Florida Friday Vol. 1, Issue 4 | October 2nd, 2015

Florida's Cultural Season Starts

Florida's cultural season has begun and over the next few months the Sunshine State will be a hotbed of activity, so why not look at enticing your clients with a cultural road trip. From the region's largest museum devoted to modern art in Tampa and the largest collection of Dali's surrealist work in St. Pete's to the internationally acclaimed Art Basel Miami Beach and the Opera in Sarasota, Florida's world-class art, music and dance events draw visitors from near and far. Here are just a few upcoming highlights on Florida's cultural calendar to whet your client's appetite:

Start in Tampa, on Florida's Gulf Coast, where The Tampa Museum of Art is located within easy driving reach of Tampa International Airport and is the region's largest museum devoted to modern art. It opened its award-winning home in 2010 with a commitment to providing innovative public programs with a strong focus on antiquities and modern and contemporary art.

A short half hour drive across Tampa Bay in nearby St. Petersburg, you'll find the heart of the region's art scene. Get your mind blown at The Dali Museum, which houses the largest collection of the surrealist's work outside of Spain. Fine arts lovers will bask in the works of classical and contemporary masters at the Museum of Fine Arts. There are also plenty of fantastic regional history museums in the area, such as the Great Explorations Children's Museum.

A scenic 45 minute drive down the Gulf Coast, Sarasota is known for its cultural attractions as well as its award-winning, white sand beaches. The area is home to The Sarasota Orchestra, The Ringling, Sarasota Ballet and many other musical, artistic and theatrical venues. The Sarasota Opera, now in its 57th season, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places due to the building's heritage as a theatre. Tickets are now on sale for the 2015/16 Festival Season, with La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini and Brundibar by Hans Krasa on the schedule for autumn 2015. The 2016 Winer Opera Festival includes Aida by Giuseppe Verdi (Sarasota Opera Premiere), Cosi fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Fidelio by Ludwig van Beethoven and The Battle of Legnano by Giuseppe Verdi (Sarasota Opera Premiere). The Sarasota Opera Season runs from October 13, 2015 - March 20, 2016.

Take Interstate 75 (aka Alligator Alley) from Sarasota to Miami, traversing the epic Everglades, to Art Basel Miami Beach (December 3 - 6, 2015) which has become one of the most talked about art events in the United States since its debut in 2002. More than 260 leading galleries from North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa will take part, showcasing works by more than 2,000 artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Occurring alongside Art Basel Miami Beach is Design Miami (December 2 - 6, 2015), the premier global forum for design. Each fair showcases museum-quality exhibitions of 20th and 21st century furniture, lighting and objects d'art. Also during Art Basel Miami Beach is another sign that Miami has ascended as a premier arts mecca. Art Miami (December 1-6, 2015) draws up to 55,000 arts lovers to the Wynwood Arts District, as well as more than 100 galleries from approximately 20 countries, including emerging and local venues.

Each February Coconut Grove, a former artist colony, honours its artistic roots with the Coconut Grove Arts Festival (February 13 - 15, 2016), the nation's largest annual outdoor celebration of visual arts and crafts. Every President's Day Weekend the Grove comes alive with the works of 360 internationally recognized artists, attracting more than 120,000 art lovers. From October to June, on the first Saturday of the month, First Saturday F.A.M. Nights welcomes visitors to Coconut Grove to enjoy free open gallery events, trunk shows at boutiques and live music in the streets.

With Hertz car hire available from over 300 locations across Florida, it's easy for your clients to get their cultural fix, and smug smile guarantee, in the Sunshine State. For more cultural activities in Florida visit www.visitflorida.com.

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