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Founded on Florida's Gulf coast in 1888 - and, yes, named after the famed Russian city (on a whim of one of the city's founders, who actually flipped a coin to decide the matter with his co-founder) - "St. Pete" has fairly little in common with its larger Slavic namesake. But one major exception is that in both you could spend days on end exploring a wealth of fascinating museums. In addition to the classic Florida sun and nearby beaches that it's known for, the ever growing arts scene and artists' communiity of "the Sunshine City" (noted in The Guinness Book of World Records for the most consecutive days of sunshine) also supports a cool roster of galleries and no fewer than seven distinct arts districts.
All of this makes this vibrant city of 265,000 a great vacation destination for the culturally minded as well as a great place to live, in recent years appealing to a younger demographic as well as retirees. And when it comes to museums, you could say that St. Petersburg punches well above its weight, which are a fascinating and sometimes unusually imaginative mix of art, history, and even fun. Here are ten of the top picks: