best of tampa bay

the bay’s best



Arts & Entertainment



Tampa Museum of Art

Best Public Art Museum

The shimmering aluminum exterior and LED light installation, serves as the cornerstone of Tampa’s art culture, located along the Hillsborough River and next to Curtis Hixon Park. Grab a drink or delicious light dining at the Sono Café. 813.274.8130;

The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art

Best Contemporary Museum in Pinellas County

Located on the campus of St. Petersburg College, this museum includes works by Abraham Rattner and modern art by Ester Gentle and Allen Leepa, as well as, Pablo Picasso, Henry Moore, and Marc Chagall. Call 727.712.5762;

Chihuly Collection – Morean Arts Center

Best Center for Colorful Glass

A stunning, permanent collection of colorful glass works by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly is on permanent exhibit at the gallery on Beach Drive. 727.896.4572 or

Florida CraftArt

Best Display of Fine Craft Artists

With a new name, Florida CraftArt, formerly Florida Craftsmen Gallery, it has been remodeled to display artists from around the state, and their art is for sale in the gift shop & changing exhibitions. 727.821.7391;

USF Contemporary Art Museum

Best Contemporary Art Museum in Hillsborough County

Adjacent to the USF College of Arts, CAM brings contemporary exhibits from artists around the world and raises awareness of current cultural trends for students, faculty and the community.  813.974.4133;

The Studio@620

Best Community Art House

The wide variety of art, heritage, history, song, literature, theatre and movie programing since 2004, bring a variety of art forms and people of different cultural backgrounds together in this community art space. 727.895.6620;

Salvador Dalí Museum

Best Surreal Museum

The landmark exhibit Picasso/Dalí, Dalí/Picasso, is on display through February 16, 2015.  The museum has the largest collection of Salvador Dalí’s work outside of Spain.  727.823.3767;

Baisden Gallery

Best Local Art Gallery

The premier gallery that showcases contemporary glass artists, painters and photographers including Derek Gores, Jennifer & David Clancy, Heath Seymour and Alberto Murillo, as well as other national and international artists.  813.250.1511 or

The Palladium Theater at St. Petersburg College

Best Showcase of Music Variety

The Palladium’s line up of artistic and musical acts includes jazz, blues, pop and opera. Check the online calendar for a variety of musical talents that will feed the soul. 727.822.3590;

Museum of Fine Arts

Best Comprehensive Collection

The permanent collection offers works by Cezanne, Renoir, Georgia O’Keefe and Monet. For an extra treat, enjoy lunch in the MFA Café, or the special musical events hosted by the museum throughout the year. 727.896.2667;

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

Best Play and Stay

Check in, but never leave at the casino operating 24/7, 365 days a year. The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is the sixth largest in the world, with nine dining options including Council Oak, Hard Rock Café and Rise Kitchen & Bakery, to satisfy any taste you desire, and rock star accommodations.  1.866.502.PLAY;

Tampa Theatre

Best Classic Date Night

Built in 1926, this historic movie palace flourishes with romance and its nighttime painted ceiling with twinkling stars. Enjoy classic and contemporary art films. 813.274.8981;

Straz Center for the Performing Arts

Best Theater Experience

Enjoy an elegant evening of the arts with the best of Broadway, Opera, concerts and artistic shows, in five unique theaters. Before the show, enjoy a special dinner at Maestro’s Restaurant or Café.  813.229.7827;

The Mahaffey Theater

Best Bayside Theater

A state-of-the-art European box-style seating theatre, with views overlooking the St. Petersburg waterfront, celebrates its 50th Anniversary. The theater brings in top performing artists of music, dance, comedy and theater and is home to The Florida Orchestra.  727.892.5767;

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

Best Animals and Attractions

Fun for the entire family with up-close views of zebras, giraffes, tigers, elephants, koalas, and hippos at this world-renowned zoo, with more than 1,000 animals housed on 56 acres in the heart of Tampa. 813.935.8552;

The Florida Aquarium

Best Wildlife Encounter

Dive with the sharks or swim with the fish at this fun aquatic destination in downtown Tampa. Kids will enjoy all the marine     animals, plus have a blast in the outside water play area – Explore A Shore.  813.273.4000;

Florida Holocaust Museum

Best Museum to Honor and Educate

Dedicated to honoring the millions of innocent people who died in the Holocaust, the museum teaches the importance of human life to prevent future genocides.  727.820.0100;

The Glazer Children’s Museum

Best Place to Let the Kids Play

It’s a place to let the kids run, play and learn, at the 170 interactive areas with 12 themed areas. When they are done inside, let them continue the fun outside at Curtis Hixon Park. 813.443.3861 or

Amalie Arena (formerly the Tampa Bay Times Forum)

Best Multi-Purpose Venue

From Lightning hockey games to the upcoming Maroon 5 concert in February, the Amalie Arena, formerly Tampa Bay Times Forum, hosts a wide range of
concerts and functions. With more than 150 different events held annually, the Arena is definitely a multi-use venue. 813.301.6500;

 Skipper’s Smokehouse

Best Eclectic Music Venue

The “Skipperdome,” as it is affectionally called, is a great place to enjoy live music that ranges from blues to reggae in an intimate outdoor setting.


Best Contemporary Art Space & Studio

Owners, Cassie and Jake Greatens, opened a modern space that exhibits art pieces from local, regional, national and international artists to help expand the art scene in the Tampa Bay area. In addition to exhibits, the space serves as a space for the community to engage in an array of art.  813.839.7135;

Armed Forces History Museum

Best Military Artifacts

Learn about military history from WW1 to the present at this informative and interactive museum with engaging, educational exhibits and artifacts from WWII, the Korean War, Vietnam and the Cold War. 727.539.8371;




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