Museums and Family Fun in St. Petersburg
It likely goes without saying that as a guest here at Sirata Beach Resort, you’ve got some of the world’s finest sand and surf at your disposal, plus amazing watersports and saltwater fishing—in short, the very best the Florida Gulf Coast has to offer. But the St. Pete/Tampa Bay area has much more to offer, including some truly fabulous arts-and-culture destinations.
Among those attractions is quite the lineup of art museums and galleries that easily hold their own with any in the country. Here are three of these truly exceptional destinations for you and the family during your Sirata Beach Resort getaway!
Salvador Dali Museum (One Dali Blvd., St. Petersburg, FL)
The world-class Salvador Dali Museum opened in the early 1980s, originally established on the extensive Dali holdings of A. Reynolds and Eleanor Morse. Today its 2,100-plus pieces—comprising sketches, oil paintings, watercolors, sculptures, and more drawn from all stages of the legendary Catalonian surrealist’s career—rank as the largest collection of Dali works outside of Europe. The Salvador Dali Museum offers free-with-admission docent tours of its galleries seven days a week as well special architecture tours on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
The museum’s current building, designed by Yann Weymouth and opened in 2011, makes one of the most distinctive along the Tampa Bay waterfront.
Morean Arts Center (Main Location: 719 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL)
The Morean Arts Center stems from the oldest arts organization in the whole Tampa Bay region, dating back to 1917. Its main location offers a contemporary art gallery and as well as a feast of classes and workshops for some hands-on art-making instruction. Next door is the outstanding Chihuly Collection (720 Central Ave), which houses a permanent exhibition of famed glass sculptor Dale Chihuly’s works, including the monumental Ruby Red Icicle Chandelier expressly created for the space. Behind the Arts Center you’ll find the associated Glass Studio & Hot Shop, also well worth a visit. In addition, the Morean Arts Center encompasses one of the biggest working potteries in the American Southeast: the Morean Center for Clay (420 22nd Street), housed in St. Petersburg’s Historic Train Station.
The Museum of Fine Arts (255 Beach Dr NE, St. Petersburg, FL)
St. Petersburg also claims one of Florida’s great all-around art museums in the MFA, the comprehensive collections of which cover some 5,000 years of human artistry and expression (and an awful lot of global territory). From Classical sculptures of Ancient Greece and Rome to American Indian pieces, from Monet and Rodin to O’Keeffe and de Kooning, there’s amazing stuff within the walls of the MFA. Don’t miss the photography collection: at better than 16,000 items strong, one of the most notable in the Southeast.