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Tampa Bay Area Cities Named As Top Arts Destinations

By August 16, 2008

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Readers of AmericanStyle Magazine recently ranked the country’s Top Arts Destinations, and several Tampa Bay area cities earned respectable positions on the final roll.

The magazine has been polling readers annually for 10 years to guide art-lovers to cultural meccas and municipalities which embrace emerging arts scenes. The Tampa Bay area's prominence comes as little surprise to residents and frequent visitors, since the region features several superlative art museums exhibiting masterpieces of the past as well as works by today’s foremost artists.

Sarasota, home of countless art galleries as well as the John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art, came in at No. 11 in the Small Cities and Towns (populations of fewer than 100,000) category of the Top 25 Arts Destinations.

According to a city press release, Mayor Lou Ann Palmer said the ranking reflects the community’s emphasis on the arts and the city’s sponsorship of an extensive public arts program. AmericanStyle readers recommended Sarasota as a top destination for travelers who love art galleries, museums and festivals.

In the Mid-Sized Cities category (populations of 100,000 to 499,999), both St. Petersburg and Tampa made the list.

St. Petersburg, home of The Salvador Dalí Museum and the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts, was ranked at No. 11. Tampa, which boasts the Tampa Museum of Art and the Contemporary Art Museum at the University of South Florida, came in at No. 23.

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