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Stroke Smart Magazine

January/February 2009

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Museum Hopping
Take a Cultural Tour by Trolley in St. Petersburg

By Candy B. Harrington

Escape the winter chill and visit St. Petersburg, Fla., also known as “The Sunshine City.” This great arts community, is rich with culture and has many world-class museums. In fact, it often places within the top 25 arts destinations in the nation.

The brightly-colored Lopper Trolley offers visitors an inexpensive way to explore the city. The trolley has handicapped access. It is lift-equipped and connects all of St. Petersburg’s major museums, art galleries, downtown hotels, shopping centers and restaurants. The trolley is only 25 cents per ride or 10 cents for seniors.

St. Petersburg’s top-notch museums also have handicapped access. They have level entries, accessible restrooms and plenty of room to maneuver a walker, wheelchair or scooter. So, hop aboard the trolley for a great, self-guided museum and cultural tour.

Pier Aquarium, Museum of History, Museum of Fine Arts

Your first trolley stop will drop you at the Pier Aquarium. The aquarium offers a number of fun, hands-on activities for everyone. Learn from marine scientists about the fish and their habitats. See a video about Florida Red Tide and hear the sounds of the sea through a mobile hydrophone installed underneath The Pier.

The Pier hosts many events and activities. It’s worth a stroll around to see what is going on.

The St. Petersburg Museum of History is in walking distance from the Pier. It features exhibits on the history and heritage of St. Petersburg and the Pinellas Peninsula. It is home to many artifacts, including a Tocobaga American Indian canoe from the 1500s and a 3,500-year-old mummy.

Across the street is the Museum of Fine Arts, which boasts a huge collection of more than 4,600 pieces, including works by Monet, Gauguin, Renoir and CÚzanne. There is also a special exhibit that features works by Albrecht Durer, a well known German Renaissance print maker.

Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club

Although it’s not a museum, the beautiful Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club is a must see. Constructed in the 1920s, this landmark is a work of art and is considered the showplace of the waterfront. There is no charge to go in and browse through the huge lobby. If you’d really like to treat yourself, book a room at the Vinoy. The property features six handicapped accessible guest rooms with features such as roll-in showers.

Florida Holocaust Museum

The Florida Holocaust Museum is the third largest Holocaust museum in the United States. The museum features Holocaust art exhibits, photographs and artifacts. The centerpiece of the museum is a box car exhibit from the Poland death camps.

Salvador Dali Museum

Last, but not least, don’t miss the Salvador Dali Museum. All of Dali’s periods are represented in this collection — even pieces from his early and transitional periods. Dali is well known for his surrealist art and many of his masterpieces are featured in this collection. Bargain hunters should plan to visit Thursdays after 5 p.m., when admission is reduced to $5.

Visit the St. Petersburg Clearwater Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Web site or call them to plan your vacation, (727) 464-7200 http://www.floridasbeach.com/

Candy Harrington is the author of 101 Accessible Vacations; Travel Ideas for Wheelers and Slow Walkers and blogs regularly about accessible travel issues at www.BarrierFreeTravels.com.



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