Dali in St. Petersburg

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According to local legend, St.Petersburg co-founders John C. Williams and Peter Demens flipped a coin to see who would name their new city. Peter Demens won and named it St. Petersburg after the Russian city of his birth.

Florida was paradise after the long, cold, dark Russian winters of Demens youth. With a temperate sub-tropical climate and 360 days of sunshine each year, St.Petersburg deserves it’s nickname, “The Sunshine City”. Surrounded by Tampa Bay to the east and the Gulf of Mexico to the west, St. Petersburg has access to miles of white sand beaches along the Gulf.

If beautiful beaches and warm weather were all St. Pete’s had to offer, the story would end here. But there’s more. St. Petersburg has the largest Salvador Dali collection outside Europe.

How did a mid-sized Florida city snag such a large treasure?

The story begins with Reynolds and Eleanor Morse of Cleveland Ohio, lifelong patrons of Salvador Dali. They wanted to donate their collection to a major museum with one condition – that the collection be kept intact. No American museum would honor their stipulation. When a determined group of St. Petersburg’s prominent citizens persuaded the Florida government to find two million dollars to create a new museum, the Morses agreed to move their collection to St. Petersburg.

The new Dali Museum, designed by Yann Weymouth, fuses the rational with the fantastical: a simple concrete rectangle out of which erupts a large free-form geodesic glass bubble known as the “enigma.” The art works sit above the flood plane behind reinforced 18” thick concrete walls, built to resist a Category 5 hurricane and 165 mph winds.

The new museum, ranked by AOL Travel as one of the “10 Buildings to See Before You Die”, contains works from Dali’s entire career (1904-1989) including key pieces from every period in every medium.

Anchored by the Dali Museum, downtown St Petersburg is also home to the Museum of Fine Arts and The Chihuly Collection. The latter, opened in July 2010, features the first permanent collection of free-blown and sculptural glass works from master glass artist, Dale Chihuly. More than two dozen art galleries, local professional theaters, performing arts centers and the Florida Orchestra headquarters round out the impressive arts offerings in the Sunshine City.

The Dali Museum
One Dali Blvd St. Petersburg, FL USA 33701

http://www.visitflorida.com/

 

Golf Shanty Creek Resorts

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Popular with both golfers and skiers, Shanty Creek Resorts near Lake Bellaire is a four-season destination. The two sports are evenly matched here, which explains the popularity of the elevation changes on the Legend course for starters.

Schuss Mountain Golf Course
Schuss Mountain Golf Course

Golfers at Shanty Creek Resorts have four great golf courses to challenge them: a Arnold Palmer Signature Course, The Legend,  Tom Weiskop’s Cedar River, Schuss Mountain and Summit.

The Legend at Shanty Creek Resorts
The Legend at Shanty Creek Resorts

If you’ve only played Arnold Palmer courses in Florida, The Legend will be a revelation.  After seeing The Legend spelled in flowers and the extreme elevation change on the first hole you know this course is something special.. The cart path travels through woods where you’ll have curious deer watching your approach shots and wild turkeys who could care less.

Riding the GolfBoard at Schuss Mountain
Riding the GolfBoard at Schuss Mountain

On Shanty Creek’s Schuss Mountain course – a Warner Bowen design, all family members can take advantage of golf boarding (think long board meets Segway) a fun, new way to get around the course in place of the traditional golf cart.

Five minutes away, the small town of Bellaire, named for the popular lake, offers opportunities for swimmers, boaters and fisher people to enjoy more outdoor activities. On Bellaire’s main street you’ll find great craft brews at Shorts Brewing Company along with the best pizza for miles.

Outdoor Pool at Shanty Creek Resorts
Outdoor Pool at Shanty Creek Resorts

On summer evenings everyone heads to the Dockside Restaurant on Torch Lake to hang out on the huge waterfront patio quaffing local beers and chowing down on oversized wraps, salads and burgers while catching the famed northern Michigan sunsets.

Dockside Torch Lake
Dockside Torch Lake

Traverse City, Michigan Highlights

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With more waterfront acreage than any other state in the nation, Michigan is a natural paradise for water sports. The crystal clear lakes and rivers attract water enthusiasts of all types from swimmers to boaters and fishermen. It’s no wonder families have vacationed in Northern Michigan longer than Detroit has been making cars.

One of the top destinations for visitors to the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan is Traverse City, a vibrant mix of small beach town atmosphere and big city dining. Travel & Leisure named Traverse City as one of America’s Favorite Beach Towns. Livability called it “The Best Small Town in America.” And Zagat included it in a list of “6 Hot U.S. Food Destinations to Visit This Summer.”

Food Truck in Traverse City
Food Truck in Traverse City

Maybe it’s the water or the proximity to The Great Lakes Culinary Institute in Traverse City that gives the local food scene the edge. Traverse City even features that most urban staple, the food truck. The Little Fleet on Front Street is home to nine food trucks with a variety of specialties. Local chefs use a range of fresh produce for the best in farm to table dining.

A newcomer to this dining scene, Olives & Wine features sharing plates of creative Middle Eastern delicacies and a “wall of wine” serve yourself tasting option of local, national and international varietals. Visitors and locals alike can tour wineries and craft beer breweries via bike and canoe or a combination of both.

Cherry Republic in Traverse City
Cherry Republic in Traverse City

Michigan is the most agriculturally diverse state after California and one of Michigan’s most successful exports are cherries. In fact Northern Michigan is the cherry capital of the United States. Look for Cherry Republic on Front Street, an emporium devoted just to Michigan cherries.  Generous samples of dried and chocolate coated varieties of cherries and just about any food staple with the delectable fruit are free to customers. If you’re here in July, check out the The National Cherry Festival. The Cherry Festival has a long history – the first Cherry Queen was crowned in 1925.

State Theater Traverse City, Michigan
State Theater Traverse City, Michigan

If you’re walking down Front Street, don’t miss the art deco historic State Theatre , restored with help from famous native son, film maker Michael Moore.  Every summer, the theatre hosts the annual Traverse City film festival founded by Michael Moore .

While there is a small airport in Traverse City appropriately named Cherry Capital,  a car is the best way to discover all the Upper Peninsula has to offer. Just a short 30 mile drive from Traverse City you’ll find Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a spectacular national park voted by the public as the “Most Beautiful Place in America” on ABC’s Good Morning America.

The Dune Climb at Sleeping Bear
The Dune Climb at Sleeping Bear

Our favorites at Sleeping Bear include the 7.4 mile Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, which has easy access to scenic views of the steep sand dunes that border the clean, clear waters of Lake Michigan, the Dune Climb and nearby Glen Haven Maritime Museum and Great Lakes Boat Museum.

Great Lakes Boat Museum
Great Lakes Boat Museum

Along with the mom-and-pop motels, ice cream and fudge joints on the outskirts of Traverse City, a little further outside you’ll find top four season resorts such as the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa and Shanty Creek Resorts.

Your Guide to an Active Vacation