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The Best Museums & Gardens in Florida

Take a break from social media and nourish your artistic spirit with art, history and culture

March 13, 2017
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florida museums, florida gardens, florida art

There are so many great places throughout Florida to experience art. pixabay.com

Florida is home to an extensive variety of museums statewide, there’s something to suit everyone’s interest no matter how niche it might seem. From children’s museums like The Children’s Science Explorium in Boca Raton to the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in Tampa, dedicated to preserving and exhibiting important works of photographic art, it’s easy to enrich your weekend with culture and history. See the full list of Florida Museums.

The Ringling Museum of Art

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A stunning aerial view of the Ca’ d’Zan, the Venetian Gothic home built for John and Mable Ringling. The Ringling

This Renaissance-style museum is comprised of 21 galleries showcasing John Ringling’s impressive art collection including sculptures, European antiquities, and world-class masterpieces from esteemed artists such as Peter Paul Rubens. Spend the day roaming the expansive estate to visit the original Circus Museum and Ringling Art Library, then conclude your afternoon with a tour of the opulent Ca’ d’Zan.

5401 Bay Shore Road Sarasota, FL 34243 ringling.org

The Norton Museum of Art

Visitor at The Norton Museum of Art

A visit to The Palm Beaches wouldn’t be complete without a stop at The Norton Museum. Discover The Palm Beaches

Founded in 1941, The Norton Museum of Art is not only a spectacularly modern structure where you can admire more than 8,200 works housing European, Chinese, and Contemporary collections, but when you’re finished viewing masterpieces such as Jackson Pollock’s Night Mist (acquired in 1971), step outside and treat yourself to a walk through their verdant 37,200-square-foot sculpture garden.

1450 S. Dixie Highway West Palm Beach, FL 33401 norton.org

Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens

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Surround yourself with serenity in the gardens. Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens via Facebook

The museum honors a revolutionary agricultural development plan pioneered by a small group of Japanese farmers in 1904. Learn about the connection Japan had to South Florida through arts and cultural exhibits and explore the gardens, meticulously designed to reflect important eras in Japanese history.

4000 Morikami Park Rd. Delray Beach, FL 33446 morikami.org

The Dali Museum

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Open seven days a week, experience the extraordinary collection of Dali’s art. The Dali Museum via Facebook

Housing more than 2,100 works representing all periods of Salvadore Dali’s eclectic portfolio, this museum is a whimsical dream. The 3-story building itself, designed by architect Yann Weymouth, is a feast for the eyes.

One Dali Blvd St. Petersburg, FL 33701 thedali.org

The Harn Museum

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The Harn Museum

Through the educational support of the University of Florida, the museum is successfully enriching minds for students and visitors. Harn Museum via Facebook

The Harn’s sizable collection consists of more than 10,000 works of art. As a fundamental part of the University of Florida, exhibitions are thoughtfully curated to pique the minds of visitors and students. Admission is free and the outdoor Asian gardens make the ideal spot to slow down and clear your mind.

3259 Hull Road Gainesville, Florida 32611-2700 harn.ufl.edu

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

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Tiffany pieces take center stage here but the museum includes a nice assortment of late nineteenth-century portraits like John Singer Sargent’s Richard Aldrich C. McCurdy, furnishings by Gallé and art objects by European artists such as Carl Fabergé. Courtesy of The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

Located in the heart of Winter Park, The Morse Museum houses the most comprehensive collection of art by Louis Comfort Tiffany spanning across a variety of mediums including lamps, pottery and leaded glass. Perhaps the most captivating of all, is a walk through the Byzantine-inspired interior of the Tiffany Chapel installation.

445 North Park Avenue Winter Park, FL 32789 morsemuseum.org

Cornell Fine Arts Museum

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Admission and events are always free to the public unless otherwise noted. Cornell Fine Arts Museum

Down the road from The Morse, lies the Rollins College campus of which the Cornell Fine Arts Museum sits. Set on a picturesque lake, the museum boasts the only European Old Masters collection in the Orlando area including over 500 paintings. Rotating shows are curated with broad diversity, some highlights include dynamic exhibitions like The Black Figure in the European Imaginary and Women and Abstraction.

1000 Holt Avenue Winter Park, FL 32789 rollins.edu

Pérez Art Museum Miami

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After-hours, The PAMM hosts many private dinner receptions and monthly special events like Third Thursdays Lounge. Robin Hill

Focused on modern and contemporary art, inside and out, the PAMM is a designer’s dream. The sleek structure sits on prime real estate overlooking Biscayne Bay and is known for hosting some of the most thought-provoking art exhibits as well as premiere music and fashion events. It also plays a vital role for residents and visitors offering continued education in digital media and a variety of hands-on community outreach programs.

1103 Biscayne Blvd. Miami, FL 33132 pamm.org

The Lightner Museum

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Open to the public seven days a week, The Lightner Museum is a gorgeous stop to make when visiting St. Augustine. The Lightner Museum

This palatial structure, built in 1988 by Henry Flagler as the Alcazar Hotel, is a sight not to be missed. Outside you’ll wander the impeccable grounds and striking courtyard, then head in to explore the contrasting collection of Otto C. Lightner’s treasures, including everything from 19th century fine art to the more eclectic objections like shrunken heads and human hair.

75 King Street Saint Augustine, Florida lightnermuseum.org

Bok Tower Gardens

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Spend an afternoon appreciating historic architecture and the scenic oasis. Bok Tower Gardens

The ornate, neo-Gothic structure known as The Singing Tower is a National Historic Florida Landmark. As the central anchor of the property, it has eight levels and stands 205 feet tall. The lush 250-acre garden surrounding it features many points of interest such as an endangered plant garden and a reflection pool offering an awe-inspiring view of the tower. Can’t pay a visit? Check out a this video tour.

1151 Tower Blvd Lake Wales FL 33853 boktowergardens.org

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

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The largest arts museum in Northeast Florida, patrons can revel in the beauty of art and landscape in one stop. The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens via Facebook

Meander the tranquil gardens along the St. John’s River to observe the integrated sculptures on display. Once inside, visitors can view the permanent collection which spans works from 2100 B.C. through the 21st century and includes masterpieces from the likes of Winslow Homer and Norman Rockwell. Education is paramount to the museum and families love the engaging interactive technology for all ages, kids can create their very own piece of art or a self-portrait without ever squeezing a smear of paint.

829 Riverside Avenue Jacksonville, Florida 32204 cummermuseum.org

Don’t miss these great Children’s Museums in Florida »

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