Arts, Culture & History
The arts come alive in Orlando! From the best of Broadway and ballet at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, to thought-provoking collections and traveling exhibits at venues like Orlando Museum of Art and Cornell Fine Arts Museum, to unique destinations such as the Eatonville Historic District, we offer a mix of traditional and contemporary artistry and culture for you to explore — including many options that are completely free. Whether you’re interested in performing arts, museums, galleries or any combination thereof, prepare to be amazed by acclaimed cultural offerings that are uniquely Orlando!
Explore Unique Arts & Culture in Orlando
Love the arts? Then you’re going to love Orlando thanks to a wide range of cultural options throughout the destination.
Live Theater & Performing Arts in Orlando
Downtown Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts produces more than 300 shows every year. The lineup includes Broadway productions, performances by Orlando Ballet, chart-topping musicians, marquee comedians, family entertainment and much more.
In nearby Loch Haven Park, just 10 minutes from downtown, the play’s the thing at Orlando Shakespeare Theater, which offers classic, contemporary and even children’s plays — and of course, productions based on the works of its titular Bard.
You can also catch performing arts at many of our theme parks. For example, Walt Disney World® Resort hosts an array of well-known musical acts and talented performance artists at Epcot®’s seasonal festivals. SeaWorld® Orlando does the same as part of its Seven Seas Food Festival. At Universal Orlando Resort, you can witness the world-famous Blue Man Group at Universal CityWalk.
Museums, Galleries & History in Orlando
Just 20 minutes from downtown Orlando, Winter Park is one of Central Florida’s most refined communities — and they have the museums to prove it. At Rollins College’s Cornell Fine Arts Museum alone, you can view more than 5,500 works that range from an ancient sarcophagus to the latest in 21st century art. Admission is always free.
Also in Winter Park, you can peruse the world’s largest collection of work by famed American designer Louis Comfort Tiffany at The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. Nearby, the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens preserves the works of its namesake.
Historic Eatonville, located 15 minutes west of Winter Park, is another must-visit for arts enthusiasts, as well as history buffs. Incorporated in 1887, it’s one of the oldest African-American municipalities in the United States. What’s more, Eatonville was the childhood home of celebrated author Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God).
Today, Hurston is honored by the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum, aka the Hurston, which provides gallery space for artists of African descent. There’s no set admission fee, but donations are encouraged. Eatonville also hosts the annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities, aka Zora! Festival, a week-long celebration with several events that are free to attend. It traditionally takes place in late January and early February.
Loch Haven Park near downtown Orlando is no slouch in the museum department, either, including the Orlando Museum of Art and The Mennello Museum of American Art. Head downtown for one of our most unique artistic venues, CityArts Factory, which offers multiple art galleries under one roof, and the Orange County Regional History Center and Heritage Square Park, a Smithsonian Institution affiliate that traces 12,000 years of Central Florida history.