Six Must See Museums Near St. Petersburg, Florida
The St. Petersburg area is known for its scrolling itinerary of museums, and it’s smaller sister city, Gulfport has a couple of worthwhile galleries as well. Map out an art-centric trip without missing any of the good stuff.
A local classic, The Dalí houses a monstrous collection of work by surrealist legend Salvador Dalí. According to the museum, it’s the largest collection of his work and leads guests through a sprawling gallery space showcasing his early (literally teenage) paintings all the way to the subconscious floating surreal work that he’s famous for today. There’s an outdoor garden space, a walk-up counter that sells full-blown charcuterie boards and a winding staircase that pays homage to the painter's insane methods.
Gulfport’s little white museum with the small town front porch is an ode to the history of the city. Photos of past families and people who walked the coastal hamlet before it was what it is today are constantly on exhibit. Research past people, shop the local book collection and have a cup of coffee. Admission to the gallery is free most of the time, but check the museum’s website for upcoming tours and events to make the most of your visit.
A heartbreaking but necessary history, downtown’s Florida Holocaust Museum features a collection of history, art and photographs taken during or around the jewish genocide. Guests can ask questions to pre-recorded videos of holocaust survivors telling their stories, and learn what it was like to live through the tragic past.
So it’s not exactly a museum, but it is a great place to support local artists. Florida CraftArt sits on Central Avenue and is home to an ever-changing gallery (see the upcoming Christmas candy land room come December) as well as a purchasable exhibit of handmade crafts and jewelry. Buy a pair of sea turtle hoop earrings, or a shoe rack made entirely of recyclables found on Pinellas beaches. Plus, the gallery isn’t far from Central’s smattering of boutiques, bars and restaurants.
The first thing you’ll see is the wall length Black Lives Matter quilt demanding attention in the middle of the Woodson Museum's small gallery. What the building lacks in square footage, it makes up for in African American history and local talent. The Woodson also offers a walkable garden that comes alive whenever there is an opening or event -masks galore.
Another Gulfport treasure, but not exactly a bona fide gallery, Brenda McMahon Gallery showcases local favorites and upcoming creators as well as glass work by Brenda herself. There is a constantly rotating collection of jewelry, vases and paintings right in Gulfport’s biggest blue building.
Make a day of your visit and walk to GulfPerk Coffee Bar for an iced latte and then hunker down for an overflowing plate of spaghetti carbonara at Tutto Bene without even getting in the car. Want to turn the perfect day trip into a sleepover? Chances are there are vintage rooms open at Gulfport’s Historic Peninsula Inn.
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