Arts and Spanish Culture in St. Petersburg, Florida

Posted January 18, 2010 by Jamie Moore

Ceviche-def Long famous for its beaches, St. Pete's emerging cultural scene now tops that of any other Florida beach destination. Thank you, Salvador Dali and other saucy Spaniards with a presence here. Go gallery hopping along a route of 30 galleries and museums including Dali's, sip sangria at a flamenco bar, and pick up a glass-blown souvenir at the Arts Center.

Salvador Dali Museum: These walls hold the world's most comprehensive collection of the mustachioed Spanish surrealist's works and see more visitors than any other tourist attraction in town. Come the first Thursday of any month from 5 to 8 p.m. and you'll save $12 on admission.

Ceviche: A smallish tapas restaurant and flamenco bar across the street from the bay, Ceviche is everything we love about Spain. Downstairs in the cavernous flamenco room, Spanish guitarists turn out smooth riffs while fiery flamenco dancers stomp and swirl. Grab a table and a pitcher of red sangria, a house favorite, or a glass of Spanish wine. When the munchies set in, choose from more than 100 authentic Spanish tapas dishes.

The Arts Center gallery shop: If you've ever marveled at the Bellagio's lobby ceiling of 2,000 vibrant glass-blown flowers you've seen a glimpse of Dale Chihuly's genius. Other pieces of his have found a home in the St. Petersburg Arts Center and gift store. Check out the gallery or head straight for the shop and pick up a small Chihuly piece for $4,000 to $6,500. Not in the budget? Opt for a local artist's glass-blown flower that doubles as a vase or a Buddha board, the adult version of an Etch-a-Sketch with a paint brush and easel.

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(Photo: iStockPhoto/Juanmonino)

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