Beyond the beaches in Tampa Bay

Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:09am EDT
 
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By Saundra Amrhein

TAMPA Fla. (Reuters) - Sunshine and more than 35 miles (57 km) of white-sand beaches have long lured tourists to the Tampa Bay area on Florida's Gulf of Mexico coast, where an infusion of arts and hipster-friendly culture is livening up options once you hang up your bathing trunks.

Beyond the beaches, the region's largest city, Tampa, is outgrowing a reputation for sleepy suburban sprawl, while neighboring St. Petersburg enjoys an urban renaissance that defies its onetime image as the epitome of gray-haired Florida, for which it was good-naturedly dubbed “God’s waiting room."

Waterfront museums, funky coastal towns with an artsy vibe and an eclectic night life that includes retro shuffleboard (yes, shuffleboard can be trendy) have some calling the region a New Yorker’s answer to life in Florida.

Here are tips for getting the most out of the Tampa Bay area from Reuters, whose 2,600 journalists in all parts of the world offer visitors the best local insights.

DALI AND THE ARTS

The crown jewel of St. Petersburg’s mile-long waterfront museum corridor is the Dalí Museum, the largest collection of works by Salvador Dalí outside his native Spain, housed in a newly constructed building featuring a 75-foot (23 m) geodesic glass bubble known as “the enigma.”

Now through February, enter the museum to see the only U.S. stop for the “Picasso/Dalí, Dalí/Picasso” exhibition with rarely loaned works by the two artists before it heads to Museu Picasso in Barcelona.   Continued...

 
Visitors walk outside the new Dali Museum during the grand opening and dedication for the museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, in this January 11, 2011 file photo.  REUTERS/Steve Nesius