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Signature City St. Petersburg

Program No. 20429RJ
Experience world-class museums and art, historic architecture, unique bay ecology, a beautiful city botanical garden and more. St. Petersburg delights the eyes and inspires the soul.

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At a Glance

Beautiful Tampa Bay, colorful Florida landscapes and buildings, world-class museums and galleries and a bustling cultural scene beckon you to this lively city. Visit the magnificent Salvador Dalí Museum, a beacon of the downtown arts scene. Enjoy the murals which have earned St. Pete a reputation as one of the best arts and cultural communities in the country. Encounter a botanical paradise at Sunken Gardens and stroll in the third-largest downtown waterfront park in North America, behind only Chicago and Vancouver. Gain a new appreciation for St. Pete’s rich history and culture and experience this unique city everyone is talking about.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
1-2 miles each day over varied terrain including cobblestone streets; standing while on field trips.

What You'll Learn

  • Discuss historic preservation and this city’s unique story.
  • Discover the breathtaking Dali Museum and the largest collection of the surrealist’s work outside Spain, The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art, and world-renowned glass art.
  • Learn about the unique ecology of the bay and the importance of its health to the region.
Featured Expert
All trip experts
Profile Image
Rui Farias
Rui Farias is the executive director of the St. Petersburg Museum of History. He is a lifelong resident of St. Petersburg, having grown up downtown. Rui is also a former journalist and an educator who created the course in Florida history that he teaches at St. Petersburg High School.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Adele Visaggio
Adele Visaggio View biography
Adele Visaggio serves as a professional expert and docent for the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has conducted over 900 presentations of the permanent collection and special exhibits, and visits schools and community groups on behalf of the museum. Adele recently served as regional director with the National Docent Symposium Council. Adele has led both adult and school groups locally and nationwide, and loves sharing her knowledge of the area with others.
Profile Image of Savannah Gandee
Savannah Gandee View biography
Savannah Gandee joined Tampa Bay Watch in 2021 as the lead environmental educator aboard the Discovery eco-vessel. She has a B.S. in marine science from the University of South Florida and a M.S. in fisheries and aquatic sciences from the University of Florida. Savannah has extensive experience working on eco-vessels conducting environmental education and various research projects. She specializes in trawl fisheries research and wild bottlenose dolphin dorsal identification studies, and was recently permitted to conduct dorsal identification through NOAA.
Profile Image of Joey Vars
Joey Vars View biography
Joey Vars is curator-in-residence at the Gulf Beaches Historical Museum in Pass-a-Grille and chief historian of the famous Belleview Inn near Clearwater. He is an alumnus of USF St. Petersburg where he is also currently earning his M.A. in Florida studies. In addition to Tampa Bay’s Gilded Age history, Joey also studies the U.S. space program, world expositions, and lighter-than-air travel. He has visited two world’s fairs and documented over 50 rocket launches.
Profile Image of Rui Farias
Rui Farias View biography
Rui Farias is the executive director of the St. Petersburg Museum of History. He is a lifelong resident of St. Petersburg, having grown up downtown. Rui is also a former journalist and an educator who created the course in Florida history that he teaches at St. Petersburg High School.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on, a website that supports local bookstores.
While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of our published materials, programs are typically advertised more than a year prior to their start date. As a result, some program activities, schedules, accommodations, personnel, and other logistics occasionally change due to local conditions or circumstances. Should a major change occur, we will make every effort to alert you. For less significant changes, we will update you during orientation. Thank you for your understanding.
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6 days
5 nights
12 meals
5 B 3 L 4 D
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
St. Petersburg, Florida
Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 4:00-5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table in the lobby and get your welcome packet containing an up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation: 5:00-6:00 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like to make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances and conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: We will walk to a local restaurant for dinner.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night's rest for the day ahead.

Explore Historic Neighborhoods, St. Pete History Museum
St. Petersburg, Florida
Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Walking and standing at field trip sites; uneven surfaces at some sites.

Breakfast: At the hotel in our private room.

Morning: We’ll board a bus with an expert on St. Petersburg history and historic preservation to visit city neighborhoods and landmarks while learning about the city's past and present.

Lunch: Enjoy a delicious lunch at a local, downtown restaurant.

Afternoon: Walk a few blocks (or hop on the Looper) to the St. Petersburg Museum of History, Pinellas County’s oldest museum, where we'll continue our introduction to the city with a lecture on the history of St. Petersburg. Afterward, there will be time to explore the museum, which has been sharing stories of the Sunshine City for nearly a century. We’ll learn more about “America's Pastime” — baseball — with an exhibit featuring the world's largest collection of autographed baseballs. We’ll also see a flying replica of the Benoist Airboat that made the world's first regularly scheduled airline flight on January 1, 1914, right here in Tampa Bay. Other exhibits will highlight further significant aspects of our signature city's history. Explore the pier and return to the hotel at your leisure.

Dinner: We'll meet in the hotel lobby and walk to a local, downtown restaurant for dinner.

Evening: We'll return to the hotel after dinner to rest for another busy day ahead or you can enjoy a bit of St. Pete nightlife on your own.

St. Petersburg's Murals, The Hangar, Salvador Dali Museum
St. Petersburg, Florida
Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Walking and standing for 90-min. mural tour, walking through museum.

Breakfast: At the hotel in our private room.

Morning: We’ll take a walk to Florida CraftArt, a non-profit gallery of fine crafts created in Florida. A local expert will join us there and lead us as we encounter St. Petersburg's most beautiful and interesting murals. Artists are turning buildings into works of art, some by local artists who paint with the permission of building orders, and some as the result of an annual festival that brings famous muralists from around the world. We’ll learn how this ancient yet new art form has come to St. Pete. We’ll also have some time to explore the gallery independently.

Lunch: Following the Mural Tour, we'll hop the Looper for a short ride to the historic Albert Whited Airport and the unique Hangar Restaurant and Flight Lounge for a wonderful lunch. During lunch, we'll hear from a local expert who will share the interesting history of the airport.

Afternoon: Following lunch, walk across the street to the Salvador Dalí Museum for an expert-led field trip. There has been a Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg for more 30 years. The spectacular modern building protects the most comprehensive private collection of Dalí's work outside Europe. The entire range of his work is displayed, from early Impressionist paintings through transitional surrealist works, and into his classical period. This constantly growing and evolving artist worked in all media, leaving behind a wealth of oils, watercolors, drawings, graphics, sculptures, films, photographs, performance pieces, jewels, and objects of all descriptions. Rotating exhibits will round out your experience. Return to the hotel at your leisure.

Dinner: We'll walk to dinner at a local downtown restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

Eco Boat Tour, The James Museum, Free Time
St. Petersburg, Florida
Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront

Activity note: Walking up to a mile, 90-minute boat ride.

Breakfast: At the hotel in our private room.

Morning: Following breakfast, we'll walk to the Pier and board the research vessel, Discovery, for a scientist led, hands-on eco-tour. Tampa Bay Watch, a a highly respected environmental organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Tampa Bay estuary, opened the new Discovery Center at the Pier when it reopened. They have a classroom and viewing area along with the eco-tours. We will be treated to a scientist-led presentation about the bay and marine life, and see unique creatures that call Tampa Bay home. We will then walk to The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art for a docent-led tour of this fabulous collection, which includes more than 400 premier works of art including sculpture, paintings and jewelry in the museum’s 26,000 square feet of gallery space.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: The afternoon is free for you to explore downtown, the Central Ave district, or head to the beach, as you wish. Your Group Leader will provide you with ideas of our favorite locations to visit.

Dinner: On your own.

Evening: At leisure.

Sunken Gardens, Glass Art Museums
St. Petersburg, Florida
Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus.Walking up to 1 mile, standing approximately 1.5 hours during field trips;

Breakfast: At the hotel in our private room.

Morning: Boarding our bus, we’ll head to Sunken Gardens. In 1903, George Turner, Sr. began growing tropical plants in the rich fertile soil of an ancient lake bed. What began as a passion for gardening blossomed into a world famous botanical garden. We’ll stroll through this 4-acre sanctuary with an expert and examine a variety of lush tropical plantings, cascading waterfalls, flowing ponds, exotic birds, and a flock of flamingos.

Lunch: We'll have lunch at a local St. Petersburg restaurant.

Afternoon: After lunch, we'll take the bus to the Imagine Museum for a tour and demonstration of fine glass art. Whether you are a first-time visitor to a glass museum or you love glass art, you will be amazed by the 1,500 spectacular contemporary glass art works representing artists from America, Canada, the Czech Republic, Italy, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, Japan, and Australia, housed at the museum. We will complete our study of glass with a visit to the Chihuly Collection, a permanent collection of world-renowned Dale Chihuly's unusual artwork in a setting designed to his specifications. Then we'll board the bus and return to the hotel.

Dinner: Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: Returning to the hotel, prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

St. Petersburg's Future, Program Concludes
St. Petersburg, Florida

Activity note: Hotel check out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: At the hotel in our private room.

Morning: In our meeting room, we will be joined by a city council member who will share their thoughts on all that makes St. Petersburg a Signature City along with what's in store for the future. Your Group Leader will then offer closing remarks and the program will conclude. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!

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