You no longer have to travel to a metropolis like New York or Chicago to be immersed in a thriving arts and culture scene. The St. Pete and Clearwater area draws art enthusiasts from around the globe with its diverse assortment of museums, galleries, theaters and eclectic restaurants. With a quick 20-minute jaunt to Tampa your options of things to do expands, with venues like The Straz Center which holds top-headlining concerts and Broadway touring companies. You are in for a treat under the brilliant Florida sun and alongside the top-rated beaches in America.
Sure to top anyone’s list is The Dali Museum in St. Pete. With an incomparable collection of over 2,400 Salvador Dali works including nearly 300 oil paintings, drawings and watercolors and over 2,100 photographs, prints and sculptures creates a surrealist lover’s dreamscape. Yann Weymouth designed the awe-inspiring building in which Dali’s works are housed. With a bursting bubble opening up this architectural masterpiece it produces the perfect twenty first century homage to the original dome of the Dali museum in Spain. As if you are entering the mind of the surrealist painter, this magical museum has a helical floating staircase, The Fountain of Youth and the spectacular Mathematical Gardens. One of the most outstanding of St. Pete’s museums, The Dali Museum is sure to quench the thirst of anyone’s creative drought.
A relatively new addition to the museums in St. Pete is The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art. Businessman Thomas and Mary James coupled their love of Western art and the city of St. Pete and shared their enormous private collection of contemporary and traditional western art. The James is another hot spot to add to your cultural venture while in the St. Pete and Clearwater area. Other notable museums include, The Museum of Fine Art, Imagine and Great Explorations for a kid-friendly option. Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront would be the perfect compliment to explore this vibrant art scene, as are the Tangerine restaurant and The Dali Bar conveniently nestled within the Hilton.
The Morean Arts Center has made immense contributions to the culture of this area by way of fabulous exhibits like the one-and-only Chihuly Collection. For four decades Dave Chihuly, master glass sculptor, has pushed the boundaries of contemporary art. His work is absolutely breathtaking and has that wow-factor that will feed your imagination. You will not believe your eyes with the bold colors, and expressive creativity flowing from this master’s hands. To continue your multicultural explorations, from tacos, tapas to Tahitian-inspired cocktails, check out The Lure restaurant on Central Avenue. This laid-back hang-out offers billiards and award -winning local brews on tap in a friendly environment.
A couple million dollars short on purchasing your first Dali painting? Come visit the Art Pool Gallery, an indie vintage boutique gallery. Local artist Marina Williams combined her love of a multitude of art forms and brought them under one house. Outfitted with a vintage clothing boutique for both men and women, hand-crafted jewelry and antique home goods, this gallery is well worth your time. The Art Pool has an approachable atmosphere and fun inventive space, so leave no stone unturned. The gallery is located in the Grand Central District and for more information about special showcasing’s visit Art Pool’s website.
For you Broadway babies this area is brimming with various outstanding theaters. The Capitol Theater, open since 1921 in Clearwater, Florida and fully renovated in 2013, provides world class entertainment in a beautifully finished playhouse. The State Theater similar to The Capitol in its intimate setting, host’s concerts across the entire spectrum of music genres. For larger venues, Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Palladium Theater presents concerts, opera, theater, classic film showing’s to dance and comedy. Ruth Eckerd Hall features more than 200 performances a year in a superbly refined acoustic hall and has been recognized as one of “Tampa Bay’s Best” providing contemporary music for all ages.
Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa would be a great location to easily navigate to all your artistic endeavors. St. Petersburg and Clearwater have embraced the arts for generations and continue to expand its multicultural expressions within the art world. Whether a newcomer or returning visitor you will be impressed with the area’s depth within the artistic community and the amount of culturally diverse opportunities there are to enjoy.