May 24--As the traditional opening weekend of summer, the Memorial Day holiday is typically celebrated at the beach.
If you don't want to fight the crowds for a square of sand next to the surf this weekend, there are other options. Here are a few suggestions:
--The Dali Museum
Where: 1 Dali Blvd, St. Petersburg
What's cool: Sitting across from the Mahaffey Theater, next to Tampa Bay, the museum is distinctive for the "enigma," a geodesic glass bubble that emerges from the building's exterior on the waterfront side. Inside, visitors reach the third-floor exhibition space on a helical staircase that reflects Dali's infatuation with the spirals of DNA molecules.
Nearby beach: St. Petersburg Beach is 10 miles west, on Interstate 275
Cost: $21 adults, $15 ages 13-17, $7 ages 6-12
--The Elliott Museum
Where: 825 N.E. Ocean Blvd, Stuart
What's cool: With its wealth of baseball and automotive history, the Elliott Museum looks like an attraction designed for guys. The collection includes more than 40 Model A Fords among dozens of restored and original automobiles.
Nearby beach: Hutchinson Island is 10 miles north on State Road A1A.
Cost: $12 adults, $6 ages 2-12
--Harn Museum of Art
Where: University of Florida, 3259 Hull Road, Gainesville
What's cool: Check out the museum's modern works, an ongoing exhibit that features paintings by impressionist Claude Monet and American artist Georgia O'Keefe.
Nearby beach: It's only 60 miles west on State Road 24 from the college town to the tiny fishing village of Cedar Key.
Cost: Free. (The museum is closed on Mondays.)
--National Naval Aviation Museum
Where: 1750 Radford Blvd., Pensacola
What's cool: The world's largest naval-aviation museum has 37 acres of outdoor exhibits and 300,000 square feet inside. It's part of the Pensacola Naval Air Station.
Nearby beach: Pensacola Beach is 16 miles away via State Road 30.
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