You love this city. You’ve made memories at concerts, sat in awe of dramatic theatrical performances, spent days at festivals, volunteered your time for a local arts org — and now, you’ve spoken. Thousands of you voted for your favorite art museum, festival, theater and more.
The winners listed below received the most votes and hereby crowned as Central Florida’s Local Favorites. The next four with the most votes in each category are listed as honorable mentions.
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📸: Mennello Museum of American Art
LOCAL FAVORITE | Art Museum: Mennello Museum of American Art
Who they are: The Mennello Museum of American Art is an art museum located in the Howard Phillips’ house in Loch Haven Park next to Lake Formosa in Orlando, Florida. The museum displays paintings and sculptures and contains at its core a permanent collection of paintings by Earl Cunningham.
Why you voted for them: “They’re on the Urban Trail and I’ve enjoyed many events there.” – David W.
- Orlando Museum of Art Website | Instagram
- The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art Website | Instagram
- Art & History Museums — Maitland Website | Instagram
- Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens Website | Instagram
Orlando Science Center – College Park Gallery – Rollins Museum of Art – Orange County Regional History Center – Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra – Orlando Sings
LOCAL FAVORITE | Gallery: CityArts
Who they are: Funky gallery collective with monthly, varied exhibitions from local & international artists.
Why you voted for them: “Consistently putting top artists on display in the heart of downtown and utilizing one of our few historic buildings in that core.” – Scottie C.
- Snap! Orlando Website | Instagram
- Downtown Arts Collective Website | Instagram
- Chocolate Museum & Cafe Website | Instagram
- Bijutsu-kan 美術ー缶 (Art Cans) Website
Art Gallery at Mills Park – Redefine Art Gallery – Orlando Sings Symphonic Chorus
📸: Orlando Sings
LOCAL FAVORITE | Community Arts Organization: Orlando Sings
Who they are: Orlando Sings host a family of choirs in Orlando, including the Orlando Sings Symphonic Chorus, Solaria, and other singing groups.
Why you voted for them: “Every concert I attend, I love the energy in the room and the wonderful sense of community I feel among members of the audience. And of course the music is great too! Exciting to spotlight the amazing professional singers in our community.” – Carolyn M.
“This is an amazing new organization that just finished their inaugural season. The professional chorus Solaria and the semi-professional Orlando Symphonic Chorus create an amazing authentic musical experience for participants and audience members. I myself am a member of the symphonic chorus, and I love the community we have built together this year! I can’t wait to see where this organization goes!” – Nathan S.
- Downtown Arts District Website | Instagram
- Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Website | Instagram
- Central Florida Community Arts Website | Instagram
- Opera del Sol Website | Instagram
Opera Orlando – Creative City Project – Timucua Arts Foundation – Arts & Culture Alliance – FilmSlam at Orlando Museum of Art – The Artist Co-op (TAC) – Orlando at Play – United Arts of Central Florida
📸: Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
LOCAL FAVORITE | Music Venue: Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Who they are: The Walt Disney Theater is the premier music venue for national touring acts and Broadway in Orlando. Their schedule is jam packed with everyone from Alicia Keys to “Weird Al” Yankovic to Hamilton and Wicked. Also on the property is the Steinmetz Hall and Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater whose programming runs the gamut from stand-up comedy to opera to drag shows.
- Timucua Arts Foundation Website | Instagram
- The Plaza Live Website | Instagram
- The Social Website | Instagram
- The Abbey Website | Instagram
Will’s Pub – The Vanguard – Blue Bamboo Music – Hard Rock Live
📸: Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
LOCAL FAVORITE | Theater: Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Who they are: Since opening in 2014, Dr. Phillips Center has been named one of Travel + Leisure magazine’s “25 New Tourist Attractions Worth Adding to Your Bucket List” and one of Southern Living magazine’s “50 Best Places in the South Now.” Expect to see everything from ballet to Broadway, comedy acts to kids’ shows and educational programs to outdoor festivals, you’re always in for an amazing experience.
- Renaissance Theatre Company Website | Instagram
- Orlando Shakes Website | Instagram
- Central Florida Vocal Arts Website | Instagram
Mad Cow Theatre – Theater West End, Sanford – Winter Park Playhouse – ME Theatre – Garden Theatre – Breakthrough Theatre Company – Little Radical Theatrics
📸: 407 Food Fair
LOCAL FAVORITE: Festival: 407 Food Fair
Who they are: The 407 Food Fair is a monthly pop up food festival hosted by MAM Events Orlando in partnership with Stuff To Do in Orlando, & Ivanhoe Park Brewing Co on the second Saturday of each month. Every month there is a new food theme & rotating vendors.
- Orlando Fringe Website | Instagram
- Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival Website | Instagram
- Creative City Project Website | Instagram
- FusionFest Website | Instagram
Orlando Music Festival – FilmSlam at Orlando Museum of Art – Indie Folkfest – Fall Fiesta in the Park – Orlando Sings Choral Music Festival
📸: Enzian Theater
LOCAL FAVORITE | Cinema/Movie Theater: Enzian Theater
Who they are: The Enzian Theater is a nonprofit arthouse movie theater located in Maitland, Florida. The theater hosts the Florida Film Festival and several other local film festivals. The name “Enzian” is the German word for gentian, a genus of mountain flower.
Why you voted for them: “The Enzian is a delightful oasis and true arthouse set among stunning old Florida oaks and outdoor environment that brings independent , documentary, classics, and shorts films from the local to the global- how lucky.” – Shannon F.
“The Enzian Theater always brings new movies that I find thought provoking and interesting, while eating a tasty dinner- and the Eden Bar is a great place to unwind with friends.” – Milaura S.
- AMC Dine-In Disney Springs Website
- Aloma Cinema Grill Website
- EPIC Theatres at Lee Vista Website
- West Orange Cinema Website
Orlando PREMIERE 14 Fashion Square Mall
📸: Orlando Fringe
LOCAL FAVORITE | Event: Orlando Fringe
Who they are: The Orlando Fringe is the longest-running Fringe Theatre Festival in the United States, celebrating 30 years as Orlando’s Most Unique Cultural Experience. The 32nd Annual Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival takes place May 16th- 29th, 2023.
Why you voted for them: “Orlando Fringe is more than an event, it’s like a whole subculture. For those two weeks in May, pretty much nothing else matters more than seeing new Art embraced and celebrated by tens of thousands of people, right here in the heart of Central Florida. It was that uniquely accepting and encouraging nature of the Fringe that pushed me to start writing and to continue to take risks as a writer and Theatre-maker. There are few other places (in Orlando or anywhere else) that allow artists a chance to affordably create and test out new works.” – Donald R.
“Attending the Orlando Fringe is a ‘must do’ every May- the festival where you can watch live theater that includes drama, comedy, the sublime, and the sexy, and eat great food out on the lawn while listening to local music acts!” – Milaura S.
“I think it was Shakespeare who said it best, ‘Be not afraid of Fringeness. Some are born Fringe, some achieve Fringeness, and some have Fringeness thrust upon ‘em.’” – Nick G.
“Orlando Fringe is unlike anything else in the country. The artists are free to make their art, without constrictions or censorship.” – Jesse S.
- Magical Dining Website
- Immerse by Creative City Project Website
- Come Out with Pride Parade Website
- FusionFest Website | Instagram
Orange Blossom Revue – Kiwi Camera Swap and Sale – FAVO Art Market – 407 Food Fair – Florida Prize – FilmSlam at Orlando Museum of Art – Orlando Parking Lot Party – Florida Festival of New Musicals (Winter Park Playhouse) – Rockin Robinson – Foreign Dissent