10 Florida Art Museums Perfect for the Creative Traveler


Most travelers visit Florida for the sun, sand, and surf. But that doesn’t mean visitors shouldn’t check out the Sunshine State’s art scene while they’re there. FL is brimming with art museums, making it a veritable haven for creatives. From contemporary art and history to a vibrant mix of diverse cultures and media, if you’re passionate about all things artistic, you’ll be delighted with all the options here. Plus, marveling at world-class artwork is the perfect way to retreat from the scorching sun and occasional afternoon thunderstorms. That said, these are ten of the best art museums in Florida that are perfect for the creative traveler.

ten Florida Museum of Photographic Arts

One of the very first art museums that travelers should visit is the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (FMoPA). FMoPA is truly a unique space in Tampa entirely dedicated to exhibiting photographic artwork. Here, creative travelers will instantly fall in love with the wide variety of stunning photographs, which range from critical central events throughout history to everyday contemporary life and culture. FMoPA is a great choice for history buffs, photographers, and anyone who can appreciate these preserved exhibits of historical and contemporary works from around the world.

9 Nova Southeastern University Art Museum

For creatives in Fort Lauderdale, the Nova Southeastern University Art Museum, also known as the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art, is an absolute must. This space of modernist architecture offers several current exhibitions, dozens of galleries, a vast auditorium for a variety of events, a music store and a café. Plus, this lovely museum is centrally located on South Florida’s Art Coast. So, visitors can experience the city’s scenic Riverwalk, nearby shops, other galleries, great bars, and several waterfront restaurants after touring the grounds.

8 The Mennello Museum of American Art

To The Mennello Museum of American Art, cultured travelers can marvel at incredible works of art and a wide range of paintings by some of the most extraordinary talents. Additionally, this Orlando-based art gallery with a semi-intimate setting offers comprehensive programs, various classes, special events, educational initiatives, and a variety of ongoing exhibits that showcase all things American. So if you want a glimpse into the past, present, and future of American art, here’s your chance to do so. This art museum showcases a wide range of artists, genres and eras.

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seven Perez Miami Art Museum

For travelers soaking up the sun in Miami, the Perez Miami Museum of Art (PAMM) is a must. Here the focus is on International art of the 20th and 21st centuries. There is an extensive permanent collection of works by several acclaimed artists, including Jenny Holzer and Sam Gilliam. This larger-than-life museum also boasts a legendary facade, hanging gardens, a sculpture garden overlooking Biscayne Bay, and phenomenal exhibits. Many of these artistic explorations span the postcolonial condition, African diaspora art, current topics consuming society, and more. Also, one of the advantages of this museum is that there are timed tickets, which can be booked online in advance. So you can enjoy the museum without feeling like you can’t see past the crowds.

6 Ernest Hemingway House

If you find yourself in the Key West area, you probably already know that Ernest Hemingway is a big deal. So do yourself a favor and check out the Ernest Hemingway Museum. Not only is it a fascinating insight into the life of one of America’s most beloved writers and his overall creative process, but it’s also a simply delightful experience. The former residence/now museum of Ernest Hemingway still has many its charm and decoration from the 1930s— with generations of six-toed cats. As a bonus, for all the literature buffs, you can see Hemingway’s writing studio, so be prepared to have your fangirl/boy play when you visit.

5 Mont Dora Museum of Modernism

At first glance, the Mont Dora Museum of Modernism seems very eclectic and oddly focused on uniquely beautiful yet fully functional furniture. But don’t let that put you off; the informative video of this museum illustrating 1980s Memphis Art Movement practically life changing. Also, a surprising fact here is that much of the museum’s collection once belonged to the private estate of David Bowie. So if you’re looking for an unexpected trip down the rabbit hole that pushes boundaries and subverts expectations, then this is more than likely the museum for you.

4 Tampa Museum of Art

Another great museum in Florida that travelers and art connoisseurs will love is the Tampa Museum of Art. With a permanent collection of historical significance that showcases a plethora of Roman, Greek and Egyptian art and artifacts ranging from 600 to 300 BCE, this museum is ideal for history buffs and creative people. There are also amazing temporary exhibitions and updates happening here regularly, so check the schedule on this museum’s website to find out what wonderful events and shows await you.

3 Marietta Museum of Art and Fantasy

Located in Sarasota, The Marietta Museum of Art and Fantasy, as the name suggests, is all about plugging in things of artistic and whimsical significance to the masses. As a result, visitors to the museum can explore a wide variety of works by living artists, different artistic mediums, and much more. If you decide to visit, be sure to check out the Lee Family Outdoor Gardens, especially if you enjoy taking artistic and whimsical photos of unique spaces..

2 Institute of Contemporary Art

Located in Miami’s famous Design District, the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) is a feast for the eyes. This museum is not only bold and eye-catching, but it also features permanent and special exhibits that showcase emerging local artists. So if you’re particularly interested in Latin American artists, you’re in for a treat here. All in all, it’s the perfect place for travelers who want to experience the artistic side of Miami while on vacation. Notable permanent collections at the ICA include works by Pablo Picasso, Yves Klein and Roy Lichtenstein, to name a few.

Related: Miami: How to Visit Florida’s Best City on a Budget

1 Salvador Dali Museum

Finally, creative travelers should check out the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg at least once in their life. Dalí’s works helped make Surrealism what it is today, and this phenomenal gallery celebrates his work from every possible angle, to say the least. So if you’ve never had the chance to explore this glittering bubble-shaped museum with mirrored windows or fall head over heels in love with Dalí, then this is your chance. Here, museum visitors can view Dalí’s most notable works and thousands of his lesser-known pieces.


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