Popular Activities in the
St. Petersburg Attractions
St. Petersburg, Florida offers miles of picturesque blue waters and beaches along Florida's west coast, a renovated downtown with a modern waterfront and a relaxing Spanish heritage reflected in its historic architecture. Dolphins frolic by The Pier, an inverted pyramid of shops and restaurants in Tampa Bay. For those who want to do more on vacation than bake in the warm Florida sun and shop for souvenirs, St. Pete has become a hotbed of cultural tourism. Visitors can tour the QuARTer--several square blocks of museums, art galleries, studios and eateries. Transportation to many of the attractions is 50 cents on The Looper, a trolley that stops at ten downtown spots.
Florida Holocaust Museum
Permanent exhibit includes a 15-ton railroad freight car, one of the few left that were used by Nazis during the Second World War to transport prisoners to death camps. But the nation's largest regional holocaust museum isn't all about the dark side of humanity and stresses a theme of history, heritage and hope along with a message that emphasizes shared values among nations, races, sexes and religions.
Florida International Museum
The cavernous convention-style space houses some permanent exhibits, such as a collection of JFK memorabilia and an inventive look at the Cuban Missile Crisis that features recreations of 1962 houses, schoolrooms and fallout shelters. But the Florida International Museum's claim to fame is the Smithsonian-affiliated rotating exhibits. Previous highlights are Russian Czarist treasures, Alexander the Great and Titanic artifacts.
Fun for children of all ages, Great Explorations, the hands-on museum, certainly lives up to its name. Whether testing their strength and flexibility against the national average or stretching their brain on a series of mind benders, visitors to Great Explorations take an active part in the museum's exhibits.
Museum of Fine Arts
The St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts houses over 4,000 works of art, including many 19th century French and American paintings and one of the largest photography collections in the South. Though the pieces by Renoir, O'Keefe, Rodin and Cezanne are reason enough to visit the museum, the warm golden colors and sweeping colonnades of the classic Mediterranean-style building can be appreciated all on their own. Several "period rooms" inside the museum are furnished and decorated with items contemporary to the art hung in them. The museum hosts a chamber music series as well, and visitors may shop in the museum store featuring books, games, cards, jewelry and fine art reproductions.
Shops, restaurants and amusements line the walks of this historic St. Petersburg landmark, which has changed form several times since its inception over a century ago. The last set of renovations, in the late 80s, created The Pier you see today. Let your kids explore the free Pier Aquarium and marine education center while you enjoy a leisurely lunch and a panoramic view at the famous Columbia restaurant. Browse through one of The Pier's sixteen specialty shops, rent some rods from the Baitshop and try to catch a fish. Rent surrey bikes, catch a Dolphin Sightseeing Cruise or feed the swarms of pelican that call St. Petersburg's Pier home.
'The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory,' Salvador Dalí
This museum showcases the country's most comprehensive display of art by the renowned Spanish surrealist. Salvador Dalí is known for his photo-realistic paintings depicting dreamscapes, Freudian imagery, and large-scale optical illusions. Showcasing the private collection of A. Reynolds and Eleanor Morse, St. Peterburg's Dalí museum includes several of Dalí 's most renowned paintings, including the classic The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory (pictured) and the "masterwork" The Hallucinogenic Toreador.
St. Petersburg Museum of History
Housing mainly exhibitions of local Florida interest (such as a replica of the plane Tony Jannus used to make the first-ever commercial airline flight across Tampa Bay in 1913), the St. Petersburg Museum of History combines student-friendly interactive displays with a library of archives left over from its incarnation as the St. Petersburg Historical Society.
After an extremely heartwarming public campaign to save this sixty-five year-old tropical garden, the historic landmark was purchased in 1999 by the city of St. Petersburg. Sunken Gardens is home to a diverse butterfly population and over 400 species of tropical plant life, including soaring Royal palms, exotic flowers and ferns, cinnamon trees, and 200 year-old live oaks. Visitors wander through pathways that dip to 15 feet below street level, where the tropical flora are protected from Florida's sub-tropical climate.
Florida's wide and shallow "River of Grass" is home to the Everglades National Park, North America's only subtropical preserve, easily accessible, but a far cry from a neon Miami. The Wild East, Florida's Everglades National Park is a bird's paradise, home to gators and crocs (a rare repitilian event) and a fresh water wonderland for bovine manatees. Canoe through dense foliage in the Mangrove mazes of South Florida's Ten Thousand Islands or even take an airboat ride in working gator farms (off-preserve). With South Florida development competing for this grassy river's water, the time is ripe for seeing one of the world's most important, and lushly beautiful, wetlands.
St. Petersburg Attractions by StPetersburg.com staff and Diana Peterfreund.
Busch Gardens is the ultimate family adventure park offering an array of fascinating attractions based on exotic encounters with the African continent. A unique blend of thrilling rides, one of the country's premier zoos featuring more than 2,700 animals, live shows, restaurants, shops and games.