Best of Arts & Entertainment
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Best Entertainment Under One Roof
The casino features high stakes table games, thousands of the hottest slot machines, as well as a new smoke free slots area. The new state-of-the-art Poker Room features 46 tables and a new art deco-inspired Mezzanine Level Casino, with more than 500 premium and high limit slots. The award winning fine dining at Council Oaks Steak & Seafood offers hand cut steaks and delicious seafood towers. Relax with a massage or special treatment at the Rock Spa & Salon.
Rock Brothers Attic
Best Intimate Concert Hall
Above Rock Brothers Brewing in Ybor City is a great venue that hosts musical acts from singer songwriters to national and regional artists and comedy performances. Beer and craft cocktails can be ordered from your phone and brought right to the table.
Tampa Museum of Art
Best Museum for Public Programs
Located on the Hillsborough River next to Curtis Hixon Park, the Tampa Museum of Art offers seven interior galleries, an exterior sculpture gallery and a large LED covered portico that hosts numerous events. The lighted exterior called Sky, was created by artist Villarreal. Exhibitions change frequently bringing the world’s finest visual arts to the area. The Museum has been dedicated to providing quality education to students and adults, with more than half of its programs offered free of charge.
Best Regional Professional Theatre
Celebrating 40 years of bringing theatre to the Tampa Bay Area, American Stage offers programming throughout the year with the MainStage season, Spotlight Series, 21st Century Voices: New Play Festival, American Stage in the Park and Improv.
Best Local Studio Space
Gallery owners, Cassie and Jake Greatens, are determined to be involved and expand the Tampa Bay area art scene by hosting exhibitions from local, regional, national and international artists. The gallery is also available for private event rental.
Best Downtown Movie Palace
Having recently undergone a major restoration, the historic Tampa Theater, built in 1926, has meticulously restored the paint and plaster throughout the lobby and revamping the concession stand, reseating the auditorium, replacing carpeting and drapery, plus many behind-the-scenes upgrades to preserve and protect the Theatre for years to come.
Best Multi-Event Venue
As home to the Tampa Bay Lightning and Tampa Bay Storm, this 670,000 square foot arena is an ideal venue for more than 150 events each year including national concerts, performing acts and more.
Best Non-Profit Art From Fine Craft Artists
The gallery on Central Ave. in downtown St. Petersburg, boasts a second floor featuring 18 artists’ studios and a classroom where workshops are designed to educate artists in the business of art. The CraftArt Festival, a 2 day outdoor event is held each November.
MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre
Best Large Outside Concert Venue
Whether on the lawn or under the covered seats, some of the largest musical acts perform at the Amphitheatre from country to rock.
Best Home for Community Visual & Performing Arts
For over 13 years, this art studio created by a group of passionate and creative people, have been dedicated to artists, audience and volunteers alike, to entertain and educate with a variety of programing about heritage, history, song, theatre and more. The unique space is available to rent.
The Florida Aquarium
Best Natural Environment Aquarium
The Florida Aquarium showcases more than 7,000 animal and plant species. From the DolphinQuest ecotour boat to the Dive with the Sharks program, this family friendly aquarium has been voted as one of the top 10 aquariums in North America. The Splash Pad is a fun, outdoor water play zone for the kids.
813. 273.4000; www.flaquarium.org.
Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
Best Museum Dedicated to Photography
If you’re a fan of photography, then a visit to FMoPA is a must. The museum is dedicated to exhibiting important photographic art as central to contemporary life and culture. Learn more about photography by taking one of the numerous classes for all talent levels.
Salvador Dalí Museum
Best Mind Bending Arts Museum
In the heart of St. Petersburg is the The Dalí Museum, which continues to grow with the help of collectors, experts and partners. The unparalleled collection of Salvador Dalí art, features more than 2,000 works, comprised of oil paintings, watercolors, drawings, prints, photographs, sculptures and objets d’art.
USF Contemporary Art Museum
Best Contemporary Art Museum in Hillsborough County
On the campus of USF, the museum organizes and presents exhibitions of contemporary art. Serving also as a teaching laboratory, the educational programs and initiatives showcase contemporary art practices. The collection includes more than 5,000 pieces of art.
Duncan McClellan Gallery
Best Local Glass Gallery
The 3,000 foot gallery in St. Petersburg warehouse arts district represents over 50 national and international glass artists. The Hot Workshop offers educational programing and allows owner, Duncan McClellan to mentor other artists. The gallery and outdoor space is available for private rental.
Museum of Fine Arts
Best Art For Diverse Audiences
Located on the waterfront in downtown St. Pete, the MFA has a world-class collection of works including Monet, Morisot, Rodin, Cezanne, Renoir and Willem de Kooning. The photographic collection at the Museum of Fine Arts now boasts more than 16,000 photographic items that span the history of the medium. On exhibition thru April 1, 2018 is the Star WarsTM and the Power of Costume showcasing more than 60 costumes of Star Wars characters.
The Palladium Theatre at St. Petersburg College
Best Affordable Venue for Music
The historic Palladium, located in downtown St. Petersburg’s cultural center, has been consistently ranked as one of Tampa Bay’s best, most affordable music venues featuring genres of jazz, blues, pop, opera and more.
Ruth Eckerd Hall
Best Venue for Performing Arts in Clearwater
From seasonal favorites to musical acts, Ruth Eckerd Hall provides a variety of programming to satisfy the performing arts lovers. The Broadway series brings Jersey Boys and Kinky Boots back to the area in 2018.
The Leepa Rattner Museum of Art
Best Modern/Contemporary Art Museum in Pinellas County
Located on the campus of St. Petersburg College, the museum has a collection of more than 6,000 works of 20th and 21st century art. The core of the collection includes works by Abraham Rattner, a renowned figurative expressionist; Esther Gentle, a printmaker, sculptor and painter; and Allen Leepa, an abstract expressionist artist. Other notable artists include: Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Fernand Léger and Henry Moore.
Straz Center for the Performing Arts
Best Theater for a Live Show
Celebrating 30 years of bringing the best programing from Broadway to Opera to artistic shows and concerts, the Straz Center boasts five theaters for enjoyment. The
Straz offers three convenient dining options for a dinner before the show: Maestro’s Cafe, Maestro’s Restaurant or Maestro’s On the River.
Florida Holocaust Museum
Best Living Memorial Museum
The museum has marked 2017 with a celebration of its 25th Anniversary. The Museum has evolved into the preeminent source of Holocaust information in the Southeastern United States and one of the foremost Holocaust institutions in the country, and strives to teach the importance of human life to prevent future atrocities.
The Mahaffey Theater
Best Waterfront View Theater
The 2,031-seat cultural jewel boasts spectacular waterfront views in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, offering quality programing including national and international artists and performances in Broadway, pop, rock, comedy, dance and more. Also home to the Florida Orchestra in St. Pete.
Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo
Best Kid Friendly Zoo
The lush and tropical zoo is set on 56 acres in the Tampa area where kids will enjoy countless experiences with over 1,300 animals to view including giraffes, zebras, manatees and more. Opening in spring of 2018 is Roaring Springs, a wild, new water adventure that will have a three story splashdown.
The State Theatre
Best Intimate Concert Space
The variety of local and national acts makes The State Theatre an ideal venue to get up close to the artists. Constructed in 1924, The State Theatre is an outstanding example of Beaux-arts style architecture.
Best Live Outdoor Concert Venue
Referred to by locals as the “Skipperdome,” this iconic Tampa Bay landmark offers live music of rock, blues, reggae and more six days a week outside under old oak trees. Before the show grab a bite of Floribbean cuisine and of course, the famous fried gator tail.
Best Outdoor Music Venue in St. Pete
The outdoor courtyard, with a rich history, is a fun gathering spot to watch the numerous concerts from local and emerging artists to national artists in all musical genres. The venue is standing room only.
The Glazer Children’s Museum
Best Place To Explore & Dream
Located adjacent to Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa, the Glazer Children’s Museum is a great place for kids to experience learning environments where they can play, discover, and connect to the world around them. The museum has 19 themed areas and 170 exhibits annually.
Chihully Collection-Morean Arts Center
Best Collection of Colorful Glass Art
On Central Ave. in downtown St. Petersburg, this special collection of Chihully art boasts a stunning, permanent collection of world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s unique artwork. The Morean Arts Center consists of three venues, which celebrated 100 years in the community. Watch a Hot Shop Demonstration or try it yourself with a personal Hot Shop Glass Experience.
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