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St. Petersburg Museum of History

Vacation Travel Guide
St. Petersburg Museum of History

Innovative displays and numerous artifacts keep local history alive and point out the influence this city has had on commercial aviation.

St. Petersburg was founded in the late 19th century. In just a few centuries, much has happened on the Pinellas Peninsula, and this is reflected in the St. Petersburg Museum of History’s collections. The space itself may be small, but there are over 30,000 artifacts to be viewed. This is an ideal place to explore early on during your St. Petersburg vacation to learn about the local background before seeing the sights.

A permanent display explores the roots of St. Petersburg. Through historic photos and artifacts you’ll learn how the area was once inhabited by Native Americans. The city was co-founded by John C. Williams from Detroit and Peter Demens, a Russian. The two men set out to lay the foundations and railway connection of modern-day St. Pete. Keep an eye out for the Tocobaga-crafted canoe, and the replica parlor car from the Orange Belt Railway.

The museum also informs visitors about St. Petersburg’s major achievements in the history of the United States. You’ll learn, for example, how the city was home to one of the world’s first airlines, Benoist Airlines. It was the first aviation company that didn’t have a fleet of Zeppelins, but instead used winged aircraft. Stare up at a full-size working replica of the Benoist Airboat, the museum’s star attraction.

St. Petersburg Museum of History has constantly changing exhibitions, which often focus on St. Petersburg itself, but also touch on Florida and the wider world. Check the museum’s website to find out what’s on during your visit.

Aside from exhibitions, there are a number of events to keep visitors engaged. A regular slot, “Happy Hour with the Historian,” invites people in for wine, food and discussion with a local historian. It’s a great way to learn more and get to know the locals. The admission fee is a suggested donation and there is a cash bar. Check the museum’s website for a schedule of topics and dates.

St. Petersburg Museum of History charges an admission fee. It is closed on Mondays and Sunday mornings. The museum overlooks the marina in a building that was once an aquarium, located just east of Bay Shore Drive on a spit in Tampa Bay. There is free parking behind the museum. The Downtown Looper trolley stops at the museum and other major attractions in central St. Petersburg.

Top things to do in St. Petersburg Museum of History

Top Hotels Close to St. Petersburg Museum of History

Ponce De Leon Hotel
Ponce De Leon Hotel
3 out of 5
95 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL
The price is $84 per night from Aug 11 to Aug 11
Located in Downtown St. Petersburg, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Museum of Fine Arts, Salvador Dali Museum, and Palladium Theater. University of ...
3.3/5 (961 reviews)
"Great staff - awesome property."

Reviewed on Jul 14, 2021

Ponce De Leon Hotel
Hollander Boutique Hotel
Hollander Boutique Hotel
3 out of 5
421 4th Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL
The price is $112 per night from Aug 11 to Aug 11
Located in Downtown St. Petersburg, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of The Coliseum and Jannus Live. Vinoy Park and Tropicana Field are also within ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (1,678 reviews)
"The staff was extremely friendly and welcoming. The property was clean and nicely decorated, and the pool area and outdoor bar were wonderful. The only negative wasn't a negative at all: their check in time is 3pm and my flight arrived at 5am, so I couldn't check in upon arrival. It just forced me ..."

Reviewed on Jul 22, 2021

Hollander Boutique Hotel
Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront
Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront
3.5 out of 5
333 1st St S, St. Petersburg, FL
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $127 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 22
Located in the heart of St. Petersburg, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Al Lang Stadium, Mahaffey Theater, and University of South Florida-St. Petersburg. ...
3.6/5Good! (910 reviews)
"Ok"

Reviewed on Jul 16, 2021

Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near St. Petersburg Museum of History

Ponce De Leon Hotel
Ponce De Leon Hotel
3 out of 5
95 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL
The price is $84 per night from Aug 11 to Aug 11
Ponce De Leon Hotel
Hollander Boutique Hotel
Hollander Boutique Hotel
3 out of 5
421 4th Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL
The price is $112 per night from Aug 11 to Aug 11
Hollander Boutique Hotel
Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront
Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront
3.5 out of 5
333 1st St S, St. Petersburg, FL
The price is $127 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 22
Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront
Hyatt Place St. Petersburg / Downtown
Hyatt Place St. Petersburg / Downtown
3.5 out of 5
25 2nd Street North, St. Petersburg, FL
The price is $179 per night from Aug 1 to Aug 1
Hyatt Place St. Petersburg / Downtown
The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club
The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club
4 out of 5
501 5th Ave Ne, St. Petersburg, FL
The price is $219 per night from Aug 1 to Aug 1
The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club
Avalon Hotel Downtown St. Petersburg
Avalon Hotel Downtown St. Petersburg
2.5 out of 5
443 4th Avenue North, St. Petersburg, FL
The price is $106 per night from Aug 11 to Aug 11
Avalon Hotel Downtown St. Petersburg
Hampton Inn & Suites St. Petersburg/Downtown
Hampton Inn & Suites St. Petersburg/Downtown
3 out of 5
80 Beach Dr NE, St. Petersburg, FL
The price is $153 per night from Jul 26 to Jul 26
Hampton Inn & Suites St. Petersburg/Downtown
The Birchwood
The Birchwood
3 out of 5
340 Beach Dr Ne, St. Petersburg, FL
The price is $215 per night from Aug 9 to Aug 9
The Birchwood
Cordova Inn
Cordova Inn
2.5 out of 5
253 2nd Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL
Cordova Inn
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.