first scheduled passenger service airline flight from St. Petersburg to Tampa
  • 1937: Amelia Earhart takes off from Miami on fatal round-the-world flight
  • 1944: Sunscreen first developed by Benjamin Green
  • 1950: First rocket launch from Cape Canaveral
  • 1962: Cuban Missile Crisis
  • 1965: Gatorade invented at the University of Florida
  • 1969: Apollo 11 lands on the moon
  • 1971: Disney World opens
  • 2000: Florida becomes major focus in contested Presidential election
  • 2013: 500th anniversary of the arrival of Ponce de Leon

Printmaking Exhibition at the Morean Arts Center

In Depth

From paintings to sculptures, there are plenty of beautiful creations to see in the Sunshine State. Whether you're looking for a fun day trip or a way to support local artists, there are several organizations that might be of interest to you. Here, in no particular order, are six vibrant places in Florida where you can see stunning visual art.

First up, at #1, we have Morean Arts Center, which has been a resource and destination for artists and art lovers alike for over one hundred years. Visitors can explore four different locations, each of which has a different focus. The main center is free and open to the public. It houses a contemporary gallery and hosts a number of classes. The Chihuly Collection features the unique creations of Dale Chihuly, including several large-scale installations made specifically for the collection.

The Morean Center for Clay is devoted to promoting contemporary and historic ceramics and offers educational courses, studio space, event rentals, exhibitions, and an artist-in-residence program. Finally, the Morean Glass Studio gives guests the chance to not only see unique pieces but also to observe the creators at work. After watching the process behind glass objects, those interested can purchase them in the studio's store. If you want to support the center's efforts, you can plan a visit to one of its locations or make a donation on their website.

Finally, the Morean Glass Studio gives guests the chance to not only see unique pieces but also to observe the creators at work.

Coming in at #2 is the Tampa Museum of Art. Dedicated to collecting, preserving, and showcasing iconic and important works, this institution has a reputation for presenting contemporary photography and new media. Patrons and passers-by alike can enjoy the massive LED installation that covers its south facade. Those who come inside will find a modern gallery space furnished with translucent ceilings and polished concrete floors.

The Riverwalk Cafe at TMA offers views of the downtown skyline and the Hillsborough River. It features dishes created to highlight the museum's current exhibitions, which vary throughout the year. Some cover broad topics, like the classical period or glass objects, while others are focused on the work of a particular artist. Give back to TMA by applying to become a volunteer and either leading tours, helping with fundraising, or assisting with special events.

In the #3 spot, we have St. Augustine Art Association. The city it calls home has an artistic history that dates all the way back to its earliest founding, when the French king sent Jacques LeMoyne to document images of the New World. The association is dedicated to preserving that heritage and continuing the creative tradition in the area. Every month, it hosts a themed exhibition where emerging, student, and professional artists are all encouraged to participate. There is also a permanent collection which mainly consists of local subjects.

There is also a permanent collection which mainly consists of local subjects.

For decades, the St. Augustine Festival of Art has been held annually. Shoppers can browse through original paintings, sculptures, pieces of jewelry, and other one-of-a-kind creations while enjoying live music, food trucks, and holiday lights. Visually impaired visitors can explore the "Braille Trail," which features sculptures, raised tactile diagrams, and interpretive descriptions. To support these efforts and more, consider becoming a member.

At #4, we find the Lightner Museum, which is housed in the former Alcazar Hotel, a popular destination for travellers during the 1800s. Within the historic facade of the building, guests can find an extensive collection of decorative pieces from the 19th century, including typewriters, buttons, Tiffany glass, and more. Special exhibits are also held periodically and demonstrations of antique music machines take place daily.

The venue is open to the public almost every day of the year, and offers docent-led, curator-led, and self-guided tours. It is also available for weddings, featuring both indoor and outdoor spaces where guests can enjoy both festivities and art. Those who wish to keep items in the historic collection in good shape can take part in the Adopt an Artifact program and sponsor the restoration of a particular piece.

It is also available for weddings, featuring both indoor and outdoor spaces where guests can enjoy both festivities and art.

Next up, at #5, is the Museum of Arts and Sciences. Located in Daytona Beach, this space highlights cultures from different countries, like Africa, China, and Cuba. It also has plenty of Americana, including one of the largest collections of Coca-Cola memorabilia in the world. Kids can check out the Charles and Linda Williams Children's Museum for hands-on exploration that is both fun and educational. The organization also hosts Family Science Nights for elementary and middle school students.

There's plenty for adults to see as well. The planetarium is an immersive experience that can send guests to the stars with full-dome space films, night sky tours, and monthly laser rock concerts. Those who prefer the environments here on Earth can check out the Tuscawilla Preserve, a coastal habitat for numerous endangered species of plants and animals that contains boardwalks, nature trails, and interactive learning stations. Members can enjoy unlimited general admission, as well as lectures and social events.

Finally, at #6, we have the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival. The main event is a juried art show that features hundreds of talented painters, sculptures, photographers, woodworkers, and more. Demonstrations are also held, so attendees can see crafts like weaving, engraving, and even blacksmithing up close. The mainstage presents a wide range of music played by talented local bands.

The main event is a juried art show that features hundreds of talented painters, sculptures, photographers, woodworkers, and more.

Meanwhile, at the Parrish Performing Arts Stage, audiences can see folk dance, ballet, and more. Performing companies, dance schools, and community groups all have some time in the spotlight. Food and drink are also an important part of the festival, and local vendors are on hand to supply everything from tasty treats for kids to cocktails for adults. If you want to get involved, you can sign up to participate and show off your talent. You can also volunteer to help with setup, operation, and breakdown.