Best Places to See Art: Orlando, Florida

 Lake Eola, photo by Mick Haupt
 Lake Eola, photo by Mick Haupt
 Lake Eola, photo by Mick Haupt

As home to the most visited amusement park in the world, most everyone knows Orlando, Florida is a great place for a family vacation. Among its four theme parks, Disney World hosts tens of millions of visitors a year, and there are at least half a dozen additional major amusement parks in the Orlando area. Needless to say, the city is the top destination for people with children for this reason. But there is more to Orlando than EPCOT and space mountain. Take for example its claim to fame as the birthplace of the Backstreet Boys, not to mention the (slightly more compelling) role of nearby Cape Canaveral as a frequent launch point of the Space Shuttle. But wait, there’s more - Orlando serves up a pretty exceptional arts and culture scene as well.

People looking to experience art may be pleasantly surprised by the wealth of opportunities. Many of the best museums and art spaces are conveniently located in the historic core of the city in downtown Orlando. While short drives may be required for the route we suggest, there isn’t anything on the list that will burn through your fuel budget, with many locations being easily walkable as well, depending on your preference.



Orlando has some of the most fascinating and educational museums in the country. From the Museum known as Chocolate Kingdom to the Kennedy Space Center in nearby Merritt Island, making the rounds can be an enlightening and informative experience. As we are inclined to do, we are highlighting a couple of the best art museums in the country, located in the heart of Orlando.

Orlando Museum of Art“Cobalt and Citron” at the Orlando Museum of Art, photo by Smart Destinations

Starting in the Loch Haven Park neighborhood, we recommend you pay a visit to the Orlando Museum of Art (OMA). The museum, considered among the best in the region, has been in operation since 1924 with a stated mission to share and interpret compelling art and preserve a cultural legacy in central Florida. The museum’s collections are delineated by American art, African American art, Art of the Ancient Americas, and Contemporary Art.

When you first enter the Orlando Museum of Art, you are greeted by a spectacular display in the form of “Cobalt and Citron Tower” by renowned sculptor Dale Chihuly. The sculpture features 434 individual pieces of blown glass, in the brilliant hues of greens and blues for which the tower is named. The museum’s acquisition of Chihuly works is ongoing with plans for the first-of-its-kind rooftop garden of glass sculptures as part of a new OMA location under development on Church Street. The garden will be on the 9th floor of the proposed 33 story building, expected to open in 2024.

2416 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL

Mennello Museum of American Art

Also located in Loch Haven Cultural Park, the Mennello Museum of American Art through its various programs celebrates the diverse nature of American Art. The museum displays the permanent collection of paintings by Earl Cunningham, donated from the collection of Michael and Marilyn Mennello for whom that Museum is named. Mennello also features rotating exhibitions of other traditional and contemporary American artists.



The Mennello’s Cunningham collection is the largest in the country. A bit of a loner, Cunningham was known for his folk art landscapes. Rumor has it that much of the time he used commercial paints that he purchased at yard sales to create his masterpieces. The permanent collection is a 20th-century slice of Americana that along with the sculpture garden and rotating exhibitions, are worth checking out.

900 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL



Downtown Orlando near Lake Eola is home to a host of great art galleries, and the location is convenient to the museums we’ve already mentioned. The district is known for both its extraordinary visual and performing arts spaces. We are highlighting just a few stand-out galleries that make the downtown Orlando neighborhood a great place to see art.

Redefine Art Gallery

The Redefine Gallery features a funky and eclectic collection of unique art, with a focus on street, urban and contemporary works. Redefine showcases local and nationally recognized artists. Redefine is located within the City Arts Factory, a collective of visual and performing arts locations within a single space, including six art galleries and several other exhibition spaces.

39 S Magnolia Ave, Orlando, FL

Snap! Gallery

As the name suggests, Snap! showcases photography and multimedia art. The inviting and open space is part of the vision of Patrick and Holly Kahn, who founded their non-profit to encourage and cultivate emerging talent. The Kahns are hard-charging art enthusiasts looking to elevate Orlando’s status as a viable city for the arts. They have created murals in “augmented reality” a citywide virtual experience utilizing the City Unseen app to project the various artworks.



420 E Church St, Orlando, FL

Terrace Gallery at City Hall

Props to the powers that be within the city of Orlando for establishing an art gallery devoted to the display of works by local artists as part of their government seat in City Hall. Open since 1992, in addition to Orlando artists, the Terrace Gallery features national and international artists as part of their exhibitions as well. It is accessible to the public seven days a week with more limited hours on weekends.

Orlando City Hall, 1st Floor

400 South Orange Ave. Orlando, FL

Grand Bohemian Art Gallery



The gallery is located within the Grand Bohemian, a glamorous, bold, and unique hotel reminiscent of a turn of the 20th-century Parisian cabaret. The Grand Bohemian Gallery curates paintings, jewelry, and sculptures from local Orlando area artists with a frequently refreshed portfolio of interesting works. Not unlike the hotel, it is a richly appointed space with artworks equally intriguing.

325 S Orange Ave. Orlando, FL


We hope we’ve provided you with some great ideas for viewing art in Orlando. If you aren’t ready to commit to the trip quite yet, check out original art in similar styles to those we’ve spotlighted, including contemporary, landscapes, and eclectic art.