St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg has been listed on Livability.com’s “Top 100 Most Livable Cities in America” for 2014! It has been named one of America’s most livable communities, much thanks to its parks and recreational amenities, a focus on the arts community, a vibrant downtown and active neighborhood associations.  It is also known for its world-famed, nearby beaches and a blessed climate where the sun shines some 360 days each year.

Pinellas Largest City
St. Petersburg’s 244,769 residents (according to the 2010 U.S. Census) live in more than 100 communities.  To say there is something for everyone in St. Pete is not an exaggeration.  You could choose a Craftsman-style bungalow in friendly Historic Kenwood or a Mediterranean villa estate on Snell Isle.  Find a restored Colonial Revival along the tree-shaded streets of Old Northeast, or a more contemporary home along the famed “Pink Streets” of Pinellas Point, a luxury high-rise condo overlooking the downtown waterfront, or a rehabbed 1920s Tudor in charming Crescent Lake.

A Vibrant City Center
Downtown is a magnet to residents and visitors alike, with its phenomenal shopping and dining offerings, art galleries, antique shops and cultural and recreational facilities, including the Museum of Fine Arts.

Endless To Do List
tropicanafieldSt. Pete residents tend to be quite active in their own communities, but have plenty of reason to get out and about.  Saturday morning at the outdoor market is a popular spot, in fact one of the nation’s largest of its kind. You may choose a night out on the town with live theater and find dining or maybe an afternoon with a glimpse of rare wildlife at Boyd Hill Nature Park. You can spend an afternoon with the kids at Great Explorations, an interactive museum, maybe followed by an evening of theater at American Stage, the Bay area’s oldest professional theater company. You can enjoy a stroll through a waterfront art festival or maybe attend a Tampa Bay Rays Major League Baseball game at Tropicana Field nearby.

dali2No where else
St. Pete folks are especially proud of The Salvador Dali Museum, the world’s largest collection of Dali Art outside of Spain. Visible from downtown is the beautiful Sunshine Skyway Bridge, at 4.1 miles long and 19 stories high, the largest cable suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere.

Green Space
St. Pete is also one of Florida’s greenest cities with 2,300 acres of public land dedicated to parks and recreation areas across 137 city parks.  Jewels include historic the Weedon Island Preserve, with a canoe trail taking you through a tunnel of native mangroves, and a portion of the Pinellas Trail.

“What strikes me about our town is that in spite of lots of new construction, condos, office buildings, even a professional baseball stadium, St. Pete still feels like a small town. And with its many old buildings still preserved its evident the city has a rich history and didn’t just spring up in the last few years. Finally, I love the way our downtown waterfront has been preserved as it for the most part it is open and free for everyone to enjoy.” Pat Mason, 40-year resident.

Factoids:

Population: 244,769 according to the 2010 U.S. Census
Land Area: 60.9 Sq. Miles
 

Points of Interest: Museum of Fine Arts, Saturday morning market, Boyd Hill Nature Park, American Stage, St. Petersburg Pier, Great Explorations, Tampa Bay Rays, The Salvador Dali Museum, Sunshine Skyway Bridge

Largo

largo1Situated in the heart of Pinellas County, Largo is a family-friendly community of tree-lined streets, plentiful lakes and hundreds of acres of parkland. Home to 77,648 residents according to the 2010 U.S. Census, Largo is the third largest city in Pinellas County.

The dynamic nature of Largo might be best admired in the redevelopment of its downtown district. Largo’s West Bay Drive district is a charming collection of restaurants and shops just a short stroll from Largo Central Park, the venue for regular concerts, festivals and other entertainment events. A city trolley provides a fun way to get around town on the weekend. The Largo Cultural Center downtown is both an entertainment destination and community gathering spot.

largo2Largo residents are justly proud of the many jewels within their community.  A prime example is Florida Botanical Gardens, where native and tropical flora and fauna thrive on over 30 acres of cultivated gardens and 90 acres of natural preserves. Several endangered species, including the bald eagle and the gopher tortoise, are safe at home here. Largo’s Gulf Coast Museum of Art is another treasure, with its nine permanent collections and changing exhibitions. Heritage Village, a 21-acre living history museum, offers visitors a glimpse into Florida’s past.

 

 

 

Factoids:

Population: 77,648 according to the 2010 U.S. Census
Land Area: 15.7 Sq. Miles
 

Points of Interest: Downtown District, Largo Central Park, City Trolley, The Largo Cultural Center, Florida Botanical Gardens, Largo’s Gulf Coast Museum of Art, Heritage Village.

Salvador Dalí Museum

dali_1Melting clock faces. Nightmarish landscapes. Whimsical creatures. Love him or hate him, you can’t be neutral about Dalí.

The city of St. Petersburg scored a phenomenal art coup in the late 1970s when it secured the world’s most comprehensive collection of Dalí outside his native Spain — the 20th Century’s most famous surrealist painter and self-promoter extraordinaire.

dali_2In addition to 96 oil paintings, some over 14 feet tall, the extraordinary collection includes over 100 watercolors and drawings and some 1,300 graphics, photographs, sculptures and objects d’art. To keep the museum fresh for locals who enjoy repeat visits, curators periodically rotate the collection and bring in special exhibitions on a regular basis.

dali_3Since the Salvador Dalí Museum officially opened to the public on March 10, 1982, millions of visitors from around the world have been drawn to this spectacular cultural masterpiece. The Michelin Guide gave the Salvador Dalí Museum the only three-star rating on Florida’s west coast.

The Salvador Dalí Museum is a world-class art gem.  And, it’s only in Pinellas.

Leepa-Rattner Museum

lp_museum_2Your adventure into 20th century art begins even before you walk into the Leepa-Rattner Museum in Tarpon Springs because the museum itself is a work of art. This award-winning architectural compression of three buildings in one offers a post-modernist spin on the bow of a ship, a tribute to the area’s rich fishing heritage.

The experience intensifies inside.

lp_museum_4There you will discover the art of Abraham Rattner, a figurative expressionist who worked in Paris in the 1920s and 30s and became one of America’s leading colorists. Returning to the U.S. because of the outbreak of WWII, much of his subsequent work reflected the inhumanity and tragedy of the years of war.

The experience is also interactive.  You’re invited to “walk through a painting” to intimately explore a Rattner work of art. You can create your own art using media ranging from colored panels to magnetic strings. Also, perhaps you’ll have the opportunity to watch a performance artist acquaint you with Guernica, using a full-scale replica of Pablo Picasso’s anti-war mural.

lp_museum_8Rattner mingled with many leading artists of his time – Pablo Picasso, Henry Moore, Marc Chagall, Le Corbusier, Henry Moore, Max Ernst — and their works are also represented in the collection. Also on permanent display are the whimsical works of Esther Gentle (his wife), and the abstract art of Allen Leepa (stepson of Rattner).

You’ll leave with a profound new view of 20th century art – and the 20th century — that can only be found at the Leepa-Rattner Museum.  And, it’s only in Pinellas.