The city of St. Petersburg Florida is known for many things. Between its new pier, sunken gardens, and coastal preserves to its un-godly selection of bars, eateries, and art museums, the city has become a hub for all things art-appreciation, recreation, and socialization. One such natural work of art nestled on the corner of 2nd Avenue Northeast and Beach Drive Northeast attracts the attention of almost anyone who passes it.
Situated in front of the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts at 255 Beach Dr. NE, a sprawling Bombax Ceiba tree explodes with vibrant red blooms. Commonly referred to as a Kapok Tree, its flowers have become a hotspot for museum visitors to stop and snap a quick pic before exploring all the art its halls have to offer.
According to an Instagram post made 10 hours ago by Visit St. Pete/Clearwater (@vspc), the natural work of art springs to life just before the Spring season, and is currently bursting with its famous buds and blooms.
The tree has a little bit of a history too. It's been in front of the museum since being planted by the Museum of Fine Art's first Director, Rexford Steed, in the Spring of 1965 — where it stood only 3 feet tall. It was planted on the south lawn to commemorate the 50-year-old building that once stood there, which served as a temporary administration building in the museum's early days.
If you happen to go snap a pic of St. Pete's 'Most Famous Tree' for yourself, you might as well check out the museum or nearby pier too. A few exhibitions currently on display include Explore the Vaults: Images Private and Public, C. 1500-1800 on display until May 21, True Nature: Rodin and the Age of Impressionism until March 26, and In Dialogue: Unexpected Visual Conversations until June 25.
A couple of upcoming exhibits include features such as Shashin: Japanese Photographs from the Meiji Era (1870-1900) from March 11 through July 31 of 2023, as well as Lasting Impressions: Japanese Prints from the Read-Simms Collection coming April 22 through August 13.
Standard admission is $22 per adult, $12 per child aged 7 to 17, with children 6 and under admitted for free. If you happen to go on a Thursday after 5 pm, admission is only $12 for adults. And if you're paying for a membership to support the museum's endeavors, individual and dual-level members can get in for $6, with friend or higher level membership getting in for free.
Other membership benefits include unlimited visits for the year, exclusive access to previews of exhibitions, free or discounted admission to programs and events, 10% off at their store and pop-up shop, discounted museum-validated parking, and more. Membership also gets you a 15% discount on bites to eat at the on-site restaurant — Cafe Clementine.
Nestled inside the art museum, the artisanal bakery and casual eatery serves up fresh, wholesome dishes and traditionally-made pastries. Alongside a broad selection of teas and coffee, Cafe Clementine's menu includes a variety of all-day breakfast and light-lunch items, many of which are vegan, gluten free, and almost too pretty to eat.